The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship (QES) allows you to complete a paid internship at an organization in a commonwealth country that focuses on social impact, literacy, scientific research, education, or Indigenous advocacy.


Eligibility Undergraduate or graduate students are welcome to apply - with some conditions.
How it works Please read the details here.
Graduate scholars Information for outgoing graduate scholars.
Programs Choose one of the five scholarship programs.
Dates and deadlines Two deadlines: Jan. 15, 2017 for Trinity opportunities, and Feb. 20, 2017 for all other opportunities.
Application Complete this form and upload documents to apply.
Contact Aziza Virani at 416-978-8774. In-person information meetings are most welcome.


Undergraduate or graduate students are welcome to apply, and must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents to be eligible. Students must complete the 90-day internship or graduate scholarship to be eligible for funding. The following basic requirements must be met:

  • Applicants to the QE Internships must be entering or enrolled in their 3rd or 4th year of an undergraduate degree, or be enrolled in a graduate program.
  • Applicants must be 35 years of age or under at the time of their application
  • Applicants must be proficient in the language of instruction at the Commonwealth partner institution
  • Applicants must participate in Community engagement activities in Canada
  • Once accepted, applicants must work, study or conduct research on a full-time basis at the partner institution

Students who are currently in their second year of undergraduate studies are welcome to apply. Graduating students can also apply under certain conditions. Please connect with Aziza at for more information.  

How it works

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship has 2 components for U of T students:

  1. An Internship Component, where senior undergraduates or graduate students can work abroad with one of the projects below, for a minimum of 90 days.
  2. A Graduate Scholar Component, where graduate students can conduct research or study abroad to complement their own research interests, for a minimum of 90 days. If this is of interest to you, please read the next section.

Regardless of whether you wish to complete an Internship or apply to be a Graduate Scholar, you must decide which project and location interests you. Please see the list of programs below. Then, follow the application procedures specific to the scholarship opportunity. You can apply for more than one opportunity.

Procedures for each program differ, but those who are selected may be asked to provide more information and/or to interview for the positions. If you are selected, we will send you more information about requirements, including a mandatory Safety Abroad Workshop.

To be eligible for the scholarship, you must be registered in a degree program at a Canadian institution.

Students are responsible for their transportation to and from the destination country as well as housing throughout their stay.

Students must complete the 90-day internship to be eligible for the scholarship.

Students will receive $6000 from the scholarship and an additional $1000 from the CIE to cover expenses. The internships are otherwise unpaid.

Please note that the scholarship is not designed to be comprehensive, and to cover all costs of living and working or conducting research abroad. 
Students may need to subsidize the scholarship funds with their own contributions.

Outgoing graduate scholars

Are you a student currently registered in a graduate program at the University of Toronto? Do you wish to conduct research or work abroad with one of the projects below, for a minimum of 90 days and up to one year?

If so, here’s how it works:

  1. Make sure that you meet the general requirements listed in the Eligibility section above.
  2. Apply for the QES opportunity that best suits your research interests. 

If you have any questions about the Outgoing Graduate Scholar application process, please contact Aziza Virani by email at or by phone at 416-978-8774.


We are currently recruiting for Summer 2017. Please see the link to the application form at the bottom of of the page. Thank you!

Inclusive Innovation for Development

  • Cape Town, South Africa - Various NGOs and social enterprises

Interns will work in a NGO or social enterprise in Cape Town that advances inclusive innovation in development work. These organizations work closely with the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.

Internship descriptions: 

Cenfri Internship (Link opens to a .docx attachment)

Code for Capetown Internship (Link opens to a .docx attachment)

FinMark Trust Internship (Link opens to a .docx attachment)

Ikamva Youth Internship (Link opens to a .docx attachment)

Innovate the Cape Internship  (Link opens to a .docx attachment)

Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurship Internship  (Link opens to a .docx attachment)

Fix Forward Internship (Link opens to a .docx attachment)


CENFRI- Cenfri is one of the leading independent think tanks in the global field of financial inclusion. Based in Cape Town, Cenfri’s mission is to support financial inclusion and financial sector development in all developing countries through facilitating better regulation and market provision of financial services. This vision is achieved through research, providing advice and developing capacity-building programmes for regulators, donors, financial service providers and other parties operating in the low-income market. Cenfri operates in developing countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Interns at Cenfri form a crucial part on research teams and work closely with all other team members to achieve project outcomes. There is therefore significant opportunities for interns to learn from experienced researchers, and to contribute towards reaching project, programme and company level objectives. For more information, see


Code For Cape Town - Code for Cape Town is an 18 month program that introduces high school girls to the exciting world of web development for social impact. The program introduces girls to web development and design thinking skills which the girls apply to tackle real-life problems. In addition to practical coding lessons, the girls receive mentorship from women in tech, communication training and leadership development. Interns can engage in various projects, including: Monitoring and Evaluation. For more information, see


FinMark Trust - FinMark Trust, an independent trust based in Johannesburg, was established in 2002, and is funded primarily by UKaid from the Department for International Development (DFID) through its Southern Africa office.  FinMark Trust’s purpose is ‘Making financial markets work for the poor, by promoting financial inclusion and regional financial integration’ as well as institutional and organisational development, in order to increase access to financial services for the un-served and undeserved. FinMark Trust commissions research to identify the systemic constraints that prevent financial markets from reaching out to these consumers and by advocating for change on the basis of the research findings.


