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 2020-2021 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 2020);
  • 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 (63 St. George Street, 2nd floor reception) in hardcopy by 4:30pm on Monday, January 24, 2020. U of T alumni who are not registered in any degree program at the time of application may submit their applications by February 3, 2020 (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.

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

Application Package

    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
    3. 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 studies you intend to pursue; your plans for your career
    4. Original or certified copies of official transcripts from all universities attended (ROSI print-outs not accepted); and
      • Certification/validation may be performed by the graduate unit. If the graduate unit is not able to certify/validate a transcript, it is each applicant’s responsibility to obtain and provide within their application package an original official transcript that was issued by the appropriate institution
      • Grading legends must be provided with every transcript. Copies of unofficial transcripts will not be accepted. Transcripts should not be separately mailed or emailed to the Graduate Awards Office
    5. Three (3) confidential letters of reference in signed and sealed envelopes. Referees (particularly those overseas) may email their letter as a PDF attachment directly to by the application deadline.
      • 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

  • If submitted by the applicant within the application package:
    • Each letter of reference must be sealed in an envelope and display the referee’s signature across the envelope seal
  • If submitted by the referee via email:
    • Each email must come directly from the referee, state the name of the applicant, the name of the award, and be sent to by the deadline.

To avoid loss or misplacement of documents in the mail or otherwise, all applicants are strongly advised to collect and assemble all of the required application materials, including reference letters and official transcripts, and deliver their complete hardcopy package to the Graduate Awards Office by the deadline.


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

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 award support).

Travel conducted without completing all Safety Abroad requirements may cause automatic forfeiture of the award.

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 and cannot occur retroactively:

  1. Review the 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).

For travel to a region designated by Global Affairs Canada as “Avoid Non-Essential Travel” or “Avoid All Travel,” students must contact the Safety Abroad Office at as soon as possible to request special approval for the trip.

Please contact the Safety Abroad Office at for further information on this process and/or the requirements.

Contacts & Resources

Please direct questions regarding this competition to:​

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