The leadership experience award will now be open to more students
Applications for the award open on September 8, 2021. Bookmark this page for updates — more news is coming! Right now, here are the fast facts you need to know.
- McMaster president and vice-chancellor David Farrar has committed to continuing the award.
- It will be 100% McMaster-funded starting in May 2022.
- Permanent residents, international students and domestic students are now eligible.
- Up to seven undergraduate and up to three graduate students can participate each year, with awards valued at $12,000 in direct funding and up to $2,000 in experiential funding.
- Up to three of the seven undergraduate spots will be reserved for students whose proposed projects align with the Wilson Foundation-funded Future of Canada Project research themes (themes to be announced in late Fall 2021).
What’s staying the same?
All Wilson Leaders participate in both group and individualized components.
As a group, Wilson Leaders…
- Lead problem-based learning (PBL) sessions and learn from visiting speakers on national issues related to democracy, the economy, education, healthcare, the impacts of technology and public policy.
- Learn skills, such as reading balance sheets, working with government officials and more.
- Discuss shared readings related to knowledge gaps.
- Develop group coaching skills through community project sessions.
Individually, Wilson Leaders…
- Work towards individual development goals.
- Meet with mentors.
- Develop and execute an applied community project that helps address a significant issue in Canada, and that has the potential to be scaled up.
The Wilson Leadership Scholar Award (WLSA) wouldn’t be what it is without…
- The directness that guest speakers bring to small-group discussions
- The tight-knit, supportive community that develops in a small cohort
How to apply (McMaster students)
Apply by January 31, 2022
How to apply (external applicants)
Apply by March 28, 2022
Review this section to find out if you’re eligible as an external applicant and learn how to prepare and submit an application. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or need support.
To be eligible for the award, you must be…
- A full-time (or equivalent) McMaster graduate student for the 2022–2023 academic year
- In a graduate degree program for the 2022–2023 academic year
- Note: MD/PhD and MD/MSc students are eligible only during years when they have no MD program obligations, and their graduate program must be at McMaster University.
- Expect to complete your degree work no sooner than Spring 2023
- Able to balance approximately 15 hours of time commitment to the WLSA program and activities
This award requires a time commitment — it’s part of what makes the experience so rewarding. So, applicants who move forward in the selection process must provide a letter of support from their supervisor or, if a supervisor is unavailable, their department’s graduate chair.
What’s in an application?
- Candidate cover sheet
- Personal statement
- Letter of reference
Submitting a complete application
- The candidate cover sheet, personal statement and letters of reference are submitted by email to email@example.com no later than 11:59 pm EST on March 28, 2022.
- The cover sheet and personal statement are submitted together as a single PDF or Word file saved as: “LAST NAME, FIRST NAME – WLSA GRAD 2022.” The subject line of the email submission should be the same: “LAST NAME, FIRST NAME – WLSA GRAD 2022.”
- The letters of reference are submitted directly by their authors as PDF or Word files saved as: “APPLICANT LAST NAME, APPLICANT FIRST NAME – REFERENCE LAST NAME – WLSA GRADpdf”. The subject line of the email submission should be the same: “APPLICANT LAST NAME, APPLICANT FIRST NAME – REFERENCE LAST NAME – WLSA GRAD 2022.pdf”
Completing the candidate cover sheet
The cover sheet is simply an administrative tool — it’s not weighted in the application review. It should state:
- Last name, given name (preferred name)
- Email (McMaster address if possible)
- Preferred phone number
- McMaster student number (if possible)
- Anticipated Faculty, program and degree for 2022–2023
- Date you started or will start your degree at McMaster University
- Expected completion date of your degree at McMaster University
Completing the personal statement
Write a personal statement describing how this award will fit your career and education journey. Draw on your personal experiences and clearly demonstrate why it makes sense for you to devote your time and effort to participate in the award program.
- Which parts of it will be of the most value to you?
- How do you think you’ll use the experiences going forward?
- How will you measure your success in the program?
Reviewers will use this information to determine if you get an interview, so make it count. We recommend that you…
- Use plain language.
- Avoid using bold font to highlight words or phrases.
- Write a statement that would give a stranger an understanding of what motivates you.
Your statement should be no more than 1,000 words. Statements beyond 1,200 words will be disqualified.
Letters of reference
- You can include non-academic references. Choose writers who can comment on your strengths, leadership capacity, what you can gain from and contribute to the WLSA, and your character.
- Referees should not be relatives, close friends or peers.
- Letters submitted by the applicant for their referee will not be considered. Referees must submit letters directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations on submitting your application!
Selected applicants will receive an email after applications have been reviewed, inviting them to complete an online interview; applicants who are not advancing will be advised of the decision. Please check the inbox and spam folder of the email address you have listed on your cover letter.
The online interview consists of a short series of questions that applicants respond to via video. Detailed instructions for recording responses will be included in the email invitation, system requirements are basic, and no videography or editing experience is required. The online interview may also include a timed written response. Applicants will be given approximately one week from the time when the email invitation is sent to complete their online interview.
All applicants will be notified as to whether they have been selected for panel interviews, tentatively set for June 2022. A final interview for up to six applicants will take place in June or July, and interviewees will be notified of the results shortly afterwards.
Due to the volume of applications, feedback on applications and interviews will not be provided.