FinMark Trust (FMT) and The Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri) are jointly establishing a new centre funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. The Insight2Impact Centre (i2i) has secured funding for five years to drive data-led decision making for more effective financial inclusion.  The centre will serve as a central convening point for financial inclusion research in Sub-Saharan Africa. One of the objectives of the centre will be to increase the use and quality of financial inclusion survey (FIS) and geospatial (GIS) data, research and methodologies.  Interns would assist with FinMark initiatives, specifically around research and influencing best practice in FIS and GIS to improve understanding of the financial inclusion landscape. For more information visit


Raymond Ackerman Academy - The Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development (RAA) is a tertiary-level, post-high school level academy based at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and at the Soweto Campus of the University of Johannesburg. The RAA offers an inclusive, inspiring, innovative and practical programme in entrepreneurial development to young people who do not have the opportunity to access tertiary education but are passionate about business and personal development.


The RAA team is looking for an intern to research, advise and pilot the best administrative, M&E and technology systems that can be put in place in order to create an efficient, organised and enabling environment for the GESS team. The GESS team is looking to implement systems that will support reporting, monitoring and tracking of entrepreneurs across its Cape Town and Soweto campuses, especially as the program starts to scale and bring more entrepreneurs on board. Please visit


Innovate the Cape (ITC) - Innovate South Africa provides a platform to ignite creative thinking, to nurture invention and encourage entrepreneurship among young people. Innovate the Cape is a high school social innovation challenge that inspires and empowers learners to solve local challenges. ITC looking for an innovation consultant for who can evaluate and guide groups, as well as develop curriculum for the prototyping phase and monitoring and evaluation initiatives for the program. Please visit


Ikamva Youth - IkamvaYouth is a South African NGO focusing on the empowerment of township youth through education, e-literacy training and career guidance. Ikamva Youth provides after school homework assistance and weekend tutoring to learners in grades 8-12.  Ikamva also provides computer literacy to learners. Ikamva Youth’s mission is to reduce poverty through education, peer to peer learning and support from interns. Interns will help with program implementation and evaluation. Ikamva Youth programs are free to the learners, and intern would work with staff in order to provide mentorship, guidance, tutoring and assistance to learners. Please visit


Fix Forward – Fix-Forward is a non-profit social enterprise that connects tradesmen from the townships with homeowners and businesses wanting to undertake renovations or maintenance. Fix-Forward as an online platform serves a two-sided market. The one side of the market is the tradesmen from the townships, who are also beneficiaries of our work. We market their service under the Fix-Forward brand and provide business and life skills training support, enabling them to grow successful businesses and improve their standard of living.  The other side of the market is the client wanting to renovate their home or office.

To become more effective in our work we need to better understand both sides of the market, as well as to better understand our competitors in the renovation industry. The Fix-Forward team is looking for one intern to undertake initial research to conduct a thorough market and competitor analysis.  For more information, please visit

Trinity Opportunity: Immunology and Sustainable International Partnership

  • New Delhi, India - National Institute of Immunology
  • Nairobi, Kenya - Moi University
  • Kilifi, Kenya – The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)
  • Glasgow, UK – The University of Glasgow
  • Melbourne, Australia – University of Melbourne

Interns will collaborate with host researchers in a laboratory or at a field program to take part in research projects relating to immunology, and will learn about local health care and health issues in developing countries. 

Find out more and apply for the Immunology and Sustainable International Partnership Program

Please contact Kiran Sahota at for more information.

Applications for Summer 2017 are now closed. 


Trinity Opportunity: Advancing Development and Prosperity for Indigenous and Settler Populations in the Commonwealth

  • Canberra , Australia - Australian National University, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
  • Auckland, New Zealand - University of Auckland, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga
  • Perth, Australia - University of Western Australia
  • San Ignacio, Belize – Centre for Engaged Learning Abroad (CELA)
  • Herstelling, Guyana – Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research
  • Wellington, New Zealand – University of Otago

Interns will work with host institutions on effective advocacy strategies for indigenous peoples and economic development, and will expand their knowledge and experience of indigenous issues in a global context.

Find out more and apply for the Development for Aboriginal and Settler Populations in the Commonwealth Program

Please contact Kiran Sahota at for more information.

Applications for Summer 2017 are now closed. 


