Ontario Trillium Scholarship

Award Overview


The Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) program is a provincially-funded initiative to attract top international students to Ontario for PhD studies with Ontario universities. Using a 2/3 to 1/3 government to institution ratio, approximately 15 Ontario Trillium Scholarships for PhD students are awarded annually at the University of Toronto.

Please note: The Ontario Trillium Scholarship, for which the competition would normally be held with that of the Connaught International Scholarships, is currently under review by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Institutional allocations have not been confirmed at this time and OTS offers will only be made when continuation of this support has been confirmed.


Nominees must:

  • Be international applicants (Citizens and permanent residents of Canada are ineligible);
  • Not be currently registered in a degree program at the University of Toronto;
  • Have been or will be offered admission to a full-time doctoral program* with a funding commitment beginning September of the upcoming academic year​; and
  • Have achieved an A- average in each of the last two years of full-time study.​

* Units who do not admit successful applicants directly to the doctoral program (or doctoral direct entry), and require the applicants to first register as master’s students and then subsequently transfer to the doctoral (without obtaining the master’s degree), may submit a request for these candidates to be considered eligible for this competition. If granted, the students must transfer to the graduate units’ doctoral program within the program’s standard reclassification time period (max. 24 months).

Nominees who meet the following additional criteria will be eligible for the Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS).

Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) additional criteria

When funding for this program is confirmed, nominees who meet the following additional criteria will be considered for the Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS):

  • Intending to pursue a full-time PhD/SJD program with a funding commitment;
  • Not have completed more than one year of PhD studies;
  • Not currently be studying at an Ontario institution;
  • Not first be registered as a master’s student in a doctoral-stream program; and
  • Must not concurrently hold a scholarship offered by any of the following agencies: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST) (OTS only).

Award Recipients

The failure of a recipient to meet any of the below terms and conditions will result in: 1) forfeiture of the award and any future instalments; and 2) cancellation of the scholarship and ineligibility for renewal the following academic year.

  • Remain eligible, in good academic standing, and meet the terms and conditions of the award;
  • Register and remain registered as a full-time graduate student (a change in status may result in suspension or termination of payments and/or returning funds already received);
  • Maintain an A- average, and be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degree, as determined by their graduate unit;

Repayment of the award in part or full will be required if the student is in full-time attendance fewer than 14 weeks in any session.


  • Recipients who transition to permanent residency status will continue to be eligible for the balance of their renewable scholarship. A change in legal status does not affect the awardee’s eligibility to continue holding the award; and
  • Recipients may concurrently hold other awards at any value, with the exception of Tri-Agency (NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR) awards that exceed a value of $20,000.

Nomination Process

Nominations are made by graduate units in the Winter session based on admission applications.

Students interested in the Connaught International Scholarship or Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) are encouraged to contact their graduate unit when applying for admission to the University of Toronto. ​

Admission application deadlines are set by the individual graduate units.

Contacts & Resources

Please direct all questions about this competition to:

Tara Lock
Graduate Awards Officer (Internal)
School of Graduate Studies