Trudeau Foundation Scholarships | University of Oxford
Reflections in the Old Schools
Reflections in the Old Schools
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Trudeau Foundation Scholarships

The Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan charity established in 2001 as a living memorial to Pierre Trudeau, the former Canadian Prime Minister, by his family, friends and colleagues. In 2002, the Government of Canada endowed the Foundation with a donation of $125 million.

Each year, the Trudeau Foundation offers up to 15 scholarships for outstanding doctoral candidates who are enrolled or about to be enrolled in a social sciences or humanities course and who are undertaking research in areas related to their four themes. This scholarship, the most prestigious of its type in Canada, has continuously attracted the very best scholars in the social sciences and humanities: individuals with a passion for public engagement who are likely to become leading national and international figures. Since its inception the programme has funded 202 scholarships.

The programmes of the Foundation focus on four themes that shaped the life and career of Pierre Trudeau: human rights and dignity; responsible citizenship; Canada in the world; and people and their natural environment.

The scholarship will provide $60,000 Canadian dollars per year (including an annual travel allowance of $20,000) for up to three years.

Universities are not guaranteed awards, but each year normally around 1-2 students at Oxford are successful in being awarded the scholarship.

Scholarship outcomes

Applicants will be notified by email in December 2016 to confirm whether or not they have been nominated by the Oxford panel. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we regret that we are unable to provide feedback on applications.

You must be applying to start a new full-time DPhil course in social sciences or humanities at Oxford or be enrolled in the first or second year of such a programme. Your research must be related to the four themes of the Trudeau Foundation: human rights and dignity; responsible citizenship; Canada in the world; and people and their natural environment. More detail about the four themes is available on the Trudeau Foundation's website.

You must be a Canadian citizen.

Candidates can only be considered by the Foundation if they have been nominated by a university. You must be enrolled in or have completed a degree programme at the nominating university, or must be enrolled in and applying to a doctoral programme there. 

The Trudeau Foundation's selection criteria are: 

  • You must have a track record of academic achievements at the level of the highest standards of the world’s most prestigious doctoral scholarship programs;
  • You must possess exceptional skills that will enable you to engage in lively exchange with other researchers; and
  • You must intend to work in an area related to one or more of the Foundation’s four themes and have an expressed desire to contribute to public dialogue.

Applicants who hold deferred offers to start in 2017-18 are not eligible to be considered for these scholarships.

Please note, if you are not currently an Oxford student at master’s or DPhil level, Oxford will not be able to nominate you, therefore, please apply for the scholarship through your current or previous institution.

Oxford holds an internal competition to select up to 6 nominees (the maximum number permitted) for the scholarship, prior to the external competition held by the Trudeau Foundation. In order for your application to be considered by the panel at Oxford, please note the following:

  • You must submit your application using the Trudeau Foundation's online portal. You will need to create an account, which you will be able to do from September 2016, and upload your application form and all the required documents (including references and transcripts, but excluding the letter of nomination), as outlined on the Trudeau Foundation's website. Your completed application must be submitted via the portal before the Oxford panel's deadline of 18 November 2016.
  • References should be signed and clearly indicate the name and contact details of the referee. 
  • The application form and references must be written in English. 
  • You do not need to submit a nomination letter, as this will be added to your application if you are successful in being nominated by the Oxford panel.

Failure to submit all the application materials as instructed above, and in more detail on the Trudeau Foundation's website by the deadline, will mean that you cannot be considered for nomination by the Oxford panel.

For technical support relating to the Trudeau Foundation portal, please contact the Trudeau Foundation directly.

Please note following guidance from the Oxford panel when completing your application:

  • You need to explain explicitly how your research fulfils one or more of the four Trudeau themes.
  • You need to read the eligibility requirements carefully.
  • Your referees should make some attempt to show how you meet the Foundation’s criteria; references designed primarily to support applications for DPhil/PhD programmes may not fulfil this requirement adequately.
  • Your research proposals should be clearly written, stating the goal of the research, methodology, possible outcomes and how it meets the Trudeau objectives
Please note that in the event that you are selected to attend an interview in Canada, the University will not be able to cover travel expenses.