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The MacBain/ Riley International Fund was established within the Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership at St. Francis Xavier University. The purpose of this endowed fund is to open up high quality global engagement opportunities for undergraduate students. The fund’s purpose reflects the belief of John MacBain and Dr. Sean Riley, StFX President (1996 – 2014), that international experience and opportunities are essential to the next generation of Canadian (and other nationalities) leaders in government, business and academe. It reflects the great value and great friendships that have arisen from their own international experiences. The fund is intended to provide early encouragement to undergraduate students to develop their leadership at the international level.

The fund will make annual grants adjudicated in a competitive process, to assist in funding: a) International placement in overseas internships, entrepreneurial projects, and development initiatives. b) Participation in international meetings or seminars where the focus is on international collaboration and leadership development. c) International volunteer activity with a leadership component. The distinctive feature of the MacBain/Riley awards is that they will be focused on supporting individual students who have designed their own entrepreneurial plan for global engagement. The MacBain/Riley awards may be linked with the international programs of the Coady International Institute.

Up to five awards with a value of $500 to $5,000 each will be awarded during each competition. Award funding may be used for travel (economy class), living expenses, conference fees, and other reasonable expenses. Award funding may not be used for tuition fees. Upon return, students should submit their receipts to the office of the Academic Vice President and Provost and the awards will then be distributed. Award winners must provide receipts for all expenses identified on the MacBain Riley application.

Students in all bachelor programs are encouraged to apply. To be eligible to apply, students must have been enrolled in full time studies in a Bachelor’s degree program during the most recent complete academic term (prior to the application deadline) at StFX, and be intending to return to full time studies at StFX after receiving the award.

Submit your application by January 15 of each year to:

Allocation of the MacBain/Riley Global Engagement Awards will be based on consideration of the following criteria:

  1. The academic record of the student
  2. The quality of the proposed global engagement opportunity and its link to leadership development for the student
  3. Distribution across faculties


The Application Applicants must submit a proposal including:

  1. Full name, Student ID number and StFX email address
  2. Program of study
  3. Expected graduation date
  4. Timing of the proposed global engagement opportunity
  5. Total budget for the proposed global engagement opportunity and detailed budget for the MacBain/Riley Global Engagement Award portion
  6. A description of the proposed Global Engagement Opportunity including a statement on how this opportunity will contribute to the student’s leadership at the international level. (maximum of two pages)
  7. If the opportunity involves a placement or attachment to an organization, a letter from that organization supporting the proposal should be attached.
  8. An up to date copy of the applicant’s StFX Student Grade Report
  9. Names and contact information for 2 references – including at least 1 StFX Faculty member (no friends or family members)