Become a scholar

Scholarship competition

Who is eligible?

  • Doctoral students already accepted into or in year one, two, or three of a full-time program in the humanities or social sciences whose work relates to one of the Foundations’ four themes:
    • Human Rights and Dignity;
    • Responsible Citizenship;
    • Canada and the World; and
    • People and their Natural Environment
  • Canadian citizens, whether at a Canadian or an international institution
  • Up to 25% of Scholars in a given year may be non-Canadians (permanent residents or foreign nationals) enrolled in a doctoral program at a Canadian institution

What do we look for in applicants?

  • Academic excellence;
  • Leadership experience and abilities;
  • Thematic relevance of research to the Foundation’s themes;
  • Public engagement;
  • Desire to contribute to public dialogue and share knowledge;
  • Communication skills;
  • Desire to belong to a vibrant community made up of leaders from across sectors; and
  • All forms of diversity, including but not limited to gender, ethnicity, language, region, and discipline. We welcome First Nations, Métis, and Inuit candidates.

Nomination process

You must be nominated by the Canadian or foreign institution where you are currently accepted or enrolled in a doctoral program.

Selection process

Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that includes evaluation of applications by a selection committee and interviews with finalists. Up to twenty candidates will be chosen as Scholars each year.

2019 competition key dates

3 December 2018:      2019 application period opens

Winter 2019:               Internal university deadlines for submission of files

22 February 2019:      Foundation deadline for receiving files from universities

Spring 2019:               Interviews with finalists in Montréal

Late April 2019:          Notification of selected candidates

May 26 - 30 2019:      Mandatory participation in a Foundation event

May 2019:                   Official announcement of 2019 Scholars

Step-by-step guide to applying

  1. Make sure you are eligible according to the eligibility criteria above.
  2. When the competition opens in early December, fill out your registration request form. Once you have been granted access to our portal you will be able to complete your online submission. If you are eligible, you will receive a username and password within 4 business days (check your spam folder). Complete your online application form by filling out your contact information in the “Coordonnées / Contacts” section of the portal and by filling out your submission form in the “Ébauche / Draft” section of the portal.
  3. To request your three (3) letters of reference, enter the email address of your referees in the box provided. An email will automatically be sent to them, asking them to attach their reference letter in PDF format directly into our portal. We advise that you follow up with your references. The letters will be attached to your file. You must have:
    • At least one (1) letter must be from an academic referee concerning academic achievements;
    • At least (1) letter must be from a non-academic referee concerning your leadership abilities;
    • The third reference letter may come from an academic or non-academic referee.
  1. Upload the transcripts covering all of your post-secondary education, including your CEGEP transcript for candidates who attended CEGEP in Quebec.
  2. At the same time, inform your university that you are submitting an application and check the internal deadline set by your university with the person in charge of scholarships.
  3. Your university will have until 22 February 2019 at 11:59 p.m. PST to submit up to four (4) files from all internal applications submitted to the Foundation, attaching a letter of nomination from a high-ranking official of the institution (President, Vice-president, Dean of graduate studies, etc.). In the case of foreign universities, up to three (3) names may be submitted.
  4. The Foundation will only send an acknowledgement to those applicants whose file has been submitted by a university.

Apply now!

 Privacy Statement

All information provided to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is subject to Canada’s Access to Information Act and Privacy Act. The Privacy Act allows candidates to access, upon request and with the referee’s agreement, personal information about themselves in letters of reference. The identity of the referee will remain confidential. For more information, please consult our Policies.

Program lead

Gina Beltrán - Director, Leadership Programs, Fellows and Mentors