The Canadian Queen Elizabeth Diamond Scholarship (QES)| 2020

The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships 2020 program, (QES) was created to improve global talent exchange between Canada and other nations.

The program aims to develop the next generation of innovative leaders and community builders by providing enriched academic, professional, and cross-cultural experiences and by facilitating lasting local and global community engagement.

Launched in 2014 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne, QES has activated a dynamic community of young global leaders that have created lasting impacts at home and abroad.

The program has achieved this through international education, providing opportunities for discovery and inquiry, and enabling professional experiences.

To date, over 2200 scholarships have been awarded through 89 projects managed by 44 Canadian universities. Scholarship recipients, called “QES scholars”, engage with communities, learn about cultures, and create projects and actions that impact the world.

They are part of a global network of QES scholars who share knowledge, exchange ideas, and collaborate on meaningful initiatives.

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About the Award: 

Thanks to the generous financial support from the International Development Research Centre, up to $3 million CAD will be allocated via the expansion of the QES Advanced Scholars program.

Which will support doctoral researchers, post-doctoral fellows, and early career researchers from eligible West African countries and Canada.

This call will support projects contributing to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with preference given to proposals that focus on or clearly integrate SDG 5 (gender equality) as a crosscutting or mainstream goal.

The program will require all scholars to participate in leadership development and community engagement activities and in the network of Queen Elizabeth Scholars.

Thanks to funding provided by the International Research Development Centre (IDRC), QES-AS-WA will support projects in West Africa that will inform progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With preference given to proposals that focus on or clearly integrate SDGs 5 (gender equality) as a crosscutting or mainstream goal.

Canadian universities are invited to submit multi-year project proposals seeking funding of up to $300,000 CAD. Each Canadian university may submit one proposal to the 2020 competition. Up to $3,000,000 will be made available through this call for proposals.

General Criteria

All projects must meet the following general criteria:

  • Project implementation period: 

It is anticipated that project activity may commence as early as April 2021, subject to the signing of a Contribution Agreement between Rideau Hall Foundation and the Canadian university.

All project activities and final reporting must be completed by December 31, 2024.

  • Funding: 

Applicants may seek up to $300,000 CAD in funding. Funding is available to support doctoral researchers, post-doctoral researchers, and early career researchers only.

There is no limit to the number of incoming or outgoing scholars that can be included in a project.

An activity fund of up to $2,000 per scholar, can be included in the project budget to support project administration, partner relationships, community engagement, leadership development, and networking activities.

Project expenses

  • Cost-sharing: 

Universities and all partner institutions will be expected to contribute and leverage additional funding to support their Queen Elizabeth Scholars.

Higher proportional contributions will be viewed favorably by the selection committee.

  • Geographic focus: 

All projects must undertake the activity with one or more West African countries. Please see Annex B for a list of eligible countries.

  • Focus areas: 

All scholars must be undertaking research in one or more of the following areas of focus: 

  • Climate resilience and sustainable food systems 
  • Education and innovation systems 
  • Ethics in development research 
  • Health equity 
  • Inclusive governance 
  • Sustainable inclusive growth
  • Ethics:

Issues arising from individual research projects must be properly dealt with by each institution’s own ethical review boards and shall comply with the requirements set out in the following documents: IDRC’s Corporate Principles on Research Ethics.

  • Open access clause: 

All QES-AS projects and their associated research must ensure compliance with IDRC open access clause for publications. 

  • Program outcomes:

Projects must align with the QES program’s outcomes, as per the logic model in Annex A.

  • Canada-West Africa mobility: 

Outgoing scholars must be Canadian citizens conducting their research in an eligible West African country. 

  • West Africa-Canada mobility: 

Incoming scholars must be citizens of one of the countries listed in Annex B conducting their research in Canada. 

  • Non-academic Research placement: 

As part of their QES funding, each scholar must spend at least 30% of their award participating in a research placement, outside of academia. Incoming scholars are expected to conduct their placements in Canada.

However, if the Canadian university or the partner West African institution has appropriate placement partners in the scholar’s home country or in an eligible third country, the scholar’s non-academic research placement may take place at that location.

QES Program

The QES program was created to improve global talent exchange between Canada and other nations.

The program aims to develop the next generation of innovative leaders and community builders by providing enriched academic, professional, and cross-cultural experiences and by facilitating lasting local and global community engagement.

There have been 89 projects, administered by 44 Canadian universities and with over 2000 scholarships already awarded.

What is the maximum duration for which a researcher can receive the QES award? 

There is no upper limit to the duration of an award other than keeping in mind that the university’s final reports, both narrative and financial, are due no later than December 31, 2024.

The maximum funding available per researcher based on the award duration is listed on page 10 of the program guidelines.

