Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP)

The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) aims 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 Latin America and the Caribbean. The scholarships also advance Canada’s objectives for the Americas: democratic and accountable governance, human rights, the environment, diversity and Indigenous peoples.

Faculty members interested in hosting a graduate student from eligible countries for a 4 to 6-month research visit, please direct your student to this website for information on application process.

Undergraduate students interested in studying at SFU as an exchange student, please contact to check your eligibility and application process. 

The deadline to apply for the 2023-2024 academic year was Monday, March 6, 2023.

Note: Scholarship recipients must begin their research at SFU between August 1, 2023 and February 1, 2024. Please note that expected start dates will be impacted by immigration processing timelines and it is recommended that final project start dates are confirmed at the time of application approval, if applicable.

Eligible Countries:

  • 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; or
  • South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Candidate Eligibility:

Graduate students (Master's and PhD) who meet the scholarship eligibility requirements.

Scholarship Value and Duration:

  • CAD 8,700 for graduate students (Master's and PhD) for a minimum of four months or one academic term of research
  • CAD 11,600 for graduate students (Master's and PhD) for a period of five to six months of research

Application Process:

Please submit an application with all supporting documents online by the deadline.

Required supporting documents:

  1. Privacy Notice Statement: a copy of the document signed and dated by the candidate within the last six months.
  2. 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: a driver’s license, permanent residence card, work permit, student card, health card, birth certificate or baptism certificate. Candidates from countries/territories that do not issue national identity cards must provide copies of their valid passports. The country/territory of citizenship selected in the online application form must be the same as the country/territory of the proof of citizenship.
  3. Letter of intent from the applicant: a letter in English or French from the candidate explaining the nature of research to be undertaken; the rationale for research in Canada and for the choice of institution,  program and  supervisor; and how the proposed research will relate to their future career (maximum one page).
  4. Proof of full-time enrolment: a short letter in English or in French from the home institution, on official letterhead, dated within the last six months. This letter must confirm that the candidate is currently enrolled in a full-time program and will continue to be enrolled upon their return. Copies of transcripts, a student card or letter of admission are not acceptable (maximum one page).
  5. Letter of support from the home institution: a letter in English or French from the candidate's instructor, professor or international director on the institution's official letterhead, dated within the last six months, explaining the nature of research to be undertaken in Canada and how the candidate and the home institution will benefit from this scholarship program (maximum one page).

Provided by SFU host supervisor:

  1. Letter of invitation from SFU Host Supervisor: This letter must be on institutional letterhead, be in English or in French, and be signed and dated within the last six months. It must describe the nature and scope of the research collaboration with the student’s home institution, the willingness to support and mentor the applicant during the exchange period and explain how the Canadian institution, supervisor and peers will benefit from the exchange (maximum one page).
  2. History of collaboration: elaborate on the established collaboration between institutions. If no MOU exists, please describe the informal agreement between institutions or departments, research collaboration between professors, etc. This information will be taken into consideration in the rankings of the applications. (Max. 1000 characters)

If you have any questions about the program, please contact