How the Program Works

The Sauvé Scholars Program is the principal focus of activity throughout the term of the Award. All Scholars are expected to be at Jeanne Sauvé House (Sauvé House) in Montreal for the major part of the Award term in order to participate fully in the activities organized by and for the Program, which begins in August and ends in May of the following year.

Short trips for research and/or professional purposes are permitted at the Scholars’ own expense; these should be limited and discussed in advance with the Executive Director of the Foundation, who also serves as the in-house advisor to the Scholars.


Scholars are expected to arrive in Montreal no later than the third week of August - approximately two weeks before the formal academic year gets underway at McGill University - and they are encouraged to arrive several days earlier to acclimatize and explore Montreal.

During their first week at Jeanne Sauvé House the new Scholars have a full program of welcome and orientation activities including a welcome dinner with the Board members and staff. The schedule includes a presentation by each Scholar – to the cohort, staff, Board members, Mentors from McGill University and the broader community. Each presentation is expected to highlight their proposed project and activities during the forthcoming year, with emphasis on what in their background has shaped the focus of their work. Later, each Scholar (or several if they are from the same country, region or culture) will host an evening event (for which they are given a small budget) for their fellow Scholars, staff and members of the Board that allows them to showcase their national and cuisine and culture. The first week concludes with what is for many the highlight of the welcome program – a three-day excursion in the Quebec countryside.

The program of welcome and orientation activities continues during the Scholars’ first month in Montreal. In addition to learning their way around Sauvé House, the McGill campus and Montreal, the Scholars also meet individually with the Executive Director, who serves as their in-house advisor, to review their goals and expectations as well as any specific activity or travel requests.

Through a formal Memorandum of Understanding with McGill University, Sauvé Scholars are considered “Graduate Research Trainees” and have access to courses (but not for credit) including seminars and workshops geared towards professional and personal development offered by the Centre for Continuing Education, as well as to Graduate School facilities, campus libraries, classrooms and facilities.

Shortly after arrival in Montreal and prior to registration for courses, each Scholar will first meet with his/her assigned Academic Advisor (Mentor). Mentors assist Sauvé Scholars in the choice of courses to follow at McGill and, where appropriate, provide advice on future studies and/or careers, refer the Scholars to other McGill (or Montreal) resources that are relevant to their interests, share their expertise, and, in so doing, help to expand the Scholars’ breadth of understanding and experience.


In addition to the academic component, the nine-month Program includes:

  • seminars with prominent figures from the world of politics, business, media, philanthropy and the arts
  • special dinners and receptions
  • participation in academic, cultural, recreational and sports events
  • group trips to places of special interest, e.g., Ottawa when Parliament is in session and Quebec City during the Winter Carnival.
  • professional development workshops
  • collective (volunteer) project with a community-based organization that reflects the Scholars’ common interests, expertise and desire to accomplish something of social value together. A wide selection of not-for-profit, community-based organizations exists, offering Scholars an opportunity to pursue a new field of interest, or to gain new experience in an area in which they have already worked in another country.

Program details are published when the Scholars arrive and are frequently updated.


Scholars are expected to produce works resulting from their research, reflections and observations for publication on the Sauvé Scholars website and in other relevant media. The works may be text, photos or videos, e.g., a business plan for a new NGO, a film on a community project, a play, an audiovisual presentation, or a website. They need not be scholarly academic works, but are expected to present fresh research, analysis, perceptions, and/or challenges to current thought.


The Program provides a monthly allowance to cover meals and incidental expenses. This sum will be deposited in a dedicated bank account set up for each Scholar for the duration of their stay in Montreal. In addition, the Program provides a “welcome allowance” to be used by Scholars to purchase any necessary supplies, and winter clothing for Scholars arriving from warmer climates. Finally, the Program covers the expenses related to:

  • Invited speakers’ series and selected mentors
  • French Club, including language courses and activities to explore francophone culture, etc. in Quebec
    [Note: English is the common language of most of the Scholars, therefore it is important that all have proficiency before their arrival.]
  • Media club
  • Special dinners and receptions
  • Professional development workshops
  • Group travel, “field trips” and recreational activities related to the Program
  • Basic computer support, high-speed internet access and wireless networking


Round-trip transportation (one trip only) to and from Montreal is arranged for each Scholar and paid for by the Program. The Program also assists in securing and paying for visas to Canada for Scholars who are neither Canadian citizens nor residents. They are required to leave Canada at the end of the Program, and must sign a formal undertaking to this effect as part of their acceptance of the Award.


In order to fully benefit from the Program, much of which takes place in Sauvé House, Scholars are required to live in the House for the full duration of the Award term. Not only are they encouraged to arrive in advance of the commencement of the formal Program, they may also benefit from a grace period of two weeks at Sauvé House following the end of the Program on April 30.

Accommodation at Sauvé House consists of modern individual compact bedroom/studies, all with cable TV and Internet access, and with private full bathrooms. Bedding and bathroom linens are supplied. A large, fully-equipped common kitchen area, with three work areas (microwaves, refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers), is provided adjacent to the common dining room. There are supermarkets and other food stores within easy walking distance.

Green living is a way of life! All Scholars are expected to assist in the maintenance and ongoing “greening” of Sauvé House; their input and ideas are welcome as the Foundation moves forward with ecologically and socially responsible products and practices.

Sauvé House has seminar and meeting rooms, an outdoor terrace, and a sky-lit library floor for the Scholars to work and meet. These are in addition to the extensive facilities – recreational, sports, social, dining and academic – provided by McGill University for its Graduate Students.

While computer work-stations and printers are provided for shared use, it is strongly recommended that Scholars bring a laptop computer, or purchase one when they arrive. Sauvé House and the entire McGill campus are linked and covered by a seamless network of wireless computer access.

There is absolutely no smoking allowed in Sauvé House – neither in the private or common rooms.

No pets are allowed.

Scholars are not allowed to bring a partner/husband/wife nor any dependents to live in Montreal during the Award period, although short visits are of course welcome. All guests must be accompanied by a Scholar at all times and registered with Sauvé House reception.

Parking is reserved for guests, staff and institutional tenants. Scholars are discouraged from buying or bringing a car to Sauvé House. Excellent public transportation is readily available, and the Program rents vehicles needed for group activities.


As a condition of the Award, each Scholar is required to agree to the Terms & Conditions established by the Foundation, which are sent to each Scholar with his/her Offer Letter.


Upon completion of the Program, each Scholar receives an official Sauvé Scholars Certificate from the Program and McGill University.

“Leaders must dream of changing the world.

They must have an inspired vision of the changes they want to make and be prepared to consecrate all
their energy to that purpose. A capacity to communicate their objectives is indispensable to sustain
the enthusiasm of their collaborators and their perseverance in action.”
— The Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, Opening Speech to the National Conference for Young Leaders, June 2-8, 1991