Pierre Elliott Trudeau Scholarship

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan 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. 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’s role in the world, and people and their natural environment.

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation promotes outstanding research in the humanities and social sciences, and fosters a fruitful dialogue between scholars and decision makers in the arts community, business, government, and civil society organizations. The Foundation:

  • encourages emerging talent by awarding scholarships to the most talented doctoral students in Canada and abroad;
  • entrusts fellows and mentors distinguished for their knowledge and wisdom with the mission to build an intellectual community to support the work of the scholars; and
  • creates and maintains an international network of fellows, scholars, and mentors.

Learn more about the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation here.


2018 Trudeau Doctoral Scholarship Recipient

Jayne Malenfant is carrying out her PhD at McGill University in the department of Integrated Studies in Education. Her previous research focused on anarchist youth living in rural Canada, with an emphasis on their autonomy and activism outside of traditional political realms. This research took place in the Social Anthropology department at York University, and was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Joseph Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship. Her doctoral research focuses on educational access for young people experiencing housing precarity and poverty, and aims to make concrete shifts in how youth perspectives and experiences shape institutional interventions.

Throughout her academic career and personal life Jayne has held a commitment to open and fair work (whether scholarship or activism), which attempts to break down traditional hierarchies. She continues to carry out research which is participatory and community-based at its core, with an explicit focus on research which supports action in the everyday lives of people. Drawing on her own experiences, as well as the experiences of those she works with, she aims to continue work which directly improves the supports and opportunities for precariously housed youth, and young people more broadly.

Malenfant’s research contributes to a growing body of knowledge on approaches to learning that encourage innovative and equitable participation in the future global economy, though is unique in its specific focus on how to effectively prepare Canada’s precariously housed youth for these shifts. Youth who are or have experienced homelessness are less likely to graduate high school or enrol in post-secondary studies, making them extraordinarily vulnerable to employment precarity. Her project will provide an empirical investigation – conducted from the embodied standpoints of precariously housed youth – of the policy and institutional factors which enable/constrain their educational participation. This research seeks to address young people’s fundamental human rights to housing, education and work through an analysis of the systemic and structural barriers youth face across these intersecting domains.

See the Trudeau Foundation website to find out more about her research.


2016 Trudeau Doctoral Scholarship Recipient

Anna Dion, PhD candidate in the Department of Family Medicine, was awarded the prestigious Trudeau Doctoral Scholarhip. Her research examines how vulnerability and marginalization intersect with the provision and receipt of perinatal care in Canada. By integrating the perspectives of marginalized women, together with those of service providers and policy and program advisors, this research draws on both participatory approaches and Bayesian statistics to collaboratively develop recommendations to reorient perinatal care for marginalized women, specifically among at-risk adolescents in Ottawa and immigrant and refugee women in Montreal.

According to Anna, "receiving a Trudeau Doctoral Scholarship gives me the opportunity to dig deeper, and ask more meaningful questions about what aspects of our public services might exacerbate social exclusion rather than mitigate it. I am truly honoured to have both the financial and outstanding intellectual support that comes with the Trudeau Doctoral scholarship, and would also like to thank my supervisor and department of Family Medicine for their unwaivering support."

See the Trudeau Foundation website to find out more about her research.


2014 Trudeau Doctoral Scholarship Recipient

2014 Trudeau Foundation scholarship recipient

Mélanie Doucet, PhD candidate in Social Work, was awarded the prestigious Trudeau Doctoral Scholarhip. Her research, Transitioning Out of the Child Welfare System: Defining the Role of the State As Guardian and Understanding the Experiences of Youth Aging Out of Care, will focus on the experience of youth in the foster care and group home systems, both during and after their transition to independent living. Central to her study is determining whether the rights of children and youth in the foster care system are respected and valued, how support and services can be improved, and how former youth in care view and voice their experiences of being in care and exiting the child protection system.

Stemming from her unique childhood experience in the foster care system, Melanie’s main research interests are rooted in child and youth issues as they pertain to welfare, education, health, poverty, delinquency, prevention, intervention, and public policy. Melanie is currently completing a joint PhD in social work at McGill University and Université de Montréal with the goal of becoming a university professor, a research consultant, an author, a motivational speaker, and a mentor to and advocate for disadvantaged children and youth, especially those involved in the child welfare system.

More information on the Trudeau scholars is available on the Foundation’s website.