Scholarship in Food Insecurity

The deadline for 2023-24 scholarship proposals is February 10th, 2023.

The Centre provides scholarships that recognize the contribution of David Emerson, Wallace McCain, Purdy Crawford, and W. Geoffrey Beattie as past Chairs of the Maple Leaf Foods’ Board of Directors. Four scholarships will be distributed for the 2023/24 academic year to support Master or PhD students who propose to advance a better understanding of food insecurity in Canada.

Research focus

We encourage any scholarship applications that look to fill knowledge gaps on food insecurity in Canada, with particular (but not exclusive) interest in the following key areas:

  • Predictors and risk factors
    • Who is most at risk for food insecurity in Canada and what is the experience of food insecurity for these groups?
    • What are the determinants of food insecurity and are there any mediating or moderating factors?
  • Impacts and efficacy of potential interventions
    • How can we alleviate food insecurity in Canada?
    • What programs, policies and/or market instruments should be used?
    • Who needs to be involved?

Scholarship process

Four $15,000 scholarships will be awarded in the summer of 2023 for research spanning up to two years in length. A Research Sub-Committee of the Centre’s Board reviews all applications and makes recommendations to the Centre’s Board Chair for approval.


For applicants to be considered, they must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • A master’s or PhD student of any discipline, enrolled at a Canadian university
  • In good academic standing with their academic institution
  • Entering their second or third year of post-graduate study and/or are prepared to commence their thesis research in the 2023/2024 academic year
  • Conducting thesis research that seeks to fill gaps in knowledge on food insecurity

Proposal requirements

  • A curriculum vitae (CV)
  • A letter of reference from a research supervisor (this letter can be sent by your supervisor directly to the Centre at, if preferred. The title of the email should include the name of the applicant)
  • An overview of the following (this section should be no longer than 6 single-spaced pages, excluding references)
    • The research purpose, research question, target population, and objectives
    • A brief background and rationale
    • Proposed methodology
    • How the research fills knowledge gaps about food insecurity in Canada
    • Knowledge translation plans
    • Other sources of funding for the research
    • An explanation of how the research aligns with the Centre’s goal and the research focus areas

Candidates will be selected based on their academic preparedness, match of research to the Centre’s goal and the research focus areas, and quality of the submission including feasibility, methodological rigor, and potential contribution of the findings to the body of knowledge on food insecurity in Canada.

Proposal submission instructions

Full proposals are to be submitted using the fillable form at the bottom of this page. For research supervisors who are emailing a reference letter directly to us, please include the full name of the candidate in the title of the letter and send to

Scholarship requirements

Upon completion of the research, the following will be required of scholarship recipients:

  • Status reports submitted twice per year
  • A final report sharing research findings once the work is completed, including:
    • A summary of how the funds were spent and how they enabled the student to amplify their work

Students may be invited to present their research to the Centre partners and/or Board.

Application form

* All fields in this form must be filled out.

2023/2024 Scholarship Recipients

Masters candidate Jayda Veinot from the University of New Brunswick; Masters candidate Laura Jimenez from Dalhousie University; Masters candidate Natalie Bakko from the University of Calgary; and Masters candidate Shannon Udy from McGill University will each receive a $15,000 scholarship to support their research.

  • The Wallace McCain Scholarship in Food Insecurity was awarded to Jayda Veinot, MAHSR candidate at the University of New Brunswick: Examining the barriers and enablers to enhance the provision of care by dieticians to food-insecure patients in New Brunswick.
  • The David Emerson Scholarship in Food Insecurity was awarded to Laura Jimenez, MSc candidate at Dalhousie University: Exploring the role of the COVID-19 pandemic income supplement (CERB) on the prevalence and severity of food insecurity nationally.
  • The Purdy Crawford Scholarship in Food Insecurity was awarded to Natalie Bakko, MA candidate at the University of Calgary: Exploring how Canadian municipalities are addressing the connection between housing and food insecurity.
  • The Geoff Beattie Scholarship in Food Insecurity was awarded to Shannon Udy, MScHN candidate at McGill University: Design a participatory process to food security planning in Kahnawà:ke, a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) community.

2022/2023 Scholarship Recipients

  • The Wallace McCain Scholarship in Food Insecurity was awarded to Aida Bahramian, PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa: Determining the perinatal resources, tools and services needed to improve nutrition, food security and physical and mental health for French-speaking pregnant women living in minority contexts.
  • The David Emerson Scholarship in Food Insecurity was awarded to Allison MacNeil, PhD candidate at McGill University: Understanding how experiences of food insecurity relate to changes in affect among adolescents, and exploring whether individual and contextual factors modify the relationship between food insecurity and adolescent mental health.
  • The Purdy Crawford Scholarship in Food Insecurity was awarded to Atlanta-Marinna Grant, MSc candidate at the University of British Columbia: Exploring how Indigenous food knowledge supports Indigenous governance and food security.

2021/2022 Scholarship Recipients

  • The Wallace McCain Scholarship in Food Insecurity was awarded to Samantha Stewart, PhD candidate at Ryerson University: Determining how public discourses on food security policy have changed over the last decade and what implications this has for the development of a Food Policy for Canada
  • The David Emerson Scholarship in Food Insecurity was awarded to Suvadra Datta Gupta, PhD candidate at the University of Saskatchewan: Exploring potential funding models and policies for a national school food program in Canada, as well as parent and decision-maker perceptions of school food programs
  • The Purdy Crawford Scholarship in Food Insecurity was awarded to Vanessa Cunningham, MA candidate at the University of Guelph: Better understand the lived experience of food insecurity among post-secondary students in Canada

2020/2021 Scholarship Recipients

  • Michelle Aktary, MSc candidate at the University of Calgary: Examining the impact of the British Columbia Farmer’s Market Nutrition Coupon Program on diet quality and household food insecurity of low-income adults
  • Lindsey Vold, PhD candidate at the University of Saskatchewan: Assessing the impact of community food programs in northern communities
  • Bochu Liu, PhD candidate at the University of Toronto: Examining time, transportation and geographic constraints on food access in urban environments