MINDS is committed to fostering the next generation of security and defence scholars in the Canadian academic community and encouraging a strong Canadian knowledge base in contemporary defence and security issues. 


To help support the development of defence and security scholars, MINDS has partnered with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to deliver the Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) scholarship initiative.

Financial Support

Financial support will be provided to students pursuing research related to defence and security at the Masters, Doctoral, and post-Doctoral levels. Multi-year funding is available for Doctoral and post-Doctoral students, with award supplements for Master’s students. Full, one-year Master’s awards are available for Indigenous students whose studies relate to defence and security.

How to apply

Doctoral and postdoctoral candidates must apply through the relevant SSHRC funding opportunity and select the MINDS Program Scholarship Initiative from the drop-down menu in their application form.

Eligible candidates seeking Master’s-level funding must apply through the Canada Graduate Scholarships—Master’s (CGS M) Program. There are two streams of funding for CGS M award holders under this initiative:

MINDS Master’s Scholarships for Indigenous Students: Candidates in the CGS M Program competition who self-identify as Indigenous and whose research is related to the MINDS Policy Challenges and/or key defence policy themes are eligible to apply for a MINDS Master’s Scholarship for Indigenous Students.

MINDS Scholarship Initiative Supplements: All candidates in the CGS M Program competition whose research is related to the MINDS Policy Challenges and/or key defence policy themes are eligible to apply for supplemental funding under this initiative.

Note: To be offered a MINDS Master’s Scholarship for Indigenous Students or a MINDS Scholarship Initiative Supplement, candidates must first be successful in the CGS M Program competition.

All candidates will be asked to submit a justification to be considered for these awards and supplements.

More information

For more information on these awards and to apply, visit the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council website.

NATO Defense College (NDC) Fellowship

MINDS has partnered with the NATO Defense College (NDC), located in Rome, Italy, to offer members of the Canadian defence and security expert community an opportunity to conduct a five-month fellowship, from February to July each year, at the College as part of the NDC Research Division. The selected fellow will receive a $100,000 grant to cover all expenses related to this opportunity.

What work is the NDC conducting?

The NDC Research Division provides analysis and opinion on current and future defence and security issues aimed at informing decision-makers in NATO Headquarters and the political leadership of member states. It conducts in-house research, commissions outside expertise, hosts and co-sponsors major international conferences and shorter seminars, and publishes all of its work.

To know more about the NDC and its research division, please consult the NATO Defense College website.

What will the funding cover?

The $100,000 can be used to cover expenses incurred while in position, including – but not limited to – salary, travel, lodging and meals. The chosen candidate will be entirely responsible for appropriately administering their budget over the assigned period. No additional funding will be provided over the five-month period.

What is the role of the fellow?

During the five months at the NDC, the selected fellow will be asked to complete a number of research-related tasks, including publications, under the direction of the Research Division Head. Research will relate to specific topics of relevance to Canada and NATO, which could range from NATO operations to geopolitical issues, in accordance with the MINDS policy challenges. Following the fellowship, the fellow will be asked deliver a report summarizing the work accomplished during their time at the NDC. The candidate must also visit National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa to present their findings.

Who can apply?
  • You must be a Canadian citizen.
  • You must have received a doctoral degree from a recognized university in political science, history, international relations, public policy, economics or any other relevant field related to defence and security.
  • You must have completed previous research on issues related to security and defence, preferably associated to Canada and/or NATO.
  • You must not be currently employed by the Government of Canada or government-funded institutions. Exemptions apply to Class A Reservists of the Canadian Armed Forces.
The following may also be used to assess potential candidates:
  • Academic/professional excellence (scholarships, awards, publications)
  • Research (relevant work, initiative, research)
  • Personal Competencies (judgement, analytical skills, autonomy, ethics)
  • Communication skills (conferences, presentations, teaching); and
  • Interpersonal skills (collaboration)

An interview may be conducted.

How to apply

Individuals interested in applying for this opportunity are asked to email the MINDS program at MINDS will provide you with an application form and guidance.

Additional information
  • A grant agreement detailing the assignment will be signed by the selected fellow and the Department of National Defence to allow for the release of funds.
  • Applicants must acknowledge the support of the MINDS program and the NDC by providing written recognition in all materials produced during the fellowship.
  • In accordance with the Government of Canada’s commitment to use Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in the development of policies, program and legislation, we strongly suggest that you consult the following GBA + website in order to understand this approach and how to incorporate it into your application and work/research during the fellowship.
  • Unspent funds must be returned to the Department of National Defence by cheque payable to the Receiver General of Canada.
  • Recipients will grant a free licence to reproduce or use any information or publications produced for Government of Canada or NATO purposes.

If you wish to discuss the eligibility of your candidacy prior to submitting it for evaluation, please contact the MINDS Program Manager by email at

While we strongly encourage applicants to submit their applications by email, mailed applications may also be forwarded to the attention of:

MINDS Program Manager
Assistant Deputy Minister Policy
National Defence Headquarters
101 Colonel By Drive, 18 NT
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K2

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