PETF group Institute of Engaged Leadership
In 2020, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and Fulbright Canada established a dedicated Joint Chair in Contemporary Public Policy for U.S.- based American academics and researchers interested in collaborating with Canadian colleagues and contributing to the Foundation’s leadership development program.

Working alongside the Foundation’s other Fellows and Mentors, the Fulbright Canada – Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellows assist in designing and delivering a leadership curriculum based on the Scientific Cycle and help Scholars develop a unique engagement with issues and ideas that are outside their doctoral training. Fellows also play a critical role in supporting Scholars with knowledge sharing and experiential learning and by actively participating in the Foundation’s flagship events.

The Fellowship includes a four-month residential exchange at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC) in Montreal, where Fellows have the opportunity to work with students and faculty at one of the leading research-intensive universities in the world. With its campuses along the southern side of the city’s scenic Mount Royal, McGill University offers a great perch to discover Montreal’s broad cultural offerings and lively neighbourhoods and even the chance to learn a new language.

Fellows are also provided with a generous grant and travel allowance and are eligible to apply for Fulbright alumni grants at the end of their one-year fellowship.

2024 Application & Scientific Cycle 

The deadline to apply for the 2024 Fellowship is September 15, 2023. 

The Foundation's leadership curriculum is based on Scientific Cycles. Each cycle focuses on an interdisciplinary theme that reflects an issue or set of issues important to the future of Canada and the world. The interdisciplinary theme for the 2024-2027 cycle transitions from the previous cycle on Canada and the Worldto examine this topic within the context of The Future of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: A Comparative Dialogue.

One of the key centrepieces of Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s legacy is the introduction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. Using the vantage point of forty years since its introduction, the Scientific Cycle seeks to capture the wisdom, knowledge, and lived experiences stemming from this seminal document which has directed the course of law and the determination of rights in Canada for two generations. At the same time, the Charter is a living document which serves as the legal benchmark in an ever-evolving society. Through this lens, the Scientific Cycle will seek to explore how the Charter’s foundational role is adapting to changing times. How does it protect rights in a new century in the face of new and emerging challenges both individually and collectively? How does it protect Indigenous rights? What has been the impact of the Charter beyond Canada’s borders? How may it influence the defence and development of rights abroad in the 21st century?


  • Be a U.S. citizen. 

  • Hold a Ph.D. or equivalent professional/terminal degree as appropriate.  

  • Be proficient in English. 

  • Be in compliance with all J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) guidelines. 

  • Be in compliance with all governmental regulations regarding visas, immigration, travel, and residency. 


  • Membership in a vibrant community of Scholars, Fellows, and Mentors, all of whom are leaders in their respective disciplines and fields.  

  • Learn, teach, and share with Scholars, Fellows and Mentors, including experiential learning opportunities that enrich and complement academic experiences.  

  • Opportunities to acquire greater proficiency in Canada’s official languages (French and English) and Canada’s Indigenous languages.  

  • Lifelong membership in the Foundation’s alumni network.  

  • US $25,000 award. 

  • Additional allowance of up to CA $15,000 for research, travel and networking associated with Foundation events and the leadership development of Scholars.  

  • 1 year fellowship including a 4-month residential exchange during the 2023-2024 academic year at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC) in Montreal.


The Fellowship entails teaching and coaching Scholars for the first year of their three-year leadership program. This includes designing content and teaching sessions for the Foundation’s Institutes of Engaged Leadership, events which are held twice during the first two years of the program, in locations across Canada and the world. Each new cohort of Scholars, Fellows and Mentors also gathers for a Community Retreat a few months after their nomination. Throughout the year, Fellows also play an advisory role to the Scholars, and offer individual, group coaching and facilitation.   

  • advise and/or mentor the Foundation's doctoral scholars.  

  • participate in the Foundation's Institutes of Engaged Leadership as a facilitator, teacher and/or speaker and take part in planning sessions for the Institutes. 

  • participate in activities related to the Foundation and Fulbright Canada, including the development and initiation of events and educational activities for members of the public and members of the Foundation's and Fulbright’s communities. 

  • conduct research for one semester (four-month residential exchange) in Montreal, Quebec, co-hosted by the Foundation and McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.

Past Fulbright Canada – Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellows




Dr. Randall Harp was appointed as the first Fulbright Canada - Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow in 2020. He is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vermont.





robert blai



Dr. Robert Blair was appointed 2021 Fulbright Canada - Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow. He is a Professor Emeritus of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska Omaha.






virginia haufler



Dr. Virginia Haufler  was appointed 2022 Fulbright Canada - Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland.





Joe Young



Dr. Joseph Young was appointed 2023 Fulbright Canada - Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow. He is a Professor in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology at American University.






Melissa redford



Dr. Melissa (Lisa) Redford was appointed 2024 Fulbright Canada - Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow. She is a Professor and Head of the Department of Linguistic at the University of Oregon.






Selection Process

Applications are first received and reviewed by Fulbright Canada. Shortlisted candidates are shared with the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and then asked to prepare a personal statement explaining how their research and teaching expertise relate to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the context of the Foundation's 2024-2027 Scientific Cycle entitled The Future of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom: A Comparative Dialogue and their interest in this fellowship. 

The Foundation will seek Fellows who are: 

  • Active in public engagement and knowledge sharing outside of academic circles.  

  • Passionate teachers who excel in delivering dynamic and engaging presentations, who are inclined to use original teaching methods and who are committed to providing mentoring to emerging scholars.  

  • Ability to engage with a plurality of perspectives and to foster such engagement among Scholars. 

The Foundation will also consider the Fellow candidate’s availability to participate in three Foundation events in 2024-2025: a virtual community retreat in early summer 2024 and one or two Institutes of Engaged Leadership, as well as other planning and knowledge-sharing activities.  






The McGill Institute for the Study of Canada is proud to serve as home to the Fulbright Canada -- Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow. By welcoming this fellow-in-residence, the Institute benefits from the presence and participation of an outstanding U.S.-based scholar in the Humanities and Social Sciences within our ecosystem as we pursue of our mission to develop a better understanding of Canada's social, political, and economic future both here and abroad." - Daniel Béland






"The Fulbright Canada - Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Joint Chair in Contemporary Public Policy Fellowship Program is a partnership that reflects the vision and the principles of both organizations. We share a 21st century commitment to empowering extraordinary scholars to drive meaningful change in their institutions, their communities, and the world." - Michael K. Hawes, Ph.D.

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Fulbright Canada | Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship