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WHSC Scholarships

Scholarship Value $5,000

Number of Scholarships 7

The Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) is pleased to call for applications for the 21st annual student scholarship contest.


  • The top applicant will be awarded the Clifford Pilkey, WHSC Founder Memorial Scholarship and receive $5,000.
  • The second place applicant will be awarded the Fred Upshaw, Champion for Social Justice
  • Memorial Scholarship and receive $3,000.
  • Up to five additional successful applicants will receive $2,000 each.


Any full-time high school student residing in Ontario and beginning, in Fall 2023, their first year in full-time or part-time studies leading to a diploma, certificate or degree from any publicly funded Ontario college or university.
(Applications from students having graduated prior to summer 2022 will not be accepted.)


  • Each applicant must write an essay addressing the topic outlined below.
  • Each applicant must also submit a completed application form**, a description of co-curricular activities, and a letter of recommendation from a teacher, school administrator or representative of a recognized community organization.
  • All submissions must not violate privacy or copyright laws.
  • Only one submission per applicant.


Canadian workers regularly experience harassment and violence on the job. In fact, the first National Survey on Harassment and Violence at Work in Canada, published in 2022, found more than 70 percent of workers experienced harassment and/or violence impacting their physical and mental health. Like previous research, teachers and support staff in the education sector, along with those in health care, public and social services were more likely to be exposed to work-related aggression. And we know students, patients and the public are exposed as well. Equally concerning are reports little is being done to address the problem.

Explain your experience with violence and/or harassment in your workplace if you can, or location such as your school, if you have yet to experience violence at work. Explain what you think should have been done to prevent this harm, what prevention resources are needed in future and what can be done to create better awareness of the need for action and resources.

Essay Rules

  • Essays must be a minimum of 600 words and a maximum of 1,000 words.
  • All pages must be numbered.
  • Place correct word count at the end of the document.
  • The document must be word processed in a 12-point font and double-spaced.
  • Do not place your name on any page of the essay.
  • Essays must include a bibliography.
  • Essays as submitted will be final — no revisions.

Submission Criteria

  • Essay submissions will be judged on knowledge of subject matter, understanding of the WHSC vision, understanding of the role the WHSC plays in supporting all workplace parties and the general public in the pursuit of safer and healthier work environments, originality of ideas, development of point of view, insight, clarity of expression, accuracy of information, organization and execution.
  • Scholarship recipients will be chosen based on a weighted average of the essay submission and their co-curricular contributions to their school and larger community. The essay will count for three-quarters (3/4) of the total weight and co-curricular contributions will count for one quarter (1/4) of the total weight.