Admission Awards for Leadership

These awards encourage and recognize students who use their talents and creativity to make voluntary contributions to the world around them. Innis College recognizes that its students demonstrate leadership in many contexts, including their high schools, communities and workplaces. To receive an admission award, the recipient must be entering the first year of full-time studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science at Innis College, and must register at Innis College in the 2023-2024 Fall/Winter session.

How to Apply

The deadline to apply is 19 April 2023 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Applications must be submitted using our online application form.

Parts to the Application

– completed application form;

– a list of your active involvement in clubs, committees, groups and leadership roles, and a list of all awards received while in high school (we recommend you submit a résumé or curriculum vitae [CV] that contains all this information);

– a 5000-character (maximum) statement describing your leadership role(s) and key achievement(s);

– if applying to the Cunningham Social Justice Award at Innis College, a 5000-character (maximum) statement describing how your leadership role(s) and/or key achievements exemplify the values of social justice, including socialism, democracy, equality and diversity;

– any supporting documentation (not mandatory; not to exceed three pages);

one letter of recommendation from someone who can confirm your leadership activities; referees can submit a reference using our online form. Please ensure that you provide them with the same email address that you use on your own application form, as they will be required to enter it on the reference form.

Feel free to seek advice or ask questions of Innis College staff at the Registrar’s Office. You can ask about any criteria of awards, for advice on putting together a good application, about submission requirements, etc.

Awarding Body

The award body is the Recruitment, Admissions and Awards Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Innis College Council. Members of this adjudicating committee are asked to complete anti-bias training prior to reviewing applications.


Students can expect to hear results by June. Recipients who are selected for an award will receive the money in late September, after we confirm registration, and the value of the award will first be applied to outstanding fees. Should payment of the award result in a credit balance in ACORN, a refund can be requested. Please ensure that you have added direct deposit in ACORN or that you have a valid mailing address on ACORN, as award cheques may be mailed to that address.

Awards Available

Cunningham Social Justice Award at Innis College

To be awarded to two undergraduate students entering first-year studies in Arts & Science at Innis College. The recipients will exemplify Frank Cunningham’s values of social justice: socialism, democracy, equality and diversity. Financial need may be considered. The value of this award is to be determined.

Innis College “Kitchen Sink” Award

This award recognizes a student entering the first year of full-time studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science at Innis College on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and involvement in school and community life. The value of this award is up to $500.

John W. Browne OSOTF Admission Award

To be awarded to an undergraduate student entering first-year studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science at Innis College. Awarded on the basis of financial need and to an Ontario Resident. Preference will be given to students who, by their leadership, have contributed to the life of their high school and/or community. The value of this award is approximately $1,000.

University Women’s Club of Toronto Award

To be awarded on the basis of financial need to a female Innis College undergraduate student entering first year who will be living in the Innis Residence. The recipient must be an Ontario Resident. The recipient will reflect the University Women’s Club mission of building a more equitable world for all women and girls.  The intent of this award is to off-set the cost of university residence. The value of this award is approximately $9,000.

Others Awards Available (Not Requiring an Application)

Incoming students are eligible for the following award, however a formal application is not required.

Innis Admission Scholarship for Indigenous Peoples

Awarded to Outstanding Indigenous Peoples in Canada (i.e. First Nations, Inuit and Métis) admitted to the first year of studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science at Innis College. The value of this award varies from year to year and is generally $500. If you did not self-identify as indigenous with OUAC when applying to the University of Toronto and you would like to be considered for this award, please email by 1 September 2023.

Completing your Application

The Activities List

We require a list of all your activities and what they involve. Lay out all your extra-curricular, volunteer work – clubs, organizations, teams, community groups, etc. You can include work or paid experience to help fill out the picture, but make sure you distinguish volunteer work from paid work. Also, make sure you distinguish any work done for academic credit.

You can use a résumé/CV template or a list of your activities. If you do a straight list, please still briefly describe your role(s) and use strong, active statements to indicate what you did and what you achieved – as you would in a résumé. If you decide only to list selected roles/activities you’ve done, remember that you are applying for awards that assess your leadership and community engagement, so pick well. Innovations, successful collaborations, great commitment in energy and time, advancement and earned roles of greater responsibility – these are all things that the committee will be looking for. When you list your awards, be sure to indicate the full name of the award, the year in which it was received, and the value (if applicable).

The Statement

You will be required to submit one statement describing your leadership role(s) and key achievement(s). You will have up to 5000-characters, including spaces. Craft your statement with care. Good grammar, correct spelling, and a clear organization of your thoughts help.

The statement is a bit like a cover letter for a job: think about what you are applying for and write with that in mind. Always assume the reader of your statement is asking, “Can I write a good promotion piece based on the information in this statement?” Try to avoid listing things – you have already given us a list. Instead, try to ask yourself the kinds of questions that will help summarize your experience and development and passion.

You can reflect on what community engagement, volunteering and leadership mean to you, looking back over your years of service and personal experience. Consider the following: What kind of person am I or have I become? What is important to me in my volunteer work? How do I sum up the positive impact I have made?

There is no single best way to write a statement, but you must try to indicate how all your activities fit together and show you to be an accomplished, committed leader.

Letters of Recommendation

One supportive letter of recommendation from someone who can confirm your leadership activities is required. Pick an individual who can comment on key work and accomplishments. You can show them your statement(s) so they know what you are going to focus on.

Referees can submit a reference using our online form.  You are responsible for providing this individual with the online reference form and the same email address you use to apply to the award, as they will be required to enter your email address on the reference form. The referee must complete the reference by the deadline to apply for the award, which is 19 April 2023 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. It is your responsibility to ensure that your letter of recommendation is submitted by the application deadline. You will receive a confirmation email once the reference letter is submitted.


Supporting Documentation

You can include documents that verify activities such as certificates, event brochures, final products from projects, etc., but they will be of secondary consideration.  These documents are not mandatory and must be no longer than three pages if submitted.


Financial Need

When an award requires “financial need,” we need to know whether a student is lacking adequate funds to go to school, which is usually indicated by receiving a student loan like OSAP. Receiving OSAP is a very straightforward way to meet this criterion, especially with awards that have Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund (OSOTF ) or Ontario Trust Student Support (OTSS) funding. Awards with this kind of funding have financial need AND Ontario residency as requirements, both shown by OSAP. In September, we will check if you have OSAP for the academic year and, therefore, you do not need to submit extra documentation.

With that said, if you feel you qualify as having financial need, even without OSAP, book an appointment by calling 416-978-2513 to talk about your situation with the Financial Aid Advisor at Innis College.  You must contact our office by 19 April 2023 to discuss this matter in order to possibly be considered for awards that require financial need, including the John W. Browne OSOTF Admission Award or the University Women’s Club of Toronto Award.