Bertram Scholarship | Canadian Foundation for Governance Research

Bertram Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the Bertram Scholarship

In recognition of the growing importance of good governance to all Canadian institutions, the Canadian Foundation for Governance Research is offering annual Bertram Scholarships of $15,000 to PhD students registered at Canadian universities. The scholarship will support the work of students who are conducting research into organizational governance as part of their doctoral research project.

To qualify for the scholarship, the doctoral research project should focus on a topic directly related to organizational governance, including for example

  • The importance of effective boards in enabling good decision-making and improving the functioning of Canadian institutions;
  • Governance issues of interest to Canadian boards of public, private, government-agency and not-for-profit organizations;
  • The role of corporate governance in enabling positive societal impacts;
  • Governance best practices through the Canadian perspective.

The following are examples of relevant topics, although by no means an exhaustive list:

  • Articulating purpose
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Climate change
  • Oversight of corporate culture
  • Board diversity
  • Board renewal / term limits
  • The role of the board chair
  • Expectations of the CEO
  • Relationship between CEO and board
  • Director education and engagement

To apply for the Bertram scholarship, provide the following documents by May 19, 2023:

  1. The Bertram Scholarship application form
  2. A one-page summary of your doctoral research project highlighting its applicability to the furtherance of good governance. Your summary should clearly indicate the connection between your research and organizational governance
  3. A sample of your written academic work (the sample does not necessarily need to be on a governance-related topic)
  4. A signed appraisal letter from the student's doctoral advisor (who themselves should be a researcher and faculty member at a recognized Canadian university) attesting to the general quality of the student's doctoral work (the letter may be submitted directly to CFGR by the doctoral advisor)
  5. One additional academic reference letter (the letter may be submitted directly to CFGR by the faculty member)
  6. A curriculum vitae detailing academic history, publications, scholarships and awards, teaching positions
  7. A short biography (approximately 100 words) and a short research description (approximately 100 words)
  8. A signed letter from an appropriate university official in your institution's scholarships & awards department indicating their willingness to administer the scholarship of behalf of CFGR. In administering the scholarship, we will be asking the university to:
    • To verify that the student is currently registered at the university;
    • To verify that the funds were received by the university from CFGR and paid to the student;
    • That CFGR be notified of any leaves of absence requested by the student.

Please note that your name should appear within the body of all documents (not just in the file name). Please use 8 1/2 x 11 paper format and a pdf file format when submitting your documents.


To qualify for a Bertram Scholarship, you must be a full-time student registered at a recognized Canadian university in September 2023. You must be a senior doctoral student undertaking studies that include significant original, autonomous research that leads to the completion of a dissertation or major scholarly publication. You must not have exceeded the allowable number of years already spent in doctoral study, as set out by your university. You must not have previously been awarded a Robert Bertram Doctoral Research Award or Bertram Scholarship.

Grant Recipients

The recipient of the scholarship will be entitled to use the term "Bertram Scholar" to indicate the successful awarding of the Bertram scholarship.

In recognition of the $15,000 award, recipients will be expected to supply an essay describing the nature of their doctoral project (maximum 1,000 words), written in simple, non-technical language suitable for the lay person. The essay must be completed by January 31, 2024. The essay should highlight how the doctoral research relates to the governance of corporations or other organizations and/or how the research may be relevant to Canadian directors.

Additional reasonable research dissemination activities may be required of Bertram Scholars, such as the presentation of research results to the CFGR board or at the Institute of Corporate Director's Annual National Conference or local events, and/or the writing of an article for ICD's Director Journal or other activities as requested by the CFGR board and/or management. Reasonable travel expenses in relation to CFGR research dissemination events will be reimbursed.

Language Preference

Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals and required attachments in either English or French.

Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated for their content and relevance to the furtherance of governance research in Canada by the CFGR management team. The final decision will be made by the CFGR board of directors.

Announcement of Results

The 2023 Bertram Scholarship recipients will be notified in July 2023. Scholarships will be awarded to the qualified recipients by the CFGR in September 2023.


Applications for the scholarship should be submitted electronically to (Given the current environment, only electronic submissions are being accepted)

More Information

For more information about the Bertram Scholarship, please contact:

Corporate Secretary
Canadian Foundation for Governance Research


  1. Can submissions be submitted electronically?
  2. Given the current environment, only electronic submissions are being accepted

  3. Can a list of sources be appended to the one-page summary? Should it be single-spaced or double-spaced?
  4. Yes, a list of sources may be appended and there is no requirement for spacing.

  5. Can reference letters be submitted separately or should they be submitted with the application package?
  6. Letters may be submitted separately. The applicant's name should be included in the email subject line for easier administration.

  7. Is there a preferred format for the CV?
  8. Any professionally formatted CV is acceptable

  9. Is there a preferred length for the writing sample?
  10. No, there is no limit or minimum requirement for the writing sample. Students are encouraged, however, to submit writing samples that demonstrate their ability to communicate their research projects to a general audience.

  11. Can co-authored papers be submitted as the writing sample?
  12. No. The writing sample is intended to demonstrate the applicant's written communication skills so only sole-authored material will be considered.

  13. Is the applicant disqualified if he/she holds other awards?
  14. No, holding other awards does not disqualify you from applying for the Bertram Scholarship.


Applications are now being accepted for the Bertram scholarship