IDRC contribution expands scope and reach of Queen Elizabeth Scholars program

June 2, 2016
Jean Lebel and Scott Haldane with Queen Elizabeth Scholars.

Photo: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall @ OSGG (2016)

OTTAWA – A new $10 million contribution from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is helping to expand the scope and reach of the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program. The funding from IDRC will offer new learning opportunities for doctoral, post-doctoral and early career researchers from low- and middle-income countries, as well as in Canada, seeking to enrich their academic, professional and cross-cultural experiences.

The Queen Elizabeth Scholars program (QES) is a collaborative initiative led by the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada and Universities Canada, with contributions from the Government of Canada, Canadian universities, and a wide range of partners from all sectors. Launched in 2014, the QES program has engaged 37 universities in every Canadian province and 85% of the Commonwealth. The first phase of the program will offer approximately 2,000 scholarships over four years and build a community of young leaders through a global exchange of talent.

The expansion of the QES program will provide a unique two-way exchange: researchers in low- and middle-income countries will have greater access to the advanced education, training and mentorship that are vital to cutting-edge innovation; and doctoral students and early career researchers in Canada will gain more exposure to the international experience they need to become leaders in globally competitive work environments. Another distinctive feature of the program will be direct opportunities for recipients to engage with key stakeholders in local development, including industry.

The QES program targets a 50 per cent gender balance of female and male students and ensures that gender equality is incorporated into all aspects of project activities, reporting and planning.

“IDRC is delighted to join the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada and Universities Canada in supporting the leaders of tomorrow who will develop solutions to increasingly complex national and global challenges,” said Jean Lebel, President, IDRC. “Through their applied research, innovations and collaboration, they will contribute to stronger economies, more prosperous societies and large-scale positive change.”

“IDRC’s substantial support is great news for the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program,” said Scott Haldane, President and CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation. ”This contribution helps build momentum and attract additional resources that will enable even more students to experience this unique global talent exchange.”

“The Queen Elizabeth Scholars program offers young people invaluable international study and research experiences that will benefit them throughout their careers and lives,” said Paul Davidson, President of Universities Canada. “This significant contribution from IDRC will help develop the next generation of innovative leaders and community builders in Canada and around the world.”

“By providing opportunities for young scholars to experience different cultures and learn from one another through this global exchange of talent, we’re creating the conditions for our communities and countries to be more welcoming and inclusive,” said Ian Bird, President, Community Foundations of Canada. “IDRC’s contribution will give the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program an even greater lift, creating new opportunities for young leaders to make a lasting impact at home and abroad.”


International Development Research Centre logo  Rideau Hall Foundation logo

Community Foundations of Canada logo Universities Canada logo
About International Development Research Centre

Part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts, IDRC invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, IDRC builds leaders for today and tomorrow and helps drive large-scale positive change. Learn more at

Jocelyn Sweet
Media Relations
Tel: (613) 696-2117
Twitter: @IDRC_CDRI

About Queen Elizabeth Scholars program

The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program aims to activate a dynamic community of young global leaders across Canada and around the world to create lasting impacts both at home and abroad through cross-cultural exchanges encompassing international education, discovery and inquiry, and professional experiences. To learn more visit,

About Rideau Hall Foundation

The Rideau Hall Foundation gathers, aligns and catalyzes ideas, people and resources to move the Canadian spirit and our shared aspirations forward. As an independent, non-political charity, the Foundation works closely with the Governor General and many external partners to support initiatives that build our identity, build capacity and promote the advancement of a caring nation through learning, leadership, innovation and giving initiatives. To learn more about its initiatives, visit

Pascale Montminy
Portfolio Manager
Tel: (613) 914-0501
Twitter: @QEScholars

About Community Foundations of Canada

Community Foundations of Canada is the national network for Canada’s 191 community foundations which help Canadians invest in building strong and resilient places to live, work, and play. To learn more visit

David Venn
Director of Communications
Tel: (613) 236-2664 ext. 302
Twitter: @CommFdnsCanada

Tagged:  Global connections, Study abroad

About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing the interests of 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities.

Media Contacts:
Helen Murphy
Director, communications
Universities Canada
Tel.: 613-563-3961 ext. 238
Cell.: 613-608-8749

Nadine Robitaille
Communications officer
Universities Canada
Tel.: 613-563-3961 ext. 306

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