University of Toronto offers STEM postgraduate scholarships for Black students

Diversity in science refers to cultivating talent, and promoting the full inclusion of excellence across the social spectrum.

By U2B Staff 

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Scientific innovations that are brought along by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), do not arise on their own. 

These innovations are brought forth through the hard work and ingenuity of scientists. Therefore, the quality of the scientific research enterprise, and its ability to meet the needs of, and positively impact the lives of individuals, communities, nations, and the world is inextricably linked to the individual “STEMists” involved.

As the world has transformed rapidly into an information-based economy, employment in STEM occupations has grown, outpacing overall job growth. According to Pew Research Centre, since 1990, STEM employment has grown by 79%, and computer-based jobs have seen a 338% increase over the same period. 


Black enrollment in engineering nearly tripled from 1970 to 1985, according to one report, and it continued to climb through the 1990s. The number of Black Ph.D.’s in engineering and the physical sciences were also rising. There was cautious optimism that the trend would continue, but unfortunately, it did not.

Pew Research Centre reports that Blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented in STEM, relative to their presence in the workforce, particularly among workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher. 

A new outreach programme by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering is empowering Black students across Canada to explore a future in STEM. Blueprint engages Black students who are passionate about STEM topics, expanding their knowledge, and connecting them with mentors.

“As a Black student who graduated in STEM from a Canadian university, I relate to that feeling,” says Abraham. “By connecting students with mentors – Black undergraduate students at the University of Toronto Engineering who are also members of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) – that have also had that experience, we were able to start building a whole new community,” says Cassandra Abraham, engineering outreach coordinator at the University of Toronto.

In line with these findings, the University of Toronto is currently awarding scholarships specifically to black students in STEM:

Tri-campus scholarships:

The Winkelman Admission Scholarship is an admission award for students who “identify as Black (African-Canadian, Caribbean-Canadian or Afro-Caribbean heritage)” and have “demonstrated academic merit.”

The Dr. Anderson Abbott Award is for current domestic students, and “is awarded to a black student in any program of study on the basis of academic achievement, financial need and contribution to the black community.”

The Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students Black Student Bursary of $1,000 is “awarded based on financial need to Black students enrolled in undergraduate programs on a part-time basis,” with preference given to those who mostly study on a part-time basis.

The Black Business and Professional Association Scholarships are available to Black-Canadian students who are under 30. Students “must demonstrate high academic achievement and contribution to the Black community [and] be in financial need.”

Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work:

The Dr. Daniel G. Hill Sr. Scholarship is an award of annual income “to be awarded on the basis of financial need to a student enrolled in the [Master of Social Work] programme, with consideration given to recruitment, incentives, support and retention of Black students.”

The Beverly & Emerson Mascoll Graduate Scholarship is an award of annual income “with consideration given to a Black Canadian Resident/Citizen, who is a student in the [Master of Social Work] program, and who demonstrates financial need and good performance.”

Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy:

The Afro-Canadian Scholarship recognises “a deserving black student (African-Canadian, Caribbean-Canadian, or Afro-Caribbean heritage) entering Year 1 of the undergraduate program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy” who demonstrates financial need and community or volunteer work.


Faculty of Medicine:

The Dr. Robert William Hudson Memorial Award is for students who have “demonstrated interest in endocrinology,” with “preference given to Black or Indigenous students.”

The Dr. John Douglas Graham Salmon Award for Black Medical Students is “awarded to [a] black student in any year of the MD program” who demonstrates financial need.

School of Graduate Studies (SGS):

The SGS Fellowships and Bursaries for Black and/or Indigenous Students are for full-time domestic and international graduate students who identify as Black or Indigenous, and demonstrate “one or both… financial need [or] academic merit.”