Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Scholarships

Which fields does the Foundation consider to be social sciences and humanities? 

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. Most importantly, all applicants must relate their research to one or more of the following four areas: human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, Canada and the World, and people and their natural environment. 

To date, the Foundation has offered scholarships to students in the following fields: anthropology, communications, criminology, law, economics, history, literature, philosophy, religion, environmental sciences, political science 

What is the deadline for application to the next competition? 

The 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Scholarship Competition opened on December 3, 2018. Each university has its own internal deadlines to select students whom it will nominate for the scholarship. 

The final deadline for universities to submit their nominations to the Foundation is February 22, 2019.  

How does a student apply? 

Students must apply via the Foundation’s portal at https://trudeaufdn.fluxx.io/apply/scholars. Their registration is then matched with their school. Each university holds its own internal selection process to determine which applicants from their institution will be nominated for the scholarship. Please contact your university to learn about its internal selection process and deadlines.

Can I send my own application directly to the Foundation? 

No. Files sent directly to the Foundation by students will automatically be declined. Only completed files nominated by a university prior to the deadline will be considered.

Are applications from foreign students accepted? 

Foreign students who have been accepted or are in year one, two, or three of a full-time program in the social sciences or humanities at a Canadian university are eligible. The selection criteria are the same as for any other student, i.e., completed applications must be submitted by a university. 

Are Canadians studying at a foreign university eligible? 

Yes. Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarships can be awarded to Canadians studying at a foreign university. 

Which university should submit my application: the institution where I am currently studying or the one where I applied? 

The Foundation accepts applications from any university. It is up to students to decide which institution will submit the most suitable file on their behalf. Universities may nominate a current student who will be pursuing a doctorate at another institution. The award is portable, meaning students may keep the scholarship even if they change institutions, provided their eligibility for the award does not change. 

Am I eligible to apply for a Scholarship if I am already enrolled in a doctoral program? 

To be eligible for consideration by the Foundation, candidates must be doctoral students already accepted into or in year one, two, or three of a full-time program in the social sciences or humanities. If you have not yet been accepted into a doctoral program in time for this year’s competition, we invite you to apply next year once you have been accepted. 

Where can I find the application form? 

The application can be found at the following location for the duration of the competition: https://trudeaufdn.fluxx.io/apply/scholars 

Does the Foundation provide a format for reference letters? 

There is no format for reference letters. The Foundation does require that letters be signed and that the name and contact information of the referee be clearly stated. Letters must be submitted in PDF format.  

What does the Foundation mean by “non-academic reference”?

The term “non-academic” is used to highlight the Foundation’s desire to seek candidates whose leadership experience and abilities go beyond the academic world. The phrase is also meant to make it clear that letters should focus on leadership skills and abilities as opposed to academic excellence. However, if you feel that the person who is best placed to attest to your leadership skills happens to also work in an academic setting, you may ask that person for a leadership reference. Please ensure that your reference understands what the Foundation expects from non-academic references.  

Which transcripts should be submitted? 

Transcripts of all post-secondary studies must be submitted through the portal, including CEGEP transcripts for candidates who attended CEGEP in Quebec. Please do not include high school transcripts. 

What language is used during the interview? 

The interview will be held in English or French, or in both of the official languages of Canada, depending on the language skills and preference of the finalist. 

Do you need to be fluent in both English and French to receive the scholarship?

No, you do not need to be fluent in both official languages to receive the scholarship. However, if selected for the scholarship, you will be expected to work towards proficiency in the lesser spoken of the two with support from the Foundation. 

Does the Foundation offer Scholarships other than at the doctoral level? 

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship program is for students at the doctoral level only. The Foundation does not offer funding for undergraduate or master’s programs.

Is the Scholarship valid for three or four years? 

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship is tenable for three years. 

Is the accumulation of awards allowed? 

Yes, scholars may receive multiple awards and accumulation is permitted to a certain extent. Beginning in 2019, the first $20,000 of the $40,000 stipend will be guaranteed to all Scholars. For those who receive multiple awards, the Foundation will reduce the amount of the remaining stipend in accordance with the value of the award such that a Scholar who receives an external award of $20,000 or less would qualify for $40,000 and those with external awards of $50,000 or more would receive $20,000.

Does the student's research project have to be linked to the four themes of the Foundation? 

Yes. Students must link their research to one or more of the Foundation themes in order to be considered for the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship. The Foundation’s themes are: Human Rights and Dignity, Responsible Citizenship, Canada and the World, and People in their Natural Environment. Learn more about the themes here. 

Can I apply if I am studying part-time for my doctoral degree? 

Only students studying full-time in a doctoral program are eligible to receive a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship.