5 July 2017

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation appoints fifteen doctoral scholars across the country

Outstanding students in the social sciences and humanities see their career taking off

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is proud to present the 2017 recipients of its unique doctoral scholarship in the social sciences and humanities. From British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador, the fifteen newest scholars are exceptional students who have distinguished themselves through academic excellence and civic engagement. Focusing on important questions for Canada and the world, they are researching areas as diverse as literature, philosophy, educational studies, public health, international development, political science, and law. The cohort joins a multidisciplinary network of more than 400 researchers, outstanding intellectuals, and seasoned decision-makers committed to applying their knowledge and skills to pressing Canadian and global issues.

The 2017 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholars are:

Ryan Beaton (law, University of Victoria) is examining the role Canadian courts have adopted over the past several decades in trying to reconcile the prior existence of Indigenous societies with assertions of Crown sovereignty.

Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny(environmental law, University of Ottawa) critically analyzes rules under the law of the sea that protect marine biodiversity with a view to promoting a more sustainable relationship between marine life and humanity.


Sophie de Saussure (law, University of Ottawa) is exploring how courts might better take the interest of offenders’ children into account when determining their sentences.


Daniel Del Gobbo (law, University of Toronto) is researching the role of alternative dispute resolution in addressing campus sexual violence in Canada.


Benjamin Gagnon Chainey (French-language literature, Université de Montréal and Université Paris 7) analyses the evolution of empathy and the patient-caregiver relationship through literary writings touching on AIDS and medical practices, starting at the end of the 19th century.


Vathsala Illesinghe (policy studies, Ryerson University) is analyzing the migration trajectory of people who have moved from Sri Lanka to Canada to determine how immigration policies affect immigrant and refugee women’s vulnerability to violence.


Stephanie Lake (population and public health, University of British Columbia) is investigating how the medical use and legalization of cannabis might help the ongoing opioid overdose crisis affecting British Columbia and  the rest of Canada.


Sarah Mason-Case (law and international relations, University of Toronto) examines how diverse communities of state and non-state actors, including civil advocates, Indigenous coalitions, and industry, engage in lawmaking practices that define the contours of international climate change law.

Milad Parpouchi (population and public health, Simon Fraser University) is investigating the factors that contribute to homelessness and the effectiveness of supported housing models in promoting social inclusion, recovery, and self-determination.


Stéphanie Roy (administrative law, Université Laval) wants to redefine the obligations of the state towards the environment to reflect ethical guidelines and protect the environment for generations to come.


Brett Schrewe (educational studies, University of British Columbia) is drawing upon the history and design of medical education to re-imagine physician training with the goal of realizing the Canada Health Act’s inherent promise of health equity.

Jamie Snook (Indigenous health, University of Guelph) is researching relationships between public health and Indigenous co-management of fish and wildlife resources in Labrador’s Inuit communities.


Emma Swan (international development and global studies, University of Ottawa) is exploring the relationship between violence, the construction of male gender identities, and peacebuilding in conflict settings.


Ryan Tonkin (philosophy, University of Victoria) is examining the philosophical and legal justifications for tax proposals aimed at alleviating income inequality in Canada’s democratic, multicultural context.


Elena Waldispuehl (political science, Université de Montréal) is exploring how social media is redefining collective action and how the digital world has affected activists’ personal engagement, online and off-line.

About the Foundation scholarship
Over their three-year doctoral scholarship, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholars work with an engaged and inspiring community of fellows, mentors, and other scholars who support their professional growth. Scholars’ $60,000 annual scholarship package includes a $20,000 annual travel and networking allowance that facilitates scholars’ fieldwork and helps them organize and participate in research initiatives, conferences, and Foundation events. Since the program’s inception in 2003, the Foundation has awarded 217 scholarships for an investment of nearly $24 million in Canada’s intellectual leadership. The call for applications for the 2018 scholarship competition will be open from 1 September 2017 to 8 December 2017.

About the Foundation
The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is an independent and nonpartisan charity established in 2001 as a living memorial to the former prime minister by his family, friends, and colleagues. In 2002, with the support of the House of Commons, the Government of Canada endowed the Foundation with the Advanced Research in the Humanities and Human Sciences Fund. The Foundation also benefits from private donations. By granting doctoral scholarships, awarding fellowships, appointing mentors, and holding public events, the Foundation encourages critical reflection and action in four areas important to Canadians: human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, Canada and the world, and people and their natural environment.

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Learn more

Read the press review about our 2017 scholars