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 must be willing and able to invest at least 15 hours/month in the program from September to November and January to March, and must be full-time McMaster students for both semesters of the award program.


  • 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.


Current McMaster students should apply through AwardSpring. Applications for the undergraduate Wilson Leadership Scholar Awards must be completed by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 25, 2021, while applications for the graduate award are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 29, 2021. If you are applying as a potential incoming graduate student and do not yet have access to McMaster’s AwardSpring system, please download the instructions below.

In all cases, nominations are optional, and are designed to give McMaster staff and faculty members ways to encourage students to apply.


If you are a McMaster staff or faculty member and would like to nominate one or more students for the award, please complete and submit the form below to wilsonleader@mcmaster.ca. Nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on November 30, 2020 for the undergraduate award and February 22, 2021 for the graduate award


"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