General Information

  • Scholarships will be for non-federally funded applicants only who are pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees.
  • The COTF Scholarship Review Guidelines, Scholarship Criteria and Application Forms can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate links below.
  • Answers to questions to help applicants understand to which scholarships they can apply:
  1. Who can apply to the COTF Master’s Scholarship, the COTF / Invacare Master’s Scholarship, the Thelma Cardwell Scholarship and the Golden Howland Scholarship?

– Qualified OT’s who are enrolled in a research Masters that requires completion of a full thesis.

  1. Who can apply to the Barb Worth Emergent Leader Award?

– Students who are working towards an OT degree who are in their second year and have leadership qualities. For students at universities in Québec, it would be the last year of the combined Bachelors/Master’s program.

Scholarships Offered

COTF Graduate Scholarships ($3,000 doctoral and $1,500 master’s) 

These scholarships are awarded annually to a student enrolled full-time or part-time in a master’s or doctoral program in a discipline related to occupational therapy research.  



check Deadline: October 1 annually

COTF/Invacare Master’s Scholarship ($2,000) 

Established in 2006 in recognition of Invacare Canada’s great contribution to COTF over many years. This scholarship is awarded annually to a student enrolled full-time or part-time in a master’s program in a discipline related to occupational therapy research.

check Deadline: October 1 annually

Thelma Cardwell Scholarship ($2,000) 

Established in 1985 in honour of Dr. Thelma Cardwell on the occasion of her retirement from the Occupational Therapy Division of the University of Toronto. This scholarship is awarded annually to a student enrolled in part-time or full-time studies in a master’s or doctoral level program who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to occupational therapy.

check Deadline: October 1 annually

Goldwin Howland Scholarship ($2,000)

Established in 1945 in appreciation of the tireless work of Dr. Goldwin W. Howland, first President of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). This scholarship is awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated leadership and vision within the profession. Applicants must be enrolled in graduate study related to occupational therapy, which has broad implications for the scope of the profession.

check Deadline: October 1 annually

Barb Worth Emergent Leader Award ($5,000)


The Barb Worth Emergent Leader Award was introduced in 2014. Barbara Worth had a very distinguished career and contributed significantly to the regulation of OT in Ontario.


She graduated from the first BScOT class at the University of Toronto (1975) and received a Leadership Award from her peers. Following graduation, Barbara joined McMaster University Medical Centre. During her 20 plus years of clinical care, Barbara took on many academic and managerial roles.


She was the Director of Complex Continuing Care in her last role within the Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation. Barbara was also active within the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT), including contributing to the design and testing of the CAOT Certification Exam. At COTO (College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario), Barbara held many positions, including serving as the President from 1999-2000, and COTO Registrar from 2002 to 2013.


Most recently, Barbara had an influential role of spearheading initiatives that addressed the issues of cross province transportability of OT skills and internationally educated OT’s through the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations (ACOTRO) of which she served in past as Chair.


She also contributed to the regulatory community through committee work for the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR) and the Federation of Health Regulatory Colleges of Ontario (FHRCO). In 2014, she received the CAOT Leadership Award posthumously at the CAOT Annual General Conference in Fredericton, NB. 


This modest award is to remind a leader of tomorrow to balance emotional investment in the challenges at hand with personal wellbeing. Relaxing and re-energizing with small self-indulgences are also part of leadership, for often the effort that makes leadership appear effortless goes unrecognized by anyone but the leader.


check Deadline: October 1 annually


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