Action Canada Fellowship 2019/2020


Action Canada


Action Canada Fellowship 


The Action Canada Fellowship is a 10-month public policy leadership program that aims to enhance young leaders’ understanding of the country and public policy choices for the future.

The Public Policy Forum and Action Canada have joined forces to expand Canada’s top incubator of new leaders.

Since 2003, Action Canada has successfully organized this national fellowship that emphasizes leadership development and civic engagement. It brings together Canadians from diverse backgrounds and from all regions to investigate timely, topical and strategic policy issues affecting Canada. Each year, approximately 16 Fellows enhance their leadership skills, forge lifelong connections with people and communities across the country, and promote greater civic engagement among all Canadians.

The Fellowship year is an intense and challenging experience. Over 10 months (between June and March), the Fellows, Mentors and Advisory Council members participate in four study tours, each in a different region of Canada.

In March, Action Canada Fellows release their final reports and discuss their findings at a national conference. Each cohort of Fellows examines a different policy topic. For example, in 2017/2018, they looked at the transition to a low-carbon future. This year, it is the future of food. The theme for 2019/2020 will be announced after the next cohort has been selected.


Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

All application documents and supporting letters must be uploaded and submitted online by 5 p.m. PST (8:00pm EST) on Friday, March 15, 2019.

How to Apply

For an application to be considered, all of the elements must be included and completed by the deadline:

  • Basic information about yourself
  • A CV of up to three pages
  • A letter of motivation detailing:
    • The importance of the program for the current stage of your life;
    • Your aspirations and plans for your future career and life;
    • Your areas of need for development and improvement;
    • The importance of civic engagement to you, and desire to make a contribution to Canada;
    • Your ability to transform ideas into action;
    • Your ability to respect and understand new and different perspectives in addressing public policy issues.
  • The names and contact information of two individuals who will submit reference letters on your behalf. The webportal will automatically contact them to request the letters and it will be possible for you to see whether they have submitted them or not.

There are three steps to this process. All candidates will be informed of whether they have passed to the next round of the process or not.

  1. Once the application window closes, the Action Canada team will sort through all of the completed applications and perform an initial evaluation based on the selection criteria.
    • The Action Canada team will invite selected candidates to submit a two-page essay on a public policy question by April 10, to be completed by April 24.
  2. The Action Canada team will then evaluate the essay based on the selection criteria.
    • It will then invite selected candidates to a 30-minute online interview to take place on either May 10 or 11.
  3. The selected candidates will interview with the National Selection Committee on May 10 and 11. The Committee will then recommend a final list of names to the presidents of the Public Policy Forum and Action Canada for selection as the cohort.
For Questions, please contact

The Action Canada/PPF team at

Office of Research

Kristin Zimmermann, Senior Grants & Contracts Specialist
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x56257

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