Transformative Opportunities: The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship for PhD Studies in Canada

International students who are interested in pursuing a PhD degree with Canadian Universities during the academic year of 2023-2024 can apply for a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholarship. Scholarships are valued at up to $60,000 per year (including a $20,000 travel allowance) for three years.

The Award supports original research in interdisciplinary fields by providing substantial annual allowances for travel and research. Scholars can then gain direct contact with communities to enrich their studies. The Foundation pairs each Scholar with a Trudeau mentor, who is selected from amongst the best Canadian practitioners across all fields of public service.

Through the Scholarship, scholars can also interact with leaders and committed individuals in all fields of social sciences and the humanities. They may participate in Foundation-organized events and even hold their own workshop.

Scholarship Value

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholars receive:

  • A vibrant community of scholars, mentors, and fellows who are all leaders in their disciplines and sectors
  • Experience unique opportunities for experiential learning and leadership development from our Fellows and Mentors.
  • Learn to speak French and English, as well as Indigenous languages.
  • Members of the Foundation Alumni Network are eligible to remain in their position for as long as they wish.
  • For three years, the Foundation offers up to $ 40,000 per year to pay for tuition and living expenses so that students can focus on their doctoral studies and Leadership Program.
  • For the Foundation’s Leadership Program, travel and accommodation for their doctoral researchers, research, and networking.

Ready to begin a Brave Spaces-based leadership journey?


If you want to be considered for the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Award, then you need to meet these eligibility requirements:

1. You should be enrolled in a doctoral full-time program in the first or second year (starting in September 2024) and plan to finish your studies by 2027.

2. You must have a field of study that is directly related to humanities and human sciences, which are of relevance to Canada’s future. (Please refer to FAQ for further details or read about past recipients).

3. The topic of your doctoral research must fall under one of the Foundation’s four themes, namely, Human Rights and Dignity. Responsible Citizenship. Canada and the World. People and their Natural Environment.

4. You must be either a Canadian national (either a permanent resident or a foreigner) studying in a Canadian university or institution or you can also be an international student or non-Canadian.

How to Apply for the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholarships.

  1. Be aware of the internal deadlines for each university.
  2. Register: As soon as the competition begins, you will need to create an application account with the Foundation. Within 4 days after registering, you’ll receive an email with your username and password (please make sure to check the spam folder). If you are a returning participant, please log in with your current login details or ask for a new password.
  3. Please fill out your application. Once you have logged in, you will be able to complete it in the “Ebauche/ Draft” section. In the Contacts section, please fill in your personal information.
  4. When filling in your application, you’ll be asked to provide the names and email addresses of two references. A request will be automatically sent via email to your referees to upload their letter of recommendation in PDF format to our portal. You should follow up on your references and ensure that they are submitting their letters by the deadline.
  5. Upload transcripts. Upload all transcripts from your post-secondary schooling in a single PDF file. CEGEP transcripts are not required for candidates from Quebec.
  6. Notify your university. Please notify the PETF Scholarship officer at your university that you have submitted an application. It is important that you include your application in the university selection process.
  7. Foundation nominations: The Foundation asks all applicants to use its online application system to directly apply to the Foundation. The Foundation does not require universities to submit their top candidates. Foundation staff will evaluate and review all applications submitted by December 2, 2024, 5 pm EST. Although this is a process that will be followed, the Foundation still remains dedicated to regional, linguistic, and other diversity.

Get suggestions: Once your name and email are filled in in the form provided, a message will be automatically sent to referees asking them to submit a form for referring you to the Foundation. Referees will need to fill out a referral form, which contains both numerical and narrative evaluations. We no longer ask referees for their PDF reference letters to be uploaded to our portal. You should follow up with your references to make sure they complete the form by December 1, 2025.

PETF Selection Process: All candidates eligible who submit an application completed by December 1, 2024, at 5:00 pm EST will undergo a rigorous screening process. In February 2024, the shortlisted candidates will be invited for virtual group interviews. In March 2024, the finalist (Round 2) will be invited for an individual interview with members of our selection committee.

FAQs on Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship

1. What is the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship?

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship is a prestigious award inviting applications from students worldwide who wish to pursue a PhD at Canadian universities in the 2024-2025 academic year.

2. What does the scholarship offer?

Each scholarship recipient can receive up to $60,000 annually, including a travel allowance of $20,000. Scholars are paired with eminent Canadian practitioners and join a community of leaders from various disciplines and industries.

3. Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants must be enrolled or accepted into the second year of a full-time PhD program starting September 2024 or after, with an expected completion date in 2027. They must also be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or non-Canadian students enrolled in a Canadian institution.

4. How can I apply for the Scholarship?

To apply, candidates must register for an account on the Foundation’s application portal, complete the application form, upload transcripts, and provide referees’ contact information. The deadline for applications is December 2, 2022, at 5 pm EST.

5. What is the selection process?

Candidates who submit complete applications will undergo a thorough selection process, including virtual interviews in February 2024 for Round One finalists. Finalists from Round Two will attend individual interviews in March 2024 with the selection committee.


The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship offers an unparalleled opportunity for doctoral students to engage in interdisciplinary fieldwork, research, and leadership development. With generous financial support and access to eminent mentors and practitioners, scholars are empowered to pursue their academic passions and contribute meaningfully to society. Aspiring scholars are encouraged to seize this opportunity and embark on a transformative academic excellence and leadership development journey with the Pierre-Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

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