General Information

  • The COTF Scholarship Review Guidelines, Scholarship Criteria and Application Forms can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate links below.
  • Applicants may submit information in French, though the forms are in English as COTF has bilingual Review Committee Members.

    Answers to questions to help applicants understand to which scholarships they can apply:

  1. Who can apply to the COTF 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.

For up to date information, please contact

Scholarships Offered

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

Gowan Health  Indigenous Scholarships ( 2 x $1,500)


The scholarship aims to support Indigenous academics in attaining their graduate degree in the Occupational Therapy Masters program within Canada. The intention is to support Indigenous people pursuing graduate studies’ unique needs financially. This support will foster pathways to success in the field of Occupational Therapy, amplifying Indigenous perspectives and honouring Indigenous ways of living.



check Deadline: October 1 annually

COTF  Scholarships for Financial Need ( 5 x $1,000)


The scholarship aims to support students in attaining their graduate degree in the Occupational Therapy Masters program within Canada.  The intention is to support students struggling with financial burdens brought on by inflation, natural disasters, family responsibilities, just to name a few.




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, related to occupational therapy, which has broad implications for the scope of the profession. The applicant must have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to occupational therapy.

 Applicants can use the COTF Master’s or COTF Doctoral Scholarship link.

check Deadline: October 1 annually

Marita Dyrbye Mental Health Award ($1,000) 

To enhance the practice of occupational therapy in mental health. In order of priority, the funds will be awarded for: 1.Developing or supporting a community mental health program or initiative that results in direct benefit to clients. 2.Research projects related to increasing evidence-based occupational therapy practice in mental health, particularly research being done by front-line occupational therapists. 3. Attending or presenting at specialized conferences or educational sessions with commitment to disseminated information or knowledge. 4. Publication of literature to improve client education or quality of life. 5. For researchers, clinicians and students as well – does not have to be research related 6. The recipient must submit an executive summary in user friendly language upon completion of the funded project. COTF will be translating the executive summary into the other official language


check Deadline: October 1 (odd years)

Janice Hines Memorial Award for Pediatrics

Awarded annually to an occupational therapist for an activity which supports the transfer of knowledge of best practices in pediatric occupational therapy. For researchers, clinicians and students as well – does not have to be research related.


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 enrolled in part-time or full-time studies in a master’s or doctoral level program, related to occupational therapy, which has broad implications for the scope of the profession. The applicant must have demonstrated leadership and vision within the profession.

Applicants can use the COTF Master’s or COTF Doctoral Scholarship links.

check Deadline: October 1 annually

Huguette Picard Scholarships in Clinical Education (1 x $2,500)

Huguette Picard, past COTF President (2009-2012) and past CAOT President, has been a pioneer in occupational therapy in Canada. She graduated from the Université de Montréal, where she also had a brilliant career as a professor for 35 years. Her contributions in occupational therapy research and teaching influenced many generations of practitioners and teachers. An advocate of the interests of the founders of our society, especially for people living with disabilities or dealing with vulnerable situations, Huguette Picard’s name is closely linked to the promotion of the best professional practices in several areas.

Greatly involved in her professional college in Québec, the COTF, CAOT, WFOT, as well as many other organizations and social causes, her exemplary contributions have allowed for the infusion of her vision of the profession throughout all of the Canadian occupational therapy university programs. She is recognized for her exceptional competency based approach, as she has contributed to lay these important foundations. Her involvement outside of the field of occupational therapy has contributed to an improvement in professional practices in the areas of health, social services and law. Her vision, which is based on social justice, even occupational justice and professional achievements, first as a clinician and then on the academic and administrative level, has had major impacts on the way in which occupational therapy as a profession is regarded, taught and practiced on a national scale.

There will be 1 scholarship, each in the amount of $2,500 for professors, clinical supervisors and professional and research master’s students. The area of interest for the scholarships is pedagogical innovation in clinical teaching, which includes using 1) new technologies for supervising students in fieldwork placements, 2) tele-teaching in the context of a pandemic, 3) study of the practice of supervising students in fieldwork placements in OT and 4) ethical training in clinical teaching.


