Common Threads through the Commonwealth

Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Program

Quick facts | Program Description | Canadian Interns| Past International Scholars

Recruitment for this program is now closed.

Words: Queen Elizabeth Scholars - Activating a community of young global leadersWhat is the focus of the program?

Exploring innovative and promising approaches to address key challenges to health, well-being and equity through international scholarship and internship opportunities across the Commonwealth.

Who is it for?

  • Canadian students: McGill advanced undergraduate and graduate students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and are under the age of 35.
  • Full eligbility details are listed here

What do students do?

Where does it take place?

  • Training in the winter and fall terms take place at McGill. Internships for Canadian students take place in Commonwealth countries.

How much is the award?

  • $6000 for Canadian Students

Program Description

The Common Threads through the Commonwealth Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Program (CTC-QES Program) is an opportunity for student leaders who understand global challenges and are prepared to innovate and engage across disciplines and sectors to address key issues and find solutions. Through an Innovation Learning Network and in-depth Leadership Development Program, IHSP CTC-QE Scholars will generate new knowledge on initiatives and strategies that work and will engage with local community partners, policy-makers, and partner organizations across the Commonwealth in sharing innovative approaches and ideas for future research, policy and practice.

In the Winter and fall semesters students take part in a Leadership Development Program made up of training seminars for outgoing students, and knowledge sharing between students from all cohorts. In the summer of 2019, scholars will interact through bi-monthly on-line discussions as part of the “Innovative Learning Network.” McGill interns travel to Commonwealth countries in the summer of 2019 to conduct internships with our partner organizations. All students’ time abroad will focus on exploring innovative and promising approaches to address key challenges to health, well-being and equity.


Common Threads through the Commonwealth involves over a dozen partner institutions across the Commonwealth including universities, NGOs, community organizations and foundations. These partners will provide internship and community engagement opportunities for McGill scholarship recipients. They will also be active leaders and contributors to the program’s Innovation Learning Forum, bringing students, faculty, policymakers and practitioners together in a multidisciplinary, cross-sectoral reflection on innovative strategies to address key challenges across the Commonwealth.

Themes for Sustained Impact

The IHSP’s mission is to promote research, multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral reflection for health, well-being and equity in Canada and globally. Themes for reflection and learning for IHSP CTC-QE Scholars will include:

·         existing and promising new forms of governance and structures;

·         role and potential of citizen involvement and agency;

·         equity and diversity;

·         working across disciplines and sectors; and

·         moving ideas and evidence to change

All internship opportunities focus on these themes. The McGill-IHSP CTC-QES Program contributes to the Institute’s on-going cross-disciplinary research and reflection on the impact of social factors and policies on health, equity and well-being globally and its commitment to training future leaders in moving evidence to policy and action.

The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (QES) is managed through a unique partnership of Universities Canada, the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and Canadian universities. This program is made possible with financial support from the Government of Canada, provincial governments and the private sector.

 Government of Canada logo, Universities of Canada logo, McGill logo, Rideau Hall Foundation logo, Community Foundations of Canada logo

2017-2018 Canadian Interns

Juliana FanousJuliana Fanous

Juliana Fanous is pursuing a Master of Science in Integrated Water Resources Management through the department of Bioresource Engineering. Her academic focus is on the ecological, social, and political determinants of human and ecosystem health, as well as the policy implications of environmental research. She is looking forward to investigating the relationship between water and health at the Institute of Hazard, Risk, and Resilience at Durham University. 



Mary Helmer-SmithMary Helmer-Smith

Mary Helmer-Smith is a final year Bachelor of Science student majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Psychology. She is thrilled to be participating in an internship with the OPTIMISE Partnership Project in Melbourne, Australia. This project is focused on developing a model of refugee primary health care that can be implemented across Australia. She was drawn to this project due to the collaborative nature of it and the focus on providing equitable, consistent, and high-quality care to refugees. She is looking forward to developing her research skills and contributing to the significant remodelling of refugee health care in Australia.

Zinia LiZinia Li

Hello! My name is Zinia Li and I am interning with the IMPACT project at Monash University through the McGill IHSP CTC-QE scholarship program. My tasks here will consist of assisting staff and PhD students here in project evaluation of the IMPACT intervention that aims at providing access to primary care to vulnerable communities in South-Eastern Melbourne, as well as taking on personal research projects. Coming from a background of sociology, anthropology, and social studies of medicine, my interests include helping marginalized and minority populations achieve greater health equity and well-being – with I believe aligns very well with IMPACT’s goals and objectives. I hope to gain from the internship a greater understanding of the Australian (vis-à-vis the Canadian) context of care and accessibility.

