How to build a better international mobility program: QES-AS case study

International mobility experiences equip youth and researchers with the 21st century skills they need to adjust to the shifting nature of work, including problem-solving, adaptability, collaboration and communication with people from diverse backgrounds.

How can we build responsive international mobility programs that help participants and institutions tackle complex challenges and thrive in a rapidly changing world?

With the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Universities Canada is conducting a longitudinal research project to assess the impact of international mobility programs and share best practices. Using the Queen Elizabeth Scholars – Advanced Scholars (QES-AS) program as a case study, this research project will draw on the experiences of the participating scholars and institutions to explore how the program impacts individuals, organizations and communities.

Goals of the case study

Universities Canada will examine the implementation and outcomes of the program by:

  • Studying scholars’ development of their skills, global competencies, career paths, networking and community involvement
  • Evaluating the benefits for stakeholders
  • Studying the design and implementation of gender-sensitive, equitable and inclusive international scholarship programming

Preliminary research results will help inform the ongoing Queen Elizabeth Scholars program. The findings will also be shared with other scholarship administrators to help improve the design and implementation of international mobility programs.

QES-AS Program at a glance

Universities Canada, in partnership with the Rideau Hall Foundation and Community Foundations of Canada, has initiated a second phase of the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program with the aim of developing solutions to complex national and global challenges. This second phase of the program invests in doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, and early career researchers from Canada and low and middle income countries.

With generous funding from IDRC and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 21 Canadian universities that will support an anticipated 400 scholars, and multiple Canadian and international institutions will participate in the program between 2017 and 2021.

Where our researchers are from

Animated world map displaying countries of origin of Queen Elizabeth Scholars - Advanced Scholars participants.

Argentina, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Case study participants: by the numbers

Scholars by gender

Female: 49.5%
Male: 50.5%

Scholars by level of research

Doctoral: 49.5%
Post-doctoral: 26.2%
Early-career researcher: 24.3%

Canadian versus international scholars

International scholars: 15.8%
Canadian scholars: 84.2%


The QES-AS longitudinal research project is made possible with financial support from:

Universities Canada