Bourses Huguette Picard en éducation clinique

Huguette Picard, ancienne présidente de la Fondation Canadienne d’ergothérapie (2009 – 2012) et de l’Association canadienne des ergothérapeutes, fait partie des figures pionnières de l’ergothérapie au Canada. Diplômée de l’Université de Montréal, elle y a fait une brillante carrière professorale de 35 ans. Ses contributions en recherche et en pédagogie ont influencé plusieurs générations de praticiens et d’enseignants. Défenderesse des intérêts les plus fondateurs de notre société, notamment des personnes vivant avec un handicap ou étant confrontées à des situations de vulnérabilité, la figure d’Huguette Picard est associée de près à la promotion de meilleures pratiques professionnelles dans plusieurs domaines.

Fortement impliquée au sein de son ordre professionnel au Québec, à la Fondation canadienne d’ergothérapie, l’Association canadienne des ergothérapeutes, la Fédération mondiale des ergothérapeutes, dans plusieurs organisations et causes sociales, son exemplarité et son excellence lui ont permis d’insuffler sa vision de la profession à l’ensemble des universités canadiennes reconnue par le caractère exceptionnel de son approche par compétences, dont Huguette Picard a fortement contribué à poser les fondements. Ses implications à l’extérieur du domaine de l’ergothérapie ont contribué à l’amélioration des pratiques professionnelles dans les domaines de la santé, des services sociaux et du droit. Sa vision, qui prend appui sur la justice sociale, voire la justice occupationnelle et ses réalisations professionnelles, d’abord à titre de clinicienne et ensuite sur les plan académique et administratif, ont eu des impacts majeurs sur la façon dont la profession d’ergothérapeute est pensée, enseignée et pratiquée à l’échelle nationale.

Il y a une bourse de 2,500 $ pour les professeurs, les cliniciens superviseurs et les étudiants à la maîtrise professionnelle ou de recherche. Le sujet de l’innovation pédagogique en enseignement clinique comprend les volets suivants: 1) utilisation des nouvelles technologies pour la supervision des stagiaires, 2) enseignement de la télé pratique dans un contexte de pandémie, 3) étude des pratiques de supervision des stagiaires en ergothérapie, et 4) formation à l’éthique dans l’enseignement clinique.

check Deadline: October 1

Lorna Reimer Legacy Award for Leadership ($500)

The Lorna Reimer Legacy Award for Leadership was launched in 2019 to honour Lorna Reimer (1954-2008) who was an exemplary leader in the profession of occupational therapy. 

She believed that being a professional was more than daily provision of service, but also ensuring the growth of the profession through engagement at every level of leadership. Lorna served at the local, provincial, national and international levels in occupational therapy, while also actively raising a family and supporting growth in other occupational therapists as Manager of Occupational Therapy at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton.

She believed words had little meaning unless supported by action. Therefore, she sought additional leadership opportunities to participate in political policy setting both in health and community development throughout her career.  Within the profession, she served on Alberta Association of Registered Occupational Therapists, Alberta College of Occupational Therapists and Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists as a board member then later as President of these organizations.

Lorna also sat on policy boards for other organizations, such as provincial and national committees related to health policy. She was an active community advocate. One of her career goals was to ensure that every client and community received the much-needed services of occupational therapists – the expansion of occupational therapy in rehabilitation across Alberta is one example. Her belief in this profession never stopped – her goal was to create and recognize leaders in the profession to ensure that occupational therapy would be recognized as a “core profession” in both health and community development on local, national and international levels. 

This award is given annually to an occupational therapist who has demonstrated leadership in the profession beyond daily practice through involvement at provincial, national or international levels, representing the profession and evoking change. 

check Deadline: October 1 annually 

Barb Worth Emergent Leader Award (2 X $2,500)

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. 

Please watch this video from Art Worth,  Barb’s husband for a special message.

check Deadline: October 1 annually

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