Ontario Trillium Scholarship for International Students Canada


The Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) is an initiative by the Ontario government aimed at attracting and retaining top-tier international doctoral students to contribute to the research and academic landscape of Ontario, Canada. This scholarship underscores the province’s commitment to academic excellence and diversity in higher education. In this detailed guide, we will explore every facet of the OTS, including eligibility, application processes, benefits, and critical timelines for the academic years 2024-2025.

What is the Ontario Trillium Scholarship?

Launched in 2010, the Ontario Trillium Scholarship is designed to bring the best international minds to Ontario’s research-intensive universities. Each scholarship is worth $40,000 annually and is renewable for up to four years. It aims to support students who show exceptional academic merit and are entering the first year of a doctoral program in Ontario.

Eligibility Criteria


To qualify for the OTS, applicants must be international students who intend to pursue a full-time doctoral program at an eligible Ontario university. They must possess an exceptional academic record with at least an A- average in the last two years of study. Candidates must also be nominated by their chosen university based on remarkable potential contributions to the academic community.

Application Process

The application process for the OTS is rigorous and requires thorough preparation. Prospective candidates must first secure an offer from an eligible program at an Ontario university. The university then nominates the student based on their academic excellence and research potential. Required documents typically include transcripts, a research proposal, letters of recommendation, and a CV highlighting academic and research achievements.

See also  Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships

Scholarship Value and Duration

The OTS offers $40,000 per year to its recipients, renewable annually for up to four years, contingent on the student maintaining satisfactory academic progress. This financial support covers tuition, living expenses, and research-related costs, making it one of the most lucrative scholarships available to international doctoral students in Canada.


Supported Disciplines

The scholarship is available to students across a wide array of disciplines, reflecting the diverse academic offerings of Ontario’s universities. From sciences and engineering to arts and humanities, the OTS supports various fields to foster a rich, interdisciplinary academic environment.

Selection Criteria

Candidates for the OTS are evaluated based on their academic achievements, research potential, and expected contributions to the academic community. Emphasis is also placed on the candidates’ leadership qualities and previous research experiences, which should align with the strategic interests of the hosting institution and the province’s academic objectives.

Benefits Beyond Financial Support

Recipients of the OTS gain more than just financial aid; they become part of a vibrant academic community with access to extensive research resources and networking opportunities. This scholarship also significantly enhances the postdoctoral employment prospects of the beneficiaries, positioning them well for careers both in academia and in the private sector.

How to Enhance Your Application

To enhance your OTS application, focus on articulating a clear, impactful research proposal. Demonstrate your research alignment with both your chosen institution’s strengths and global academic trends. Robust recommendation letters from recognized academics in your field can also greatly strengthen your application.

Deadlines and Important Dates

The application deadline for the OTS varies by university but generally falls between December and February each year for the following academic year. Candidates should confirm specific deadlines with their prospective universities.

See also  Carleton University Scholarships For International Students 2023

Tuition Fees and Financial Information

Tuition fees for international doctoral students in Ontario can range from $15,000 to $25,000 annually, depending on the university and program of study. The OTS significantly offsets these costs by covering the full tuition and providing additional stipends for living expenses.

Available Scholarships

In addition to the OTS, Ontario universities offer various scholarships and bursaries for international students, such as the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and university-specific awards, which can also be explored for additional financial support.

Application Fee

Most Ontario universities charge an application fee for international students, which can range from $100 to $150. This fee is non-refundable and is required at the time of application submission.

Admissions Requirements

Admission requirements for doctoral programs in Ontario typically include a master’s degree in a related field, with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or equivalent. Some programs may require additional qualifications such as GRE scores or specific professional experience.

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate for international doctoral students in Ontario varies widely by program and university. Competitive programs at top universities may have acceptance rates as low as 10-15%.


The Ontario Trillium Scholarship offers a prestigious opportunity for international students to pursue doctoral studies in Ontario. With substantial financial support, access to world-class research facilities, and a chance to study in a multicultural environment, the OTS is a cornerstone for academic and professional development.