Emerging Policy Leader

About the Award

Emerging Policy Leader

The Better Canada Institute (BCI) is looking to recognize an exemplary student or recent graduate who has contributed to public policy studies and research, demonstrating excellence in 3 core areas:

  1. Innovation in Research –  completed/completing research that contributed new ways of approaching a policy area and/or demonstrated real-world  impact;
  2. Leadership – demonstrated leadership qualities in their representation of their program and institution, and in their work as an emerging leader in their field; and
  3. Equity – completed/completing research that demonstrates an equitable approach to policy making.

As a non-partisan organization, BCI celebrates cross-partisan collaboration and therefore, the recipient of this award should demonstrate how, through their work on this issue, they engaged across party lines, between levels of government, and/or with a variety of stakeholders.


Eligibility and Obligations

  • The student must be currently enrolled in a post-undergraduate program obtaining a Masters, PhD, or specialized degree (i.e. J.D., B.Ed., etc.) at  a recognized Canadian educational institution. The nominee may also be a recent graduate within the 12 months prior to  the date nominations open.
  • The student must be contributing to the development of Canadian policy in a significant way through their studies and research
  • The policy(ies) the nominee highlights for consideration must be recent, within  the 18 months (after January 2020) prior to the date nominations open.
  • If shortlisted, the nominee agrees to allow BCI the use of their logo, photo, application materials, or any other relevant material submitted in the application. – *see section 3.2 of the terms and conditions for additional information.
  • The shortlisted nominees will be required to share a brief video as part of the selection process.
  • The shortlisted candidates are invited to attend the virtual award event. If the candidate is unable to attend, an individual(s) of their choosing may accept the award in their place.


  • The student must be nominated, self-nominations are not permitted.
  • The nomination must be made by a current or past (within the last five (5) years) faculty member of the student’s respective educational institution (i.e. professor, program director, etc.) who knows the nominee well enough to talk about their achievements.
  • The nomination can be made with or without the candidate’s knowledge of nomination. However, the student may ask the faculty member to nominate them on their behalf. We encourage collaboration between nominees and nominators to create stronger applications. 

Who Can Submit

  • May be nominated or self-nominated.
  • Nominations may be made by individuals who know the nominee well enough to share the nominee’s achievements. This could include board members, staff members, volunteers, client or community members; and can be made with or without the candidate’s knowledge of nomination. We encourage collaboration between nominees and nominators to create stronger applications.

Selection Proces

  • The selection committee will be an independent committee composed of the Better Canada Institute leadership.
  • The selection committee will deliberate on a shortlist, which will be released on bettercanadainstitute.ca and all relevant communications platforms. The shortlisted nominees will receive an email notification with next steps before the shortlist is released publicly.
  • The shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide a brief video detailing their work before a final award winner is chosen.
  • The recipient of the award will be announced at the BCI Awards Event (Date TBA).

Important Dates

· JUNE 30, 2021: Nominations Open
· OCTOBER 1, 2021 Nominations Close
· OCTOBER 15, 2021 Short-List Announced
· TBD, 2021 Virtual Award Event

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Choi, Awards Coordinator, at stephanie.choi@bettercanadainstitute.ca. If any accessibility accommodations are required, please let us know in advance so we can best accommodate you.

Better Canada Institute