Doctoral scholarships

More than a scholarship, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation empowers doctoral researchers to have meaningful impact in the world.

The renewed Scholarship program of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is a gateway for courageous, bold, original thinkers who are hungry to play a leadership role in their communities. The Foundation’s three-year program aims to train Engaged Leaders, in order to build the capacity for academics to make their research accessible beyond academia, to partner and work with a diversity of actors across society, and to help address some of the most pressing domestic and global issues of direct relevance for the future of Canada. 

The leadership training provided to each cohort of Scholars is based on a scientific theme, which is chosen because of the social importance of the issues it raises and its interdisciplinary dimensions. This innovative model aims to help Scholars to look beyond their areas of expertise and develop a desire to engage with people, issues and ideas typically outside their academic training.

Our scientific theme for the 2020-2023 leadership program cycle will be Technology & Ethics. In particular, leadership training will be offered through the lens of ethical issues pertaining to biotech and the incorporation of artificial intelligence in the area of health care.

Building on the scientific theme of each program cycle, our leadership training features the following activities.

Year 1: Institutes of Engaged Leadership

During the first year of their term, Scholars must attend our Institutes of Engaged Leadership in locations across Canada and the world. One part of each Institute is led by the Foundation’s Fellows, leaders in research and teaching. The other part is led by the Foundation’s Mentors, leaders and innovators from across the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Through the Institutes, Scholars are exposed to ideas and experiences that they are less likely to encounter in a university context, and are empowered to develop new social, emotional and behavioural competencies.

Year two: Impact Conference

Building on the experience and leadership training received in year one, Scholars collectively organize a public conference during their second year, to share knowledge with the general public and foster community dialogue. They receive guidance and support from Fellows and Mentors. The organization of this conference provides an opportunity for Scholars to enhance their leadership abilities through collaboration with others.

Year three: Creative Project

In the third and final year of the program, Scholars develop together a creative project that can take many forms, from the publication of a book to a theatre production or a fundraising gala. The objectives are to collectively showcase the knowledge acquired through their Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation experience and to stimulate public reflection and dialogue on key societal issues. In doing so, Scholars experiment with unconventional practices of knowledge dissemination and public engagement.

Languages learning

The Foundation recognizes that an openness to and understanding of multiple languages is a hallmark of leading academics, public intellectuals, and innovative educators. Possessing an understanding of Canada’s official languages enhances Scholars’ experience within the multilingual context of the Foundation’s events, as well as offering a greater understanding of Canada. The Foundation further recognizes the significance of Indigenous languages to Canadian culture and society.

Scholars will be provided with guidelines to ensure they increase their ability in the official language with which they are less familiar, as well as opportunities to learn Indigenous languages as part of their three-year Scholarship with the Foundation.

At a glance

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholars receive:

  • Membership in a vibrant community of Scholars, Mentors, and Fellows, all of whom are leaders in their respective disciplines and sectors;
  • Leadership training from our Mentors and Fellows;
  • Up to $40,000 per year for three years to cover tuition and reasonable living expenses; and
  • Up to $20,000 per year for three years, as a research and travel allowance;

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholars will:

  • Attend a community retreat in Moncton, New Brunswick, from June 17th to June 19th, 2020 and two Institutes of Engaged Leadership during the first year of their term. The first Institute will take place in Montreal, Quebec, in November 2020. The second Institute will be in Helsinki (Finland) in March 2021;
  • Collaboratively plan and participate in a conference event during the second year of their term;
  • Work with other Scholars, Mentors, and Fellows on a creative project during the third year of their term;

The Foundation is committed to selecting a diverse group of Scholars, including in terms of gender, language, race, disabilities and region of origin. We also welcome First Nations, Inuit, and Métis candidates.

Apply now!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Scholarships

scholarships@trudeaufoundation.ca