Nominations - Visiting


Trudeau fellows are public intellectuals who have demonstrated the capacity to propose creative solutions to important issues. They reach beyond disciplinary boundaries to come up with innovative ideas and they are deeply committed to engaging in public debate.

Every year, an independent jury of eminent researchers and intellectuals selects up to five candidates for Trudeau fellowships. These candidates hail from all disciplines in the social sciences, the humanities, and the creative arts, and are active in one or more the Foundation’s four themes of research. Fellows are chosen in light of their leadership qualities, their productivity, their engagement, and above all their track record at imagining and promoting new solutions to major contemporary issues.

Since 2009, the Foundation has had the option of awarding one fellowship per year to a visiting fellow. The visiting fellowship gives Canadian universities the opportunity to host a Canadian or foreign academic, artist, or writer for one year or more. In the early years of the program, the Foundation alternated awarding the visiting fellowship to a Canadian and a foreign candidate. As of 2014, the Trudeau Foundation considers applications for Canadian and foreign visiting fellows each year. No more than one visiting fellow is appointed each year.



Fall 2015
       The Foundation issues a call for nominations for the visiting Trudeau fellowship
       to a network of Canadian and foreign institutions and individuals.

11 December 2015
       Deadline for the Foundation to receive the electronic nomination file on the
       Foundation's portal (required)

14 December 2015
       Deadline for the Foundation to receive two hard copies of the nomination file at
       the Foundation's offices (required)

December 2015 to April 2016             
       The Foundation evaluates the nominations, conducting background checks
        as necessary; it selects the fellows

May 2016
       The Foundation advises nominators whether their candidate has been        

15-20 May 2016               
       The 2016 Trudeau fellows attend the 2016 Trudeau Summer Institute in      
       Whitehorse, Yukon.

September 2016
       The Foundation announces the new fellows publicly.


  • Candidates may not self-nominate: their nomination must be submitted by an existing Trudeau fellow, the president of a Canadian university (or the president's designate, usually the awards office or the vice-president of research), or another entity whom the Foundation has invited to submit a nomination. Intellectuals interested in the Trudeau fellowship may approach one of these parties to discuss the possibilities of submitting a nomination.
  • Candidates must be active in the social sciences and humanities and must work in an area related to one or more of the Foundation’s four themes.
  • Candidates must be recognized for achievements, creativity and engagement in the field of research and creation.


  • Productivity: Within their discipline or field of activity, Trudeau fellows have made a significant contribution to the development, enrichment, and dissemination of knowledge or ideas. Their output is varied and extensive and may include publications, public communications, the direction of research teams, student training, and literary or artistic creations in one or more of the Foundation’s themes.
  • Leadership and innovation: Trudeau fellows have spearheaded significant advances in their fields of expertise, whether scientific or creative. Their work is innovative and they bring new perspectives or approaches to their field.
  • Communication and engagement: Trudeau fellows are experienced and devoted communicators who are adept at capturing the attention of their peers, the public, and the media. They are committed to stimulating interdisciplinary dialogue to fuel their thinking and the work of others, and their communication skills enrich public debate. They play a front-line role in learned societies, professional associations, or other groups; they are often asked to comment on current affairs and to represent their country at international forums.
  • Transformative effect on the host university: Visiting Trudeau fellows bring unique expertise to the host university. Thanks to a well-planned program for interacting with the campus community, the fellow’s presence gives students and faculty access to new ideas and experiences and helps bring new initiatives to fruition.
  • Trudeau project if proposed. Visiting Trudeau fellows have the option of producing a Trudeau project during their time with the Foundation. This project is an initiative that is grounded in one or more the Foundation’s four themes and that engages the Trudeau community of mentors, fellows, and scholars. Examples of projects are an international workshop in the fellow’s area of work; the edition of a collection of papers authored in part by members of the Trudeau community; and a Bellagio-type working group that tackles a particular policy problem. This list is not exhaustive: fellowship candidates may propose any form of project that would draw on the richness of the Trudeau community to address what they see as a compelling lack in the knowledge. The successful project fills an important gap in the knowledge about an issue of public import. It is innovative and would not necessarily be readily funded by standard funding organizations. See here for the Trudeau project proposed by the Foundation's 2015 visiting Trudeau fellow.
  • Intention of contribution if a Trudeau project is not proposed. If the candidate for a visiting fellowship does not wish to propose a Trudeau project, the candidate's file will be assessed in light of what he or she proposes to contribute to the Foundation community.


Visiting Trudeau fellows are selected through a rigorous process comprised of the following stages:

  1. Evaluation of all nominations files by an internal committee
  2. Selection of the finalist by an external committee
  3. Approval of the finalist by the Application and Nomination Review Committee
  4. Final approval by the Foundation's Board of Directors


  • A two-page backgrounder on the candidate (see template)
  • A detailed letter from the nominator, outlining the candidate’s academic achievements and his or her record of public engagement (no page limit)
  • If the candidate proposes to work on a Trudeau project during his or her fellowship: A detailed project proposal from the candidate, outlining his or her proposal for a Trudeau project. The proposal is not required to include its own budget, but if the candidate feels that a budget would help illustrate the proposal, a budget may be included. The proposal, including the budget if desired, should be between 5 and 10 pages; references are not required. See here for the Trudeau project proposed by the Foundation's 2015 visiting Trudeau fellow.
  • If the candidate proposes to work on a Trudeau project: a one-paragraph summary of the project
  • If the candidate does not propose to work on a Trudeau project during his or her fellowship: A letter setting forth what the candidate expects to contribute to the Foundation's community.
  • The candidate’s current résumé (no page limit)
  • Up to three publications, articles, or book chapters written by the candidate (books are not accepted; the Foundation does not return any documents.)
  • An outline of the fellow's plans while in residence at the host university and how the university plans to incorporate the visiting fellow into its academic activities during the fellow’s tenure
  • A statement outlining how the fellowship will benefit the university and the candidate
  • A budget that details the proposed use of the fellowship funds. The university will access up to $150,000 (the total value of the fellowship is $225,000). The budget should detail the university's plans for using and complementing this support. The $150,000 envelope may be used for the following purposes:

           -  salary support for the visiting fellow
           -  travel and research costs to realize the Trudeau project, if proposed (note
              that the cost of the fellow's travel to and participation in Trudeau
              Foundation events will be paid from funds on account at the Foundation)
           -  hospitality and lodging costs

  • Optional: One or two testimonies or articles about the candidate containing substantially different elements than those contained in the letter of recommendation

The Foundation does not return any documents.


Only nominators invited by the Foundation may propose candidates for a visiting Trudeau fellowship. Nominations must be submitted via the Foundation's submission portal, a link to which nominators will receive in July 2015.

The nomination file must be received electronically no later than 11 December 2015. In addition, the Foundation must received two hard copies of the file no later than 14 December 2015.The file may be sent here:

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation
Trudeau Fellowship Nominations
600-1980 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3H 1E8 Canada   


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