Literacy and Indigenous Language Education

  • Cape Town, South Africa - Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa

The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) is an independent research and development unit affiliated with the University of Cape Town focusing on the field of education, particularly pertaining to literacy development and learning. For twenty-three years PRAESA has done research and grassroots work to promote multilingual and bilingual strategies all aimed at providing the appropriate environments for children to engage with reading and writing in an enjoyable and personally meaningful way.

Three years ago Nal’ibali, a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, was born which advocates the power of stories. The campaign addresses families, homes, schools and children. Its purpose is to ignite a wave of change amongst South African society to adopt reading as a regular and daily practice and to create and sustain conditions for children to engage with print in a fun and ultimately engaging way. Interns will work with PRAESA to promote indigenous languages around Cape Town and literacy in economically disadvantaged areas.

Interns will work with the host institution to promote indigenous languages around Cape Town and literacy in economically disadvantaged areas.

Please contact Aziza Virani for a detailed internship description for the PRAESA QES opportunity at

  • Gisenyi, Rwanda -  Ubumwe Community Centre

The Ubumwe Community Centre (UCC) in Gisenyi, Rwanda is a not-for-profit that serves more than 800 children and adults with counseling, inclusive preschool and primary education, vocational training and workshop employment. 

The work of UCC is concentrated in three main areas: Community Centre programs which include skills and special needs program; the inclusive Pre-School and Primary school; and the community based living program for young adults with profound disabilities who came to the UCC from orphanages. The scholars/interns, depending on their experience and training, will be placed in one of the three areas.

Please contact Aziza Virani for a detailed internship description for the Umbumwe Community Centre QES opportunity at

  • Darjeeling and Kolkata – Mary Ward Development Centre

Loreto in India is a pioneer in child-centred, child-friendly education. Since 1841 we have been providing inclusive education to millions of young girls through our formal and non-formal education centres. These centres are located not only in the urban areas of India but spread out to the rural areas as well. With 8.15 million out-of-school children  in India, we are focused on including within our reach children and young adults who are out of school, living on the streets or in rural areas with few opportunities. Major areas of focus include: early literacy, primary and intermediate schooling, as well as community development.

Mary Ward Development Office was set up in 2014 in the Loreto Provincialate office, to assist in supporting the development initiatives of the Province as well as coordinate the Volunteer Programme with the help of the two Development Centres (Darjeeling Mary Ward Development Centre and Kolkata Mary Ward Development Centre). 

Please contact Aziza Virani for a detailed internship description for the Mary Ward Development Centre QES opportunity at


Enhancing Health and Science Education and Research

  • Nairobi, Kenya - University of Nairobi

The University of Toronto is working with the University of Nairobi to enhance education in health and basic sciences by increasing opportunities for students to engage in collaborative research at both institutions.

The program will greatly contribute to student global awareness, and help students enhance their skills in inter-cultural and in interdisciplinary collaboration. Students will be exposed to a variety of health issues, research approaches and techniques that are different from those in their home institution, challenging them to apply their skills in new and unexpected ways.

Students will be hosted by the Department of Human Pathology, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi ( Students will participate in a research project that matches their skills and interests, while meeting the strategic research goals of the department.

(Selected) Project Descriptions

Projects as described below are ideal for students with experience/skills in health promotion, knowledge translation, genetics and/or global health.

Knowledge Translation & Exchange: Students will develop and implement a knowledge dissemination and exchange strategy for research conducted by QES students during summer 2016. The research uncovered the knowledge, experiences and attitudes of the heritable cancer survivors (breast cancer, and eye cancer) and their families about genetic testing and counseling. The students will evaluate the knowledge translation strategy, and define next steps for further research.

Development & Testing of Genetics Education Materials: Students will pilot test a genetics ‘flip-book’ with families affected by the childhood cancer retinoblastoma.

Survey of Genetic Testing & Counseling in Kenya: Students will perform a situational analysis of genetic service delivery in the Kenyan healthcare system, to identify challenges and opportunities for capacity-building in this field.

Additional projects available.

Please see here for a detailed description of the Enhancing Education in Health and Science opportunity. (Link opens to a .docx attachment)

Please see the "Application" section below to access the scholarship application form for the Enhancing Health and Science Education opportunity. 


Please see below for the application form. If you have any questions, please contact Aziza at

Session dates and deadlines

We are currently recruiting for Summer 2017.

The start and end dates of QES opportunities vary by project location. 

Please submit all supporting documentation on or before the final deadline date. 


  • January 15, 2017 for Trinity opportunities.
  • February 20, 2017 for all other opportunities. 

Application Form

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship accepts applications on a rolling basis. Please see application link below. 


Applications for Summer 2017 are now closed. If you would like to apply for Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 opportunities, please contact Aziza at

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship application form.


Questions or Concerns? Please Contact: Aziza Virani

Please schedule an in-person meeting if you are looking for general information. | 416-978-8774