Mackenzie King Open & Travelling Scholarship

Award Overview


Two types of Mackenzie King Scholarships were established to support graduates of Canadian universities who are pursuing graduate studies. U of T is permitted to nominate two (2) candidates from each category to the national competition.

The Travelling Scholarship is awarded to applicants who have a degree from a Canadian university and are pursuing graduate studies in the areas of international or industrial relations within the United States or the United Kingdom. The Mackenzie King Board receives about 25 nominations annually for four scholarships, each of approximately $10,500 (number of recipients and value are subject to change).

The Open Scholarship is awarded to an applicant who has a degree from a Canadian university and is pursuing graduate studies in any discipline, within Canada or elsewhere. The Mackenzie King Board receives approximately 90 nominations annually from all universities to award one scholarship of approximately $8,500 (value is subject to change).


Due to the highly competitive nature of these awards and the number of potentially eligible University of Toronto students/alumni, individuals who apply through U of T must meet all of the following criteria at the time of application:

  • Have applied for admission to a graduate program and will be commencing (or continuing in the 2nd or 3rd year of) full-time graduate studies in the upcoming 2021-2022 academic-year;
  • Will have obtained a degree from a Canadian university (e.g., bachelor’s degree, master’s degree) when tenure of the scholarship begins (i.e. September 2021);
  • Demonstrate a minimum grade of “A” (85%, 3.85/4.00) in every undergraduate and graduate course completed to date. Applicants with an A- or lower in any individual course are typically not successful (Travelling Scholarship applicants excepted as it is less competitive); and
  • Are at an early stage of their graduate program (Years 1-3).

Application Process

Each applicant must ensure that a complete application package is provided to the Graduate Awards Office by email ( by 4:30pm on Monday, January 22, 2021. U of T alumni who are not registered in any degree program at the time of application may submit their applications by February 1, 2021 (4:30pm).

Applications that are incomplete, ineligible or are submitted after the deadline will not be considered.  Applications or documentation sent directly to the Board administering the national competition will not be considered.

Application Package

A complete application will include all of the following items (no other supporting documentation will be accepted):

  1. Completed and signed application form;
  2. Supplementary Information on Academic Achievements and Experience (“Sheet A”);
    • May be more than one page
    • List all undergraduate and graduate awards received (including name, year(s) of tenure and annual value)
    • List all work experience related to your field of study (professional or business)
    • List all publications to date relevant to your field of study
  1. Personal Statement (“Sheet B”);
    • 600 words maximum (no exceptions)
    • Must be readily understandable to individuals outside your discipline
    • Describe:
      • Academic interests
      • Extracurricular activities
      • Program of study you intend to pursue
      • Your plans for your career
  1. Original or certified copies of official transcripts (hard copy or e-transcript) from all universities attended (ROSI print-outs not accepted); and
  • Any encryption on e-transcripts will need to be removed before combining with the rest of the application. Students may use freely available PDF software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader to “print to PDF” in order to create an unencrypted “copy” of the file, which remain acceptable.
    • Grading legends must be provided with every transcript. Unofficial transcripts will only be accepted if the official transcripts cannot be obtained. If an official transcript cannot be obtained, the applicant must provide a letter from the institution’s transcript office which states that the institution is not able to provide an official transcript at this time along with an unofficial version of the transcript. Transcripts should not be separately mailed or emailed to the Graduate Awards Office.
  1. Three (3) confidential letters of reference in signed and sealed envelopes.
  • Each letter must clearly state the referee’s name and contact information, and display the referee’s signature
  • Two of the letters must be from individuals who ascribe to either or both of the following descriptions:
    • A person under whom the applicant has performed major work within a university and is able to provide a critical evaluation of the applicant’s plans for graduate study
    • A senior colleague with whom the applicant has been associated in academic teaching / research and is able to provide a critical evaluation of the applicant’s plans for graduate study
  • The third letter must be from an individual who:
    • Also ascribes to one of the descriptions above, or;
    • At least has intimate knowledge of the applicant’s record and ability, and is able to provide a critical evaluation of the applicant’s plans for graduate study
  • Method of Delivery:
    • Each email must come directly from the referee to by the deadline. with the subject title “Mackenzie 2021 Ref –NAME OF APPLICANT”). For the PDF file, please use file naming convention “Applicant last name, first initial – Mackenzie 2021 Referee last name”.


SGS Graduate Awards Office will notify all U of T applicants regarding the status of their application and whether they are being nominated to the national competition in March.

Decisions regarding the national competition will be announced directly to successful nominees by the Mackenzie King Scholarship Selection Committee in July. Awardees will be asked to disclose any new award information upon accepting the offer. Candidates are generally not able to accept the scholarship if they have secured other funding that exceeds the “cap” of expected tuition plus $18,000 (CAD). In some instances, a reduced amount may be offered.

Additional Info

Safety Abroad

IMPORTANT: The Government of Canada advises against all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Accordingly, the University is also advising all members of its community to avoid all non-essential international travel at this time. Please consult the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 travel advisory website for more information on international travel. As of September 28, 2020, the University of Toronto has cancelled future University activity to international locations for all students until May 1, 2021. If you are a PhD student who was planning to travel abroad for your dissertation research during this time, please contact the Safety Abroad Office at For current information on this and other travel related information, please refer to the U of T COVID-19 Information for Students webpage.

Safety Abroad procedures are mandatory for all U of T students travelling outside of Canada, including to the U.S.A., and must be completed before the travel occurs (regardless of receiving funding support). Travel conducted without prior completion of all Safety Abroad requirements may render students ineligible for travel funding.

Please contact U of T Safety Abroad at for further information on the process and/or the requirements below.

The following steps must be completed prior to departure:

  1. Reviewthe Safety Abroad website for details on what is necessary prior to your travel date;
  2. Complete a profile if you are a first-time user;
  3. Log your upcoming travel dates on the Safety Abroad Registry;
  4. Complete the online Safety Abroad Workshop(valid for 1.5 years); and
  5. Obtain supplementary health insurance (if not already covered).

Prior to making travel plans, a preliminary determination should be made of the overall risk level and suitability of the University sponsored out-of-country activity. When considering the appropriateness of a destination, students should balance risk with academic necessity. The assessment should consider special needs of the student including disabilities and medical issues.

All students should consult the Global Affairs Canada website to ensure that their intended travel is in correspondence to the Safety Abroad Guidelines, and contact the Safety Abroad Office directly at prior to any planned travel.

Contacts & Resources

Please direct questions regarding this competition to:​

Olivera Joksimovic
Graduate Awards Officer
School of Graduate Studies
(416) 946-0808