Trudeau scholarship

Description of Trudeau scholarship

The Trudeau scholarship is Canada’s most prestigious doctoral award in the social sciences and humanities. Each year, the Foundation awards scholarships to up to fifteen doctoral students from Canada or abroad who have achieved academic excellence and who demonstrate an interest in public policy and a willingness to learn in a multidisciplinary setting.


  • Candidates for a Trudeau scholarship must be applying to the first year of a doctoral program in the humanities and social sciences or be registered in the first or second year of such a program.

  • Trudeau scholars may be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants pursuing full-time doctoral studies in Canada, or Canadian citizens pursuing full-time doctoral studies at a foreign institution. OR

  • Be a foreign national (strong preference of the developing country) applying to a doctoral program in the social sciences and humanities or registered full-time in the first or second year of such a program at a Canadian university. Up to one-fourth of Trudeau scholars in a given year may be foreign nationals pursuing full-time doctoral studies at a Canadian institution. 

Candidate Assessment

  • Academic achievement at the highest level

  • An outstanding ability to exchange with other researchers and scholars

  • An interest in public policy

  • The intention to work in an area related to one or more Trudeau themes and to contribute to public dialogue in those areas

Scholars selection

Universities nominate candidates upon invitation at the end of the calendar year The Foundation conducts internal and external reviews of the applications A small number of candidates is interviewed by a selection committee at the Foundation’s offices in Montreal in the spring The selection committee recommends up to fifteen candidates to the president of the Foundation, who submits his nominations to the Foundation’s Board of Directors The Board of Directors considers the president’s nominations and grants the awards The new Trudeau scholars are announced by summer.

How to submit

Your application must be sent by your home university. Please contact your university’s scholarship officer to have access to the online application form. The call for applications sent to universities gives instructions regarding applications. Check the complete list of Trudeau Scholars at:

Selection process

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

(1)    Evaluation of all application files by an internal committee and an external File Review Committee

(2)    Interviews

(3)    Approval of the finalists by the Application and Nomination Review Committee

(4)    Final approval by the Foundation’s Board of Directors


  • Annual value is up to $60,000 per Scholar for a maximum of three years. In addition to generous financial support, it also includes a separate annual travel allowance to support research-related travel and cover other networking, professional development and dissemination expenses. During their third year, Trudeau Scholars may apply for a thesis writing scholarship or a dissemination scholarship, for a fourth year of financing.
  • Available fields: anthropology, communications, criminology, law, economy, history, literature, philosophy, religion, environmental sciences, political sciences, social sciences, sociology, and the arts. A link to one or more of the Foundation themes is a basic requirement for the Trudeau Scholarship. The Trudeau Foundation’s themes are Human Rights and Dignity, Responsible Citizenship, Canada in the World, and People in their Natural Environment.
  • The deadline for the 2016 Trudeau Doctoral Scholarship Competition is December 11, 2015. Each university will have its own deadlines to select the students whose files will be forwarded to the Foundation before the final deadline.
  • Students must be recommended by a Canadian or foreign university. They should consult their university for more information on the university’s internal selection process and deadlines, which vary from one institution to another.
  • Files sent directly by a student will be automatically declined by the Foundation.
  • The Foundation accepts applications from any university. It is up to the student to decide which institution will submit the best file on his or her behalf. Universities may nominate a student of their own who is pursuing a doctorate at another institution.
  • To be eligible for consideration by the Foundation, candidates must be applying for the first year of a doctoral program or registered in the first or second year of such a program.
  • The link to the Foundation’s Portal will be available as of August 31. Please contact the Scholarships and Awards Office of your university.
  • There is no format for reference letters, but the Foundation does require that the letters be signed and that the name and contact information of the referee be clearly stated.
  • We do not require transcripts and reference letters to be submitted in sealed and signed envelopes, but they must be original documents.
  • Transcripts of all post-secondary studies must be submitted, including CEGEP transcripts for candidates who attended CEGEP in Quebec. The transcripts will not be returned.
  • The interview will be held in English or French, or in both of the official languages of Canada, depending on the language skills of the finalist.
  • The interview is approximately 40 minutes long with an external panel of four interviewers. The names of the review panel members from previous years can be found on the Trudeau Foundation website, but we do not announce the names of active members.
  • Only students studying full-time in a doctoral program are eligible to receive a Trudeau Scholarship.

For more information 

Josée St-Martin Director, Trudeau Scholarship Program T. 514 938-0001, extension 230 [email protected]

Official website

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