Just tell us your story.


Wilson Leaders are diverse in their disciplines, political views, approaches to problem-solving, leadership styles, and career plans. Applicants should be interested in improving the world around them, and in actively participating in a problem that invests in their ability to do so. Our program develops Wilson Leaders’ skills, exposes them to new ideas, and builds a community that will continue to grow.


Applicants for both the undergraduate and graduate award should be willing and able to invest at least 15 hours/month in the program from September to November and January to March.


  • Award held in final year undergraduate academic year studies
  • Open to full-time McMaster students in any first-entry bachelors program
  • Canadian citizens
  • Students in good standing, with at least an 7.5 cumulative GPA


  • Held in any year of graduate study, whether in research- or course-based program
  • Open to full-time current and incoming McMaster graduate students in all degree programs (MD/PhD students may hold the award only in years with no MD program requirements)
  • Canadian citizens
  • Students in good standing
  • Students who can connect their studies and interests to one or more of Democracy, the Economy, Education, Healthcare, the Impacts of Technology, and Public Policy, in a Canadian context
  • Note: We advise graduate Wilson Leaders not to hold a teaching or research assistantship while participating in the program. Successful applicants will be required to provide a letter of support from their supervisor or graduate chair.


Applications for the undergraduate Wilson Leadership Scholar Awards must be received at wilsonleader@mcmaster.ca by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 15, 2020, with optional nomination forms due November 25, 2019.

Applications for the graduate Wilson Leadership Scholar Awards must be received at wilsonleader@mcmaster.ca by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 30, 2020, with optional nomination forms due February 24, 2020.


"I've always been a strong, hardworking student, but my grades would not put me in a position to receive academic awards. This one was different: it wasn’t necessarily looking for a student with perfect grades, but for leadership potential, and I felt like that was me. I knew that if I had the chance, this opportunity could change my life."
— Andrew Richards, Wilson Leader Alumnus