Ontario Trillium Scholarship 2023: Overview, Eligibility & Process

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The Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) is an initiative by the Government of Ontario. It was introduced in the year 2010 to give financial aid to international students pursuing their PhD degrees. The scholarship is funded by a 2/3 to 1/3 government to institution ratio. Around 15 Ontario Trillium Scholarships are awarded annually to PhD students at the University of Toronto. The eligible universities in Ontario select candidates to award scholarships based on programme criteria and the candidate’s merit.

Features of the Ontario Trillium Scholarship

The key features of this scholarship are:

  1. The Ontario Government awards 15 Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS)every year.
  2. An amount of 40,000 CAD is awarded every year to the best doctoral students across the globe.
  3. The scholarship has a renewal period of four years.
  4. The OTS provides scholars with partial funding to pursue a PhD in any discipline at top universities in Ontario.

The unit of graduate studies administers the distribution of the scholarship at each university. The universities select the students for nominations for the OTS award after evaluating their applications.

Eligibility Criteria

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Ontario Trillium Scholarship 2023: Overview, Eligibility & Process

There is a separate eligibility criterion to be nominated and get awarded the Ontario Trillium Scholarship.

Eligibility to be Nominated

  • The applicant must be an international student.
  • The applicant must be proficient in the English language at the time of application.
  • The applicant must not be a current student of any Ontario postsecondary institution at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • The candidate must hold an 8.0/10 or A-average (Ontario equivalent of 80%) in both the years of full-time study.
  • The applicant must intend to enrol in a doctoral-level, full-time degree-granting graduate programme.

Eligibility to receive Ontario Trillium Scholarship

  • The applicant must have received a temporary resident visa as a member of the student class under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) by the start date of the PhD programme.
  • The applicant must maintain satisfactory progress for the duration of the OTS award during their degree programme.
  • Even when the recipient obtains a permanent residency status after the beginning of the first term of study, the Ontario Trillium Scholarship will continue to renew.
  • Must not hold any scholarship or fellowship from other sources like Tri-Council, i.e., Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) or MTCU, i.e., Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST). Know more about all the other available scholarships for Indian students in Canada.
  • The candidate must be present and registered full-time in the PhD programme from the first day for the entire duration of the programme.

Application Process for OTS

The deadline for applying for the scholarship varies for each university and the programme, starting from September. Nominations for suitable candidates happen in the winter session to get admitted in the following fall, spring or winter terms. Each eligible institution has a different application process for the Ontario Trillium Scholarship programme. However, here is a list of all the documents required to apply for the scholarship:

  • Correctly filled application form
  • A valid Canadian study permit
  • A copy of all university transcripts
  • An updated CV
  • The OTS letter of support from an authorised supervisor
  • Proof of language proficiency results like IELTS, SAT, etc.
  • List of scholarships and awards received by the applicant
  • Applicant’s Letter of Recommendations
  • Proof of good health
  • List of applicant’s contributions to research

Process of Selection in Ontario Trillium Scholarship

Evaluation of the files and selection of the recipients is done by a selection committee that is chosen by Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS). The committee selects students based on their merit and programme criteria.

Terms & Conditions of Ontario Trillium Scholarship

There are some terms and conditions concerning the holding of the Ontario Trillium Scholarship. They are as follows:

Interrupting the Scholarship

  • A request to put the OTS award on hold should be accompanied by an approved request for a leave of absence to OGPS. The leave granted cannot exceed 12 months or three terms. It can be approved in the case of:
  • Immigration process
  • Maternal or paternal leave
  • Family or medical leave
  • Compassionate leave (eg: Bereavement)

 Withdrawl from the Graduate programme

  • The awardee must repay the Trillium funds in case the candidate:
  • Transfers to another institution
  • Withdraws from the programme
  •  Is unable to maintain good academic standing
  • Loses full-time status
  •  Completes the programme before the natural end of the scholarship, or,
  • Loses the eligibility for renewal of OTS

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The Ontario Government introduced the Ontario Trillium Scholarship programme in November 2010. This initiative opened the doors to the universities in Ontario for highly qualified and top international students pursuing their PhD. International students looking for research opportunities in Canada and who wish to pursue a PhD programme in any discipline can apply to any of the Ontario universities. They can also apply for the OTS programme as long as they fulfil the eligibility requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When do the applications for the Ontario Trillium Scholarship begin?

The applications for the Ontario Trillium Scholarship are available from September every year.

What is the deadline for the Ontario Trillium Scholarship? 

The deadline for applying to the OTS varies for each university and the programme you choose to enrol in. The applicant must keep checking the university website for the details.

How do I apply for the Ontario Trillium Scholarship programme?

The application process for each university and your chosen programme varies. You can get in touch with your university’s unit of graduate studies to get information about the same.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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