Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship


Likely mid-December 2020

Annual Value

$40,000 stipend plus up to $20,000 research and travel allowance per year for three years


Permanent Resident

Degree Level


The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship Program will help shape researchers into engaged leaders who are conscious of the impact of their research, connected to the realities of the communities in which they work, and open to non-conventional forms of knowledge. The Foundation is seeking candidates who are audacious, original, and forward-thinking.

Up to 20 Trudeau Scholarships are awarded each year to support doctoral students pursuing research in one or more of the four themes: Human Rights and Dignity, Responsible Citizenship, Canada in the World and People and their Natural Environment. Trudeau Scholars are highly gifted individuals who are actively engaged in their fields and expected to become leading national and international figures.  The University of British Columbia can nominate up to 4 candidates to the national competition.



  • Doctoral students already accepted* into or in year one, two, or three of a full-time program in the humanities or social sciences (broadly defined) whose doctoral work relates to one of the Foundation's 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
  • Non-Canadian citizens (permanent residents or foreign nationals) enrolled in a doctoral program at a Canadian institution are eligible

The Foundation recognizes that many doctoral students are working on research projects that are interdisciplinary and qualify as advanced research in the social sciences and humanities, regardless of their faculty or department affiliation.  To date, the Foundation has offered scholarships to students in many fields, including public health, anthropology, communications, criminology, law, economics, history, literature, philosophy, religion, environmental sciences and political science.  Most importantly, all applicants must relate their research to one or more of the the Foundation's four themes.

*Already accepted: Have acceptance to UBC as of January 22, 2020 and will start at UBC in 2020, or are currently enrolled at UBC.

Evaluation Criteria

Candidates must demonstrate the following qualities in their applications:

  • Academic excellence;
  • Thematic relevance of research to the Foundation’s central themes;
  • Community engagement;
  • Leadership experience and abilities;
  • Originality and audacity;
  • Communication skills and desire to contribute to public dialogue and knowledge dissemination;
  • Interest for the scientific theme of the 2020-2023 cycle: Technology and ethics. You do not have to have expertise on this topic, but you must be willing to engage with this theme as part of Trudeau's leadership training program. For more details on this, please see the Leadership development section of the Foundation's website. 

Please note: The Foundation recognizes that leaders in Canada communicate fluently in English and French and is committed to supporting Scholars in improving their language skills and expects them to make the necessary efforts to become fluent in both official languages.  The Foundation is committed to selecting a diverse group of Scholars, including diversity in terms of gender, perspectives, language, race/ethnicity, Canadian region of study and disabilities. We also welcome First Nations, Inuit, and Métis candidates. 

Application Procedures

Before you begin your application, please review the step-by-step application instructions available on the Trudeau Foundation website:


1. Create an account through the Foundation Portal by filling out a registration request form (

  • For University Name, enter "The University of British Columbia"
  • For Faculty or Department, enter your chosen UBC graduate program

2. You will receive a username and password via email within 4 business days (check your spam or junk folder if you do not see it). Once you have been granted access to the Foundation Portal ( you will be able to complete your application online.

3. Once you log in, you can apply by completing the application form in the “Ébauche / Draft” section of the portal. Please also fill out your contact information in the “Coordonnées / Contacts” section of the portal.

4. Request your two letters of reference via the Foundation Portal. Your references will receive an email asking them to upload their letter in PDF format directly into the Foundation Portal; the letters will be attached to your application. Please follow up with your references to ensure that they are able to access the Foundation Portal well in advance of the deadline and that they submit their references on time. You must have:

  • 1 academic reference focussing on the applicant’s academic excellence
  • 1 leadership reference focussing on the applicant’s leadership skills and abilities
  • Reference letters should be a maximum of one page and should focus on how the applicant meets the Foundation’s selection criteria.  Letters should be signed (electronic signatures are acceptable) and the name and contact information of the referee should be clearly stated. Letters must be submitted in PDF format.

5. Submit (upload) the up to date, official transcripts covering all of your post-secondary education in one PDF via the Foundation Portal.

  • These may be scanned of official transcripts (provided by applicants) or “certified true” scanned copies (provided by your UBC graduate program). Please note that applicants must request “certified true” copies of transcripts from their graduate program, not from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
  • Applicants must include transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies, including studies that did not lead to a degree (such as study abroad or exchange terms).
  • UBC transcripts for all students with UBC grades: The applicant's "Academic History" printed from the SISC by the applicant's graduate program will be accepted.
  • Applicants must include the key/legend for each transcript (typically located on the back of each page of the transcript).

6. After submitting your online application, email with your full name, UBC student number, and the name of your graduate program to ensure that your application is linked to UBC.

UBC applicant deadline: 11:59pm (Vancouver time) on Friday, 13 December 2019

Adjudication Procedures

Applications will be reviewed and ranked by a committee of UBC faculty members. UBC may nominate a maximum of four applications to the Trudeau Foundation. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will provide a nomination letter from UBC, to complete each application package before submission to the Trudeau Foundation by Wednesday, 22 January 2020.

Finalists will be invited for interviews to take place in late February 2020 and interviews will take place in Montreal. UBC will cover the travel expenses of our nominees who are selected for interviews. Selected candidates will be notified by the Foundation in late March 2020.

Further Information

For further information about the Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships, please visit the Foundation website.  The website also has a FAQ section.

For further information about the UBC review process, please contact