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W.L. Mackenzie King Memorial Scholarships


The Mackenzie King Scholarships were established as an independent trust under the will of the late Rt. Hon. William Mackenzie King (1874–1950). Two classes of Mackenzie King Scholarship are available to graduates of Canadian universities: the Open Scholarship and the Travelling Scholarship. Both are to support graduate study.

  • The Open Scholarship is available to graduates of Canadian universities who pursue graduate study in any discipline, in Canada or elsewhere
  • The Travelling Scholarship is available to graduates of Canadian universities who pursue graduate study in the United States or the United Kingdom in the areas of international relations or industrial relations

Value and Duration

  • One Open Scholarship is awarded each year at $12,000 (subject to change).
  • Up to four Travelling Scholarships at $13,500 (subject to change).



  • February 1

How to Apply

A complete application package should be submitted by email to the FGS Scholarships and Awards Coordinator by February 1. An application form with transcripts should be combined and submitted in one pdf file. References should be clearly labelled and emailed directly to the FGS Scholarship and Awards Coordinator by visiting our FGS Staff Directory

Frequently asked questions

The applicant’s previous university degree(s) are from outside Canada, but they plan to do graduate study in Canada. Are they eligible?
They are not eligible. According to the terms of the scholarship trust, they must be graduates of (meaning they hold a degree from) a Canadian university as of the time that tenure of the scholarship would begin. It is not sufficient to be enrolled in a Canadian graduate program.

If an applicant has a Canadian degree, but is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, are they eligible?

Yes, international students are eligible if they have a Canadian university degree (undergraduate or graduate) as of the time that tenure of the scholarship would begin. An applicant has a degree from Canadian university A and commenced graduate studies at Canadian university B last September. Which is their “home university” for the purpose of applying?
We regard university B as their home university because they are already known there. If the applicant has not yet spent any time at university B, their home university is university A, regardless of whether they have already been accepted into the B program.


Is an applicant eligible if they are going into the second or a subsequent year of a graduate program (master’s or doctoral)?

Yes, the scholarships are available to support any year of a graduate program. However, the Selection Committee usually gives a student who is very nearly finished (in the last year of a doctoral program or in a shortened second year in a master’s program) lower priority than an equally strong applicant who is at an earlier stage of their program. Postdoctoral studies are not eligible.

What studies can the scholarship be applied to?

The scholarships, both Open and Travelling, are to support one year of study commencing in or after the following September. They can be applied to any expense. The Travelling Scholarships are not restricted to travel expenses; the name only reflects that they are restricted to graduate study in the United States or the United Kingdom (in international or industrial relations).

For the Travelling Scholarships, what counts as international relations or industrial relations?

The Selection Committee interprets both terms broadly. The program does not have to be called “international relations” or “industrial relations.” For example, studies in Law, History, or Development Studies qualify as international relations, for our purposes, as long as they are focused to a substantial extent on relationships between states.

Are part-time graduate studies eligible?

Yes, applicants planning part-time studies are eligible to apply for a scholarship. However, they will be given a lower priority in the competition than equally strong applicants who are in a full-time program.


What other scholarship support can an applicant have?

The current maximum scholarship support, including the Mackenzie King, that a student can have in the year of the scholarship is the amount of tuition actually payable, plus CAD 18,000 (the “cap”). The CAD 18,000 figure is subject to change. The applicant does not need to state on their application what other scholarship support they are applying for. They are only asked about other scholarship support if they are offered a scholarship. However, they are asked to state on their application (on sheet A) what awards they have already received, the year(s) to which each award applies, and the annual value of each award. If a student knows at the time of application that they already have scholarship funding for the next academic year that exceeds the “cap”, there is no point in applying. “Scholarship support” does not include salary for services such as research or teaching assistance. A student can accept a Mackenzie King scholarship for a reduced amount if they have other scholarship support that leaves them room under the “cap” for a partial award.


How many nominations does the Selection Committee receive?

In a typical year, we receive about 80-90 nominations for the single Open Scholarship. Each home university is limited to forwarding two nominations to us for this scholarship. We typically receive about 25-30 nominations for the (usually) four Travelling Scholarships, again with each home university being limited to two nominations. The reason for the much lower number is the eligibility restrictions for the Travelling Scholarship (graduate study in the US or the UK in international or industrial relations). The Open Scholarship is unrestricted by place of study or by discipline.

On what criteria are nominated applicants ranked?

The primary criterion applied by the Selection Committee is the strength of the university academic record. All years are taken into account. The comparison is not strictly on the numbers. The additional information that is asked for on the application, including the description of the applicant’s study plans on sheet B, is used to distinguish between applicants with comparable academic records. The letters of reference are given substantial weight.

What should be provided in the letters of reference?

Letters of reference must be confidential (i.e. not accessible by the applicant). They may be sent directly to the home university to which the application is to be submitted. If the letter is sent in digital form, it must be signed and scanned. Reference letters need not follow any particular format. Referees are asked to include any information that they think would be helpful to the Selection Committee in assessing the strength of the candidate.


If you require further assistance, please contact our Research Officer (facilitate review process with adjudication committee) or Scholarship & Awards Coordinator (collect and organize applications) by visiting our FGS Staff Directory.