The Institute for Research on Public Policy joins the Max Bell School Policy Scholars Program


Published: 2Jul2020

Three Policy Scholars, selected from the Max Bell School MPP class of 2020, will receive research fellowships with prominent Canadian policy think tanks.

The Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) has partnered with McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy as a participating organization in the Policy Scholars program, a series of new research fellowships awarded annually to promising Max Bell School Master of Public Policy (MPP) students.

“With the launch of our MPP program and the arrival of our inaugural cohort, we knew providing impactful career opportunities with an organization like the IRPP was essential for both the success of our program and the career trajectory of our MPP students," stated Chris Ragan, Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy.

Funded by the Max Bell Foundation, the program enables students to spend six months working at a prominent Canadian think tank.

Max Bell came to McGill in 1928 to earn a commerce degree. In 1962 he joined the Board of Governors, and when he established the Foundation that bears his name, he specified that 30 percent of all grants the Foundation makes shall support McGill University. The Foundation is proud of its long association with McGill, and delighted that the first cohort of students is about to complete their MPPs at the Max Bell School of Public Policy. These Policy Scholars will make important contributions to three of Canada’s foremost think tanks, and the Foundation is pleased to support their work.

This year, the IRPP is welcoming MPP student Paisley Sim to join the organization’s newly-launched Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation. Sim will be working under the Centre’s Executive Director, Charles Breton.

"My colleagues at the IRPP and I are proud to be part of the Max Bell Policy Scholars program and delighted to welcome Paisley Sim to the Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation,” said Breton. “Paisley brings a great deal of political experience with her, thanks to her work for then-Alberta Premier Rachel Notley as well as in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. This experience combined with the knowledge she gained as part of the inaugural cohort of MPP at the Max Bell School make her ideally suited to help us set the Centre's research agenda for the coming years."

Sim’s research mandate will include review and analysis of various issues that relate to federalism — from equalization, to Indigenous governance, to regional economic patterns.

"McGill has prepared me to distill complex macroeconomic trends and understand the intergovernmental relations impacting federal arrangements. I look forward to contributing to new research on federalism, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and our democratic institutions as a Policy Scholar at the IRPP,” said Paisley.

"Our MPP students are coming out of an intensive degree that is reflective of the real world,” said Catherine Stace, the Max Bell School Career Services Manager. “Paisley’s selection for the Policy Scholars program — which will give her the opportunity to work on issues of vital importance at the distinguished Institute for Research on Public Policy — recognizes her academic achievements and provides a launchpad for her career."

Media Contacts

Nicholas Salter

Communications Manager

Max Bell School of Public Policy

nicholas.salter [at]

Cléa Desjardins

Director of Communications

Institute for Research on Public Policy

cdesjardins [at]

About McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy

McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy is committed to the research, teaching, public outreach, and practical advocacy of sound public policy. Located in downtown Montreal, the Max Bell School offers a full-time and intensive 11-month Master of Public Policy (MPP) program. This innovative Master’s program tackles the complexities of public policy from diverse perspectives, giving students the skills to understand and solve the most important issues impacting Canada and the world today. The School welcomed its first cohort of talented, international Master of Public Policy (MPP) students in 2019. In the years to come, the School looks forward to welcoming new global perspectives as it continues to shape and prepare the policy leaders of tomorrow. For more information, visit or follow the School on Twitter @maxbellschool.

About the Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation and the IRPP

The Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation is a research centre within the Institute for Research on Public Policy. Its goal is to foster deeper understanding of Canada as a federal community. This includes research on attitudes toward federalism and the federation; the current and future state of the institutions of federalism; emerging economic and social trends and their impacts on federal arrangements; and Indigenous governance, relations between Indigenous communities and non-Indigenous governments, and reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

Founded in 1972, the IRPP is an independent, bilingual, not-for-profit organization. It is the only national think tank headquartered in Quebec.

For more information, follow the IRPP (@IRPP) and Charles Breton (@charlesbreton) on Twitter.

Back to top