Research fellowships

For innovative researchers 

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation fellowship offers sustained support to intellectuals who are recognized for their productivity, their commitment to communicating their findings to the public, and their ability to imagine innovative solutions to some of the major issues facing society. Each year, up to five fellows are appointed by the Foundation, namely Canadian researchers in the "General" category and researchers who are not affiliated to an university in the "Visiting" category. Foundation fellows are active in a field of the humanities and social science that touches on one or more of the Foundation's four themes.

Regular fellowship
Candidates to the regular Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation fellowship are researchers who have set themselves apart through their capacity to propose creative solutions to important issues and their ability to inform public debate beyond the academic sphere.

Visiting fellowship
The Foundation can award one fellowship per year to a visiting fellow. The regular Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation fellowship’s criteria of excellence and engagement also apply to the visiting fellowship. However, the visiting fellow’s affiliation to the host institution is different: the selected candidate is invited to take part in the host university’s activities for a residency period of approximately one year in the course of the three-year fellowship tenure.

At a glance

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation fellowships provide:

  • Support from an outstanding community of scholars, fellows and mentors, and opportunities for interaction with 350 leaders and personalities in every sector of the humanities and social sciences;
  • Involvement in lively exchanges with other researchers and policy makers;
  • The opportunity to contribute to public dialogue and share innovative ideas at events organized by or in conjunction with the Foundation;
  • A $150,000 allowance over three years for research, travel and networking;
  • A $50,000 award;
  • A $25,000 allowance to cover the cost of participation in Foundation events.

Other highlights:

  • In 2016, a total of 31 candidates were nominated by a canadian university or by a Foundation fellow, mentor or scholar.
  • Five fellows were selected by an independent panel.
  • The Foundation has awarded a total of 68 fellowships to date.
  • Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation fellows are appointed for life.


  • Researchers active in a field of the humanities and social sciences related to one or more of the Foundation's four themes; and
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents, or citizens of foreign countries legally allowed to reside in Canada for the funding period; and
  • Researchers affiliated or who will be affiliated during fellowships with an university that grants doctoral degrees.

Fields of research

Humanities and social sciences, and specifically one or more of the following themes:

Nomination process

  • Candidates must be nominated by a Canadian university or a Foundation fellow, mentor or scholar.

Selection process

When nominations close, the Foundation fellows are selected through a rigorous selection process that involves the following steps:

  1. The file review and selection process takes place from December to April and may include an interview stage.
  2. The Application and Nomination Review Committee approves the recommended applications.
  3. The Foundation Board of Directors gives final approval.

Evaluation criteria

  • Audacity and Creativity of the Fellow project (required for the regular fellowship and optional for the visiting fellowship)
  • Commitment to engage with the Foundation community of scholars, mentors and fellows
  • Peer-reviewed scientific productivity as well as non academic productivity
  • Communication and public engagement

For more information, please consult the evaluation criteria for the regular fellowship and for the visiting fellowship.

Key dates 

2018 competition

4 December 2017 11:59 p.m. (PST)


Deadline for nominations

December 2017 to April 2018


Evaluation of candidate files & qualifications

May 2018


Nominees notified

3-8 June 2018 (dates approx.)


2018 Foundation Summer Institute (participation mandatory)

Mid-September 2018


Public announcement of 2018 research fellows & public event with fellows in attendance

Program lead

Sarah Saublet
Program Director, Fellowships and Mentorships
T. 514 938-0001, extension 228

Find out more