QES Governance

QES Governance is managed through a unique partnership of the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), Universities Canada, and Canadian universities. 

The roles and responsibilities of each are as follows: 

  • Rideau Hall Foundation is the financial trustee, funding university projects as recommended by an independent selection committee, providing progress reports to funding partners, stewards partnerships manage alumni engagement, and leads strategic communication, branding, and web presence. 
  • Universities Canada, as the technical lead, launches and manages calls for proposals, monitors and evaluates progress towards results, and reports on activities with recommendations for improvements to managing program partners.
  • Canadian universities develop and manage projects, contribute and leverage financial funding, organize leadership and community engagement activities, select and support scholars before, during, and after their award, and report on activities to Universities Canada. 

The Advanced Scholars West Africa phase of the QES program will support a new generation of highly skilled scholars in Canada and West Africa.

Through their applied research, creative leadership, and professional networking, these scholars will contribute to stronger economies and prosperous societies, and significantly enrich the knowledge base within their respective fields. 

Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (QES) Advanced Scholars

West Africa, Program Guidelines – August 2020 

In addition, the mandatory placement at a non-academic research partner is an outreach trademark of this mobility program.

QES-AS West Africa aims to strengthen university linkages with industry, community, and international partners to explore new opportunities and to better position Canadian universities in the competitive international higher education market.

It will support Canadian champions abroad and create a network of Canadian and West African researchers who are engaged in finding solutions to complex global development challenges. 

QES Program Objectives and Expected Outcomes 

The objectives of the QES program are to: 

1. Develop global citizens through enriched academic, professional, and cross-cultural experiences; 

2. Activate a new generation of enterprising leaders in Canada and around the world through facilitating lasting local and global community engagement; and 

3. Enhance collaborative capacity and deepen peer relationships among Queen Elizabeth Scholars to enrich the program experience and facilitate personal and professional growth. 

The expected outcomes of the program are: 

1. Increased knowledge and skills through academic and professional experiences of young global leaders; 

2. Enhanced networking between Canadians and emerging global leaders; and 

3. Increased contributions to local and global communities by young leaders. 

Program Design 

West Africa will fund multi-year projects implemented by Canadian universities that comprise one or more of the following (see definitions in Glossary of Terms): 

  • An Awards to support doctoral researchers; 
  • Also, Awards to support post-doctoral researchers; 
  • And Awards to support early career researchers. As part of their projects, Canadian universities will help strengthen scholars’ leadership skills as well as provide networking and community engagement opportunities. Please see section 3.0 for more details on the program components. 

Program Targets 

Each project will involve incoming West African scholars, outgoing Canadian scholars, or a mix of both. The program is targeting an overall participation rate1 of: 

  • 50% West African incoming scholars 
  • 50% Canadian outgoing scholars 

This is the overall target rate and does not apply to individual proposals Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships.

QES West Africa will prioritize the following: 

1. Women researchers – overall, 60% of the researchers should be women. 

2. Francophone researchers – applications focusing on Francophone countries will be prioritized. 

3. Institutional strengthening – proposals which make a convincing case that scholar exchanges, beyond advancing individual scholars` own careers, will deliberately be used by Canadian and West African universities.

It’ll be used to strengthen their own institutional capacity (research areas, curriculum, partnerships, etc.) will be prioritized. 


Eligible Institutions Canadian universities that have recognized provincial degree-granting powers, or their affiliates, may submit a proposal to QES-AS West Africa.

Universities may partner with one or more other Canadian universities for a joint proposal, however, may only be the lead applicant in one submission to the program. 


Partnerships Projects must include a partnership between one or more Canadian universities, one or more institutions in one or more eligible West African countries, and one or more non-academic research placement partner(s). 

The non-academic research placement partner(s) may be in either Canada or an eligible West African country.

Projects may build on existing partnerships between Canadian universities and West African institutions. QES funding can also be used to establish new partnerships. 


Cost-sharing to be considered for funding, applicants must demonstrate that Canadian universities, West African institutions, and/or non-academic research placement partners will contribute to project costs. 

This program aims for an overall 50% contribution from universities, West African institutions, and/or non-academic research placement partners.

Contributions may include in-kind contributions such as administrative costs2, cash contributions such as salary paid while the researcher is undertaking their QES award, tuition waivers or discounts.

Also, other discounts or waivers to academic, living, or travel costs, and financial contributions from other sources including foundations, placement partners, and other funding agencies. 

A higher proportional contribution will be viewed more favorably by the selection committee. Please see section 5.0 for more information on the selection process and section 

Candidates with dual nationality with Canada are not eligible. 

Application Deadline: 26th October 2020

You can begin the application by clicking on Online Application and get more details

Visit the Official: Scholarship Link

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