Scholars at Risk Application

Award Overview

Student Submission Deadline: June 15, 2018 (4:30pm EST)

Value & Duration: Up to $10,000 for one year

Level of Study: Research-stream master’s or doctoral

Required Legal Status: International students. Please see “Eligibility” section below

Results: Late June 2018


Established with initial funding from the Donner Canadian Foundation, this Fellowship provides, on an annual basis, an established mechanism through which the University of Toronto is able to receive international graduate students who fall into one of the two categories listed below. This is a Fellowship that provides financial support for academic endeavours. Please note that the Fellowship does not provide any form of assistance in obtaining travel visas, or refugee status claims.

Eligible international students fall into two categories:

  1. Students are currently in Canada as Protected Persons under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, but are unable to return to their home countries; or
  2. Students whose academic careers have been impacted by changing political environments in their country of current study such as by changes in immigration law

Eligibility to Apply

Applicants must:

  • As of the application deadline, be a Protected Person under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) and be living in Canada; or be a graduate student whose current program of study has been impacted by changing political environments in their country of current study such as changes in immigration law;
  • Have an outstanding academic record as demonstrated by transcripts and other measures of scholarship;
  • Demonstrate financial need through the application process;
  • Priority will be given to applicants outside the funded cohort; and
  • Have demonstrated a commitment to enhancing the student experience of his/her peers through previous extracurricular leadership at a university and commitment to community outreach and involvement, as demonstrated by extracurricular activities beyond academe.

Note: In order to hold the Fellowship, currently registered students must remain registered for the 2018-19 academic year. Scholars-at-Risk Fellowship recipients may reapply to hold the award for a second year provided they continue to meet all eligibility criteria.

Application Process

Applicants must submit their completed application and all attachments
via the Massey College website by June 15 at 4:30 pm EST.
Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Includes:

  1. Completed online application
  2. Statement of Intent describing why applicant should be considered for the Scholar-at-Risk Fellowship. This statement should include background information on why the candidate came to Canada, or why they are seeking to study in Canada; their current circumstances, and why they are pursuing their chosen graduate program (2 pages max – single spaced, 12 pt font);
  3. Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (scans of official, unofficial, student-issued or web transcripts are permitted), scanned together as one PDF file;

4. Curriculum vitae outlining academic achievements, scholarships and awards received, plus publications, work experience, and extracurricular involvement both inside and outside a university. Extracurricular experience should be clearly separated into two categories: inside and outside of the university context;

5. Copy of University of Toronto Offer of Admission letter if not currently registered in a program; and

6. If applicable, proof of Protected Person status (e.g. copy of the letter of determination from the Immigration and Refugee Board or Citizenship and Immigration Canada or Protected Person Status Document).

7. Leadership and community involvement Reference Letter – maximum two pages (written by someone who knows the candidate in an academic or a non-academic capacity )

Letter may address the following:

Personal achievement:

  • impactful involvement and achievement in professional programs/associations such as sports, arts, science, business etc.
  • entrepreneurial achievement (start-up company); and/or
  • foreign travel and study.

Involvement in academic life:

  • mentoring/teaching;
  • supervisory experience;
  • involvement in student government and in the institution community, including committees, teams, senate, boards, ethics committees, etc.;
  • project management;
  • roles in academic/professional societies; and/or
  • organization of conferences, meetings, courses etc.

Volunteerism/community outreach:

  • community involvement in charity or not-for-profit organizations.

Civic engagement:

  • parliamentary page positions and internships;
  • political activity; and/or
  • elected positions.

Social skills:

  • develops positive relationships with a diverse range of people;
  • cares about and listens to what others say and gives feedback;
  • knows how to motivate individuals;
  • is persuasive;
  • is supportive of peers;
  • is able to negotiate;
  • is viewed as trustworthy, ethical and dependable;
  • is well-respected; and
  • displays mastery of presentation skills and public communications.


Applicants will be contacted directly in late June 2017.

Contacts & Resources

For more information, please contact:

Emily Mockler - Assistant Dean, Programs and Communications

Fong Di Caterina – Manager, Graduate Awards Office