Jonathan LopezJonathan Lopez

Jonathan Lopez is a third year student pursuing a Joint Honours degree in International Development Studies and Political Science and a Minor in Social Entrepreneurship. During the summer of 2015, Jonathan interned at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Quito, Ecuador. This experience has motivated him to continue working for the well being of refugees. Becoming a Queen Elizabeth Scholar, he will intern at OPTIMISE in Melbourne, Australia where he will work closely with health and social sector partners to generate a model of integrated refugee primary health care suitable for implementation through Australia.  



Ga Eun LeeGa Eun Lee

Ga Eun Lee has recently completed her first year in the Master of Science in Public Health program. Her primary research interests are global health and health care systems, most particularly maternal health and strengthening primary health care. She was drawn to intern at the African Population and Health Research Center because of its commitment to policy engagement and evidence-based research. During her internship, she will be working on a pilot mHealth study that aims to enhance community health volunteers' effectiveness in reducing maternal complications and newborn deaths in the informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. 




Julia Kryluk

Internship with The University of Melbourne, Australia.

Kyle Wiebe

Internship with UN Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya.

Past International Scholars

Jamal ArcherJamal Archer (2016)

Hello, I am Mr. Jamal Jason Archer a citizen of The Bahamas, I am deeply moved and thankful to be an honored recipient of the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship (QES) Program, Common Threads through the Commonwealth, which is administered by the Institute for Health and Social Policy. This scholarship is an important indication of how generosity through goodwill and scholarships can further unite the global village. I have been admitted into the MSc (Bioethics specialization) in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University under the supervision of Professor Daniel Weinstock and Dr. Nicholas King. My research is investigating physicians’ perspectives on disclosure and reporting of medical errors in the Bahamas’ healthcare system. This research is concerned with patient’s rights to disclosure, examining the limitations of the current error reporting culture, and producing data that can inform the creation of an error disclosure policy.

My academic journey began at the Princess Margaret Hospital in public pharmacy where I worked faithfully for ten years. Throughout this period, I became a board-certified pharmacy technician with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board in Washington DC. In addition, I went on to the National Pharmacy Technician Association in Houston Texas and attained certification in chemotherapy drug preparations, compounding drugs, and sterile drug preparations. Throughout the course of my development in the pharmacy, I soon became inspired by trade unionism and advocacy, and later went on to study Law and Criminal Justice at The University of the Bahamas. With a rising desire to understand the people and patients I serviced, I continued pursuit of higher learning and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill. Now a graduate student at McGill University, I intend to further my academic expansion inspired by the desire to broaden the reach of healthcare within the Caribbean region. I have confidence that the Family Medicine program with a concentration in Bioethics will launch me into a career path that is guided by improving the quality of care that is owed to individuals and the public at large.  Therefore, I am obliged for the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship (QES) Program, and very proud to be regarded as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar.

To God be the glory.

Shinjini MondalShinjini Mondal (2016)

Shinjini Mondal is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Family Medicine and is being mentored by Prof. Antonia Maioni. Her doctoral thesis unpacks the problem of implementation and governance of a multisectoral policy in health using the case of Tobacco control programme in India. She adopts an inter-disciplinary approach, drawing from public policy studies and applying it in the context of health, using critical multi-method approaches for her inquiry.

Prior to her doctoral training, she has worked in India for more than six years across diverse programmes to strengthen health systems in the country. She brings diverse insights and experience of working with different communities from community-based organizations, civil society organizations to respective provincial governments and national government. She is a physician and has a master’s in Public Health with a specialization in social epidemiology.

As a CTC-QES scholar, she wants to work towards generating implementable solutions for complex policy challenges that improve health and welfare, creating more responsive and accountable systems.

Patricia Elung'ataPatricia Elung'ata (2015)

Patricia Elung’ata is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Sociology. She is interested in the study of the Social and Economic Determinants of Health across the global south. She completed a Master of Public Health at University of Pretoria, South Africa, and worked for several years in Population Health Research under the Network of Health and Demographic Surveillance Sites in Africa and Asia (INDEPTH). As a CTC-QES scholar she is interested in innovative models for reducing health inequalities.

Oduro Oppong-NkrumahOduro Oppong-Nkrumah (2015)

Oduro Oppong-Nkrumah is pursuing a PhD in Epidemiology at the department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health where, under the mentorship of Professors Jay Kaufman and Arijit Nandi. He is investigating the impact of health and social policies on socio-economic inequalities in health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. His focus is on the mechanisms that underlie the relationship between health insurance policies and socio-economic disparities in health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. Oduro’s most recent projects involve examining the impact of the National Health Insurance Policy of Ghana on rural-urban disparities in neonatal and infant mortality. Before coming to McGill, he worked as a physician in a rural hospital in Ghana in West Africa for 6 years and completed a Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He sees the CTC QES program as a unique opportunity to develop his leadership capacity, and professional and personal relationships which will be invaluable to his future work in improving healthcare delivery in Ghana.

Back to top