Political Science Student Awards

Hugh and Celia Gillis Bursary 

Value: up to $2000   

This award is available to students enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program at StFX, with a preference for students majoring in Political Science. Applicants must have an entrance average of 75% and demonstrate financial need in their application. Preference will be given to students from Antigonish County. This bursary is renewable if the student reapplies and continues to meet the criteria in subsequent years of study, including maintaining an average of at least 75% in each year of study.   

Applications will open mid-August and are available to students online.

Kontak Prize in Political Science 

Value: $1000 

The Kontak Prize is an award of distinction for the best Political Science essay [at a 300 or 400 level] by a senior (graduating) student. It is awarded annually and commemorates the distinguished academic career of Professor Walter Kontak who for many years served as Head of the Department of Political Science. 

Papers may be nominated by any Professor or by a student who is enrolled in the Major, Advanced Major, or Honours program in Political Science. Papers should be of a First Class ("A") Standard. 

A clean copy (i.e. original printing) of the paper should be submitted. Papers should fall in the range of 10-15 pages, double-spaced. 

The papers will be judged by a panel of two Faculty members, to be nominated by the Chairs of the Department.  

Submit Papers by the last day of class to the Department Chair.

Dr. John B. Stewart Scholarship for Political Science 

As the result of a generous donation by Dr. John B. Stewart, supplemented by contributions from former students and friends, an endowed annual scholarship in the amount of $6000 (increased from $2000 in 2021) has been established at St. Francis Xavier University, for excellence in the study of political science. The John B. Stewart Scholarship for Political Science will be awarded to the most outstanding and meritorious of political science students, based on the cumulative grade average attained in his/her political science courses, as well as his/her overall ability in, and aptitude for, the study of political science. 

A student enrolled in an Honours, Advanced Major, or Major degree in Political Science, returning to complete his or her fourth and final year of full-time study at St. Francis Xavier University. 

Selection Process 
This award is one of excellence in the study of Political Science. The most outstanding and meritorious of the students will be identified based on the cumulative grade average attained by the candidate in his/her Political Science courses, as well as his/her overall ability in, and aptitude for, the study of politics. 

The successful candidate will be informed of the award by the Chair of the Department of Political Science prior to the start of his/her final academic year. The full value of the award will be applied against senior year tuition costs. The award will be acknowledged in the list of scholarship and award winners in the Spring convocation programme for the academic year in which the award is granted. 

Dr. John B. Stewart 
Dr. Stewart received his Ph.D. in Public Law and Government from Columbia University in 1953 and taught political science at X from 1959 to 1984. A member of Parliament for Antigonish-Guysborough from 1962 to 1968, he became a distinguished member of the Senate of Canada in 1984 and Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs in 1988, a post he retained until his retirement in 1999. He is the author of three books: The Moral and Political Philosophy of David Hume (Columbia University Press, 1963); The House of Commons: Procedure and Reform (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1977); and Reason and Reform in Hume’s Political Philosophy (Princeton University Press, 1992). In 2001, Dr. Stewart was named St. F. X.'s first Distinguished University Fellow. Dr. Stewart has been a much-appreciated guest lecturer in a number of political science classes. He made himself available as a mentor to faculty and students, and has participated in departmental life through regular discussions with faculty on his areas of expertise and interest. Dr. Stewart passed away on 11 June 2015 at the age of 90 years. 


Political Science Department

4th Floor Mulroney Hall
2333 Notre Dame Avenue
Antigonish NS B2G 2W5