The 2017-2018 Atkinson Fellow Tanya Talaga with Atkinson's Executive Director Colette Murphy. Read more >

Do you value sound public policy more than sound bites?

The Foundation awards the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy annually. We provide a seasoned Canadian journalist with the financial means to pursue a year-long investigation into a current policy issue. This award is a collaborative project of the Atkinson Foundation, the Honderich Family and Toronto Star. Since 1988, we’ve been awarding the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy to a leading Canadian journalist.

Fellows are supported for a period of one year – from September 1 to August 31 – to investigate a current policy issue and write a series of articles for publication in the Toronto Star. During this period, the Fellow works exclusively on his or her project and receives a stipend of $75,000 and up to $25,000 for research expenses.


Atkinson Fellows in Public Policy are:

  • Canadian citizens or landed immigrants
  • Full-time practicing print, broadcast or online journalists
  • Seasoned professionals who have achieved distinction in reporting on public policy issues.

Application Process

The application process for the 2018-2019 Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy is now open.

1. Register to access our simplified online application portal. We are accepting all submissions online. Please register to access the portal before the end of day, Wednesday, February 7, 2018. Click here to register.

2. Upload your Letter of Intent by Wednesday, February 14, 2018. Once you are registered, you can submit your letter online. In no more than three pages, please provide your curriculum vitae and a summary of your story. The summary should:

  • Outline the story’s importance to Canadian society
  • Demonstrate your considerable familiarity with your chosen topic
  • Articulate the specific policy questions you want to pursue

Selection Process and Considerations

Letters may be submitted in either English or French. The Selection Committee is open to research ideas on a wide range of topics. Preference will be given to issues that are at the forefront of public policy debate and have significant implications for Canadian society. The Fellowship will not be awarded to projects in history, anthropology, literature or folklore. You are encouraged to reflect on the Foundation’s mission: to promote social and economic justice. The Selection Committee uses it as the basis for its deliberations. All submissions will be reviewed. Before the end of February, finalists will be invited to submit full proposals for which they will receive an honorarium.

If you have any questions regarding the 2018-2019 application process, please contact Atkinson’s Director of Social Investment Jenn Miller at

For announcements and updates regarding the Fellowship, please  to our mailing list or follow us on social media.

1988 - 2017 Atkinson Fellows in Public Policy



Tanya Talaga Youth Suicide in Indigenous Communities

Catherine Wallace Feeding and Funding the News: Brave New Models

2015 Michelle Shephard How can we end terrorism without feeding it?
2014 Gillian Steward Shifting Sands: Canada’s Oilsands Bargain
2013 Peter Goodspeed Canadian Refugee Policy in a Divided World
2012 Michael Valpy How Do We Live Together: Diversity, Belonging and Citizenship
2011 Neil Sandell Good Work Hunting: In Search of Answers for the Young and Jobless
2010 Ann Dowsett Johnston Women and Alcohol
2009 Kate Taylor Northern Lights: Keeping Canadian Culture Ablaze
2008 Alanna Mitchell Brainstorm: The Secret to Better Schools
2007 Judy Steed Boomer Tsunami: Ontario Braces for a Grey Wave
2006 Ed Struzik Arctic in Peril: The New Cold War
2005 Marie Wadden Tragedy or Triumph: Canadian Public Policy and Aboriginal Addiction
2004 Ann Silversides Canadian Biomedical Research – In Whose Interests?
2003 Andrew Duffy Class Struggles: Public Education and the New Canadian
2002 Anne Rees Red File Alert: Public Access at Risk
2001 Margaret Philip and Patti Gower When the Bough Breaks
2000 Linda Goyette Here to Stay
1999 Alison Griffiths and David Cruise Hear No Evil
1998 Frances Bula No Place Like Home
1997 Scott Simmie Out of Mind: A Study of Canada’s Mental Health Care System
1996 Lisa Priest Operating in the Dark: Accountability in our Health Care System
1996 André Picard A Call to Alms: The Voluntary Sector in the Age of Cutbacks
1995 Lois Sweet The Fourth “R”: Religion in our Classrooms
1994 Miville Tremblay Hostage to the Debt
1994 Sandra Martin The Politics of Equity
1993 Anne K. Mullens Euthanasia: Dying for Leadership
1992 Marci McDonald Taking Orders: How the U.S. Shaped Canada’s Foreign Policy
1991 Daniel P. Stoffman Pounding at the Gates: A Study of Canada’s Immigration System
1991 Linda McCuaig Canada’s Social Programs Under Attack
1990 Andrew Nikiforuk AIDS: How Health Campaigns Have Missed the Mark
1990 Daniel J. Smith The Struggle for Self Rule: A Study of Canada’s Native People
1989 Paul D. McKay Plundering the Future: On the State of Canada’s Environment
1988 Ann Pappert The Reproductive Revolution: On the Social and Policy Implications of Reproductive Technology