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Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program


Call for applications is now closed.

The Government of Canada announced the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) in 2009 to support the development of human capital and the next generation of leaders in the Americas while strengthening the linkages between post-secondary institutions in Canada and the Americas. These scholarships provide students from post-secondary institutions located in Latin America and the Caribbean with short-term exchange opportunities for study or research at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

The ELAP is part of Global Affairs Canada’s International Scholarships Program.


To be eligible, you must be:

  • ✔ a citizen of an eligible country/territory
    • Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos
    • Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
    • North America: Mexico
    • South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
  • ✔ a student enrolled full-time at post-secondary institution in an eligible country/territory
  • ✔ paying tuition fees to that institution at the time of application and for the full duration of your exchange

You are not eligible for this scholarship if:

  • you hold or have a pending application for Canadian citizenship or permanent residency
  • you are already participating in a scholarship program funded by the Government of Canada
  • you are already enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program at a Canadian post-secondary institution

Canadian post-secondary institutions interested in hosting students must:

  • ✔ be a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  • ✔ have a valid student exchange agreement with the student’s home institution that waives tuition fees for scholarship recipients (required for college/undergraduate study only)
Scholarship value and duration
Award componentValueDurationActivities
College / undergraduate
(4 months)
$8,200Four months or one academic termStudy or research at the college or undergraduate level. A valid student exchange agreement that waives tuition fees is required.
(4 months)
$8,200Four months or one academic termStudy or research at the graduate level (Masters and PhD). A student exchange agreement is not required.
(5-6 months)
$11,100Five to six monthsStudy or research at the graduate level (Masters and PhD). A student exchange agreement is not required.

Eligible expenses

Selected students may use scholarship funds towards:

  • ✔ visa or study/work permit fees
  • ✔ airfare via the most direct and economical route
  • ✔ health insurance
  • ✔ living expenses, such as accommodation, utilities and food
  • ✔ ground transportation, including a public transportation pass
  • ✔ books and supplies required for their study or research, excluding computers and other equipment

Canadian institutions are eligible to receive:

  • ✔ $500 per scholarship recipient to aid with administrative costs once the student arrives in Canada
  • ✔ reimbursement of additional employer compliance fees paid to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in some cases

How funding works

Canadian institutions will receive funding from Global Affairs Canada, through its legal name, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) in the form of a non-negotiable contribution agreement and will be responsible for providing the funds to successful students according to its internal processes. Should a student not take up the scholarship, Canadian institutions must return all funds, including the administrative fee, to DFATD.

Application process

Canadian institutions must apply for the scholarship on behalf of eligible students before the deadline.

Before the application period

Canadian institutions interested in hosting students should:

  • ✔ promote the scholarship to faculty and staff members
  • ✔ promote the scholarship to eligible partner institutions
  • ✔ explore student exchange agreements with eligible partner institutions

Non-Canadian institutions interested in sending students to Canada should:

  • ✔ review eligibility requirements
  • ✔ explore student exchange agreements with Canadian institutions
  • ✔ promote this scholarship to students
  • ✔ identify students who meet the eligibility and admission requirements for the Canadian partner institution

Students interested in studying in Canada under this scholarship should:

  • ✔ review the eligibility requirements
  • ✔ ask your international office if your school has an exchange agreement with a Canadian post-secondary institution
  • ✔ contact your international office to learn more about the application process and any admission requirements for the Canadian institution

Application instructions

Application instructions for Canadian institutions applying on behalf of eligible students.

  1. Assign a program coordinator to complete applications.
  2. Select “Login or Register” to create a My EduCanada account.
  3. Once you have logged into your account, select the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program and click “Apply”.
  4. Enter data in the required fields and follow the instructions on the application form.
  5. Click “Validate and save” as you progress through the application form.
  6. Upload all required supporting documents. Each document must be smaller than 5 MB and in .jpg, .gif, .png, .pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt or .xlsx format.
  7. Review all components of your application for accuracy and completeness.
  8. Verify the data prior to submission.
  9. Read and accept the conditions of the "Declaration and permission" statement. Click “Submit”. You will receive a confirmation message and a reference number for submitted applications.
  10. Save or print a copy of your completed application form using the “Download” function.

