QES Program Overview

In 2012, Canada celebrated the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. Support was rallied from government and the private and public sectors to fund an inspiring new scholarship initiative in her honour: the Canadian Queen Elizabeth Scholarships program.

This program represents a unique opportunity for students and universities. The goal of our program is to develop global citizens ready to work on the challenges of deteriorating planetary health through enriched academic, professional, and cross-cultural experiences. 

Students selected for the scholarship program will be named “Queen Elizabeth Scholars” (QES) and will engage with communities across the Commonwealth, learn about cultures and create projects and actions that impact the world. They will build lasting relationships among their peers and with the communities that they serve and achieve personal and professional growth. Through the global community of Queen Elizabeth Scholars, they will share knowledge, exchange ideas, and collaborate on meaningful initiatives.

Queen Elizabeth Scholars will become the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, inventors and leaders. Through this unique international exchange of talent, students will enrich their communities and discover that anything is possible.

The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (QES) is managed through a unique partnership of Universities Canada, the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and Canadian universities. This program is made possible with financial support from the Government of Canada, provincial governments and the private sector.

QES Opportunities for Outgoing and Incoming Students

Outgoing students are current University of Saskatchewan students who would get to complete a practicum in Africa as part of their QES award. Incoming students are graduate students from partner institutions in Africa who would conduct research in Canada through the University of Saskatchewan as part of their QES award. Details are available below.

QES for Outgoing Students

What to expect

The USask Queen Elizabeth Scholarship (QES) - Planetary Health Program is launching a field school and practicum in Uganda for students to gain academic, professional, and cross-cultural experiences on planetary health from a global citizen perspective.

QES students will learn about human-nature interactions as they travel from Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest freshwater lake and source of the Nile River, to Kibale National Park, the rainforest with the largest primate biomass in the world.

Ugandan government authorities and university scientists will accompany students as they learn about the historical dynamics of human and natural systems within the region. Community engagement will be at the core of the one-month field school and three-month practicum experience. Students will integrate into the community to understand challenges and envision opportunities to launch sustainable projects that will empower and create revenue to ensure the community wellbeing.

Former students of QES programs in other Canadian universities found this a highly valuable life experience that gave them the skills to work in transdisciplinary and multicultural health settings. The breathtaking landscapes and local fauna create the perfect scenario to create impact in the communities and learn from them.

- Written by Oscar Senar, a student from Western University who traveled to Africa as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar.

2017 Queen Elizabeth Scholars (from Western and Queen's Universities) traveling in Africa.

Program Context

1.      Queen Elizabeth Scholars will receive $7,000 for internships between 90-180 days (excluding travel days as well as orientation days) with a partner organization in Africa.

2.      Queen Elizabeth Scholars will contribute $1,500 towards the cost of the experiential learning experiences. Additional scholarship opportunities may be available to students who choose to apply.

3.      There are 32 scholarships available.

4.      Current participating African Commonwealth countries: Kenya and Uganda

5.      Queen Elizabeth Scholars must complete the following components:

  • Sessions on topics such as culture, ethics, participatory engagement and language training
  • A practicum that includes: a three-week project course and a three-month immersive practicum (a minimum of 90 days*) in the African country

* Student must stay in the African country for a minimum of 90 days. If the student does not complete 90 days, all of the funds must be returned to University of Saskatchewan.

Photo by QES recipient Oscar Senar.

Application Criteria

  • Open to all University of Saskatchewan students registered in a graduate program or in their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year of an undergraduate program.
  • Must have a minimum average of 78% in last 24 months of full time education.
  • Must participate in discussion sessions and the two components of the practicum.
  • Must have permanent residency or citizenship from Canada.
  • Must be proficient in English, be able to travel internationally.
  • Must be age 35 years or under at the time of application.
Photo by QES recipient Oscar Senar.

Application process

1. Submit completed application package:

i. Unofficial academic transcripts from your postsecondary education. Official transcripts from the institutions other than the University of Saskatchewan will be required if accepted.

ii. Letter of support from a USask faculty mentor, stating how the QES program will benefit the student, improve and fit with their graduate research, and how the student’s research aligns with Planetary Health and the QES program.

iii. One-page (max.) statement of interest including personal goals and rationale for being part of the QES program.

iv. Signed QES Community Engagement Form confirming the commitment to participating in all QES program activities.

2. Short listed candidates will be interviewed.

3. Students selected for the scholarships must also apply for Global Engagement Scholarships. The office will submit the application on behalf of the students. Further information on this award is available here

If you are a graduate student from the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, you can apply for the Education Enhancement Grants.  If you are an undergraduate student, you can apply for the W. Murray Riddell and Betty C. Riddell Scholarship

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Please apply as soon as possible. 

Please submit your electronic applications in pdf format as soon as possible. If you have questions, please contact the School of Environment and Sustainability at sens.info@usask.ca.

Photo by QES recipient Oscar Senar.

QES for Incoming Students

Program context

  1. Queen Elizabeth Scholars must complete a minimum of 90-day practicum (excluding travel days as well as orientation days) in Canada conducting research related to their degree program. Their research must be relevant to One Health/Planetary Health.
  2. Queen Elizabeth Scholars will receive $7,500 for tuition, visa, travel and living expenses in Canada for their practicum.

 * Student must stay in Canada for a minimum of 90 days. If the student does not complete 90 days, all of the funds must be returned to University of Saskatchewan.

Application Criteria

  • Open to graduate students from partner institutions in eligible African countries. To find out more about eligibility, please contact sens.info@usask.ca.
  • Must participate in a minimum of 90-day practicum (excluding travel days as well as orientation days) in Canada conducting research related to the degree program that relates to One Health/Planetary Health.
  • Must have achieved a minimum average of 78% in last 24 months of full time education
  • Must have citizenship from a partnering commonwealth or lower-middle income (LMI) country
  • Must be proficient in English
  • Must be age 35 years or under at the time of application
  • Must be able to travel internationally

Application Process

  1. Submit complete application package:
    1. Unofficial academic transcripts from your postsecondary education at the time of application. Official transcripts may be required if accepted.
    2. Letter of support from the student’s current research supervisor, stating how the QES program will benefit the student, improve and fit with their graduate research, and how the student’s research aligns with Planetary Health and the QES program.
    3. One-page (max.) statement of interest including personal goals and rationale for being part of the QES program
    4. Signed QES Community Engagement Form confirming the commitment to participating in all QES program activities.
  2. Short listed candidates will be interviewed

Application deadline: please apply as soon as possible.  

Please submit your electronic applications in PDF format with the subject line “QES International Student Application—[your first name and last name, country you are from]” by the deadline. For example, “QES International Student Application—Juden Lindt, Kenya” If you have questions, please contact the School of Environment and Sustainability at sens.info@usask.ca.

Contact Information

If you have any questions related to the QES opportunities for outgoing or incoming students, then please contact the School of Environment and Sustainability by email at sens.info@usask.ca.