Visit Help with MyEduCanada for more information.

Supporting documents

Institutions must ensure documents are complete and accurate as per the instructions. Revised documents will not be accepted after the deadline. Documents in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a translation.

  • Proof of citizenship
    • a copy of the candidate's passport or national identity card with a photo and valid dates
    • documents not accepted as proof of citizenship are: driver’s license, permanent residence card, work permit, student card, health card, birth certificate or baptismal certificate
    • proof of citizenship selected must be from the same country/territory as the citizenship selected in the online application form
  • Letter of intent from the candidate (maximum one page)
    • explains the nature of studies or research to be undertaken
    • provides rationale for study in Canada and for the choice of institution, program and supervisor and how the proposed program of study or research will relate to their future career
  • Letter of proof of full-time enrolment from the home institution
    • on official letterhead
    • dated within the last six months
    • confirms that the candidate is currently enrolled in a full-time program
    • copies of transcripts, a student card or a letter of admission are not acceptable
  • Letter of support from the home institution (maximum one page)
    • on official letterhead
    • dated within the last six months
    • from the candidate's instructor, professor or international director
    • explains the nature of study or research to be undertaken in Canada and how the candidate and the home institution will benefit from this scholarship program
  • Letter of invitation from the Canadian supervisor (graduate students only, maximum one page)
    • on official letterhead
    • dated within the last six months
    • signed by the Canadian supervisor
    • describes the nature and scope of the research collaboration with the student’s home institution
    • confirms their willingness to support and mentor the candidate during the exchange period
    • explains how the Canadian institution, supervisor and peers will benefit from the exchange
  • Signed copy of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Agreement with the partner institution
    • indicates that tuition fees will not be charged and highlights this specific clause
    • college and undergraduate research applications with no existing agreement can include a letter from the international office or equivalent on official letterhead that links the application to a specific international research collaboration, names the Canadian supervisor and confirms that tuition will not be charged. The letter must be dated within the last six months and be a maximum of one page
    • expired agreements will not be accepted – if the agreement is in the process of renewal, institutions must include a letter to this effect
    • for graduate applications, an agreement is recommended but not required

Scholarship selection criteria

We evaluate applications based on:

  • merit of the research or study to be undertaken in Canada
  • benefit to the home institution and peers
  • benefit to the Canadian institution, supervisor and peers
  • strength of the linkages to be created through the proposed exchange
  • rankings submitted by the Canadian institution

We give priority to students who have not previously received a scholarship under a Global Affairs Canada Short-term Exchange Program.

Key dates

The deadline for Canadian institutions to submit online applications on behalf of students is 11:59 p.m. EDT, March 19, 2024.

Canadian institutions should establish an earlier deadline with students and their home institutions to ensure timely receipt of supporting documents.

Notification of results

The scholarship administrator will communicate successful results to Canadian institutions in the spring. The administrator will not provide feedback for unsuccessful applications.

Institutions are responsible for notifying students of successful results.

Students should contact their home institution or the Canadian institution regarding the status of their application.

Student arrival in Canada

Selected students may arrive as early as August 1, 2024 for the fall semester and no later than February 1, 2025 for the winter/spring semester. Failure to arrive during this time may result in the cancellation of the scholarship.

Students should submit their visa or study/work permit application as early as possible to avoid delays.

Scholarship conditions

Students selected for ELAP agree to:

  • engage in full-time studies or research as defined by the Canadian institution
  • abstain from clinical training or clinically-oriented research involving direct patient-care
  • focus primarily on full-time studies or research during their stay in Canada
  • return to their home institutions after the scholarship period to complete their studies

Failure to meet these conditions may result in the cancellation of the scholarship.

Additional information

  • Scholarships cannot be deferred and are not renewable
  • Scholarships are subject to availability of funding from the Government of Canada
  • Scholarships are not taxable for either the Canadian institution or the scholarship recipient
Contact us


Contact the scholarship administrator by email at or by telephone at 613-237-4820.

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