I’m interested in doing an internship. Can Mitacs help me find a partner organization?

Mitacs cannot find partners for individual interns.

For tips on finding a partner organization, view the Research Partnerships 101 webinar, talk to your academic supervisor, or visit the Projects Seeking Interns page. 

What kinds of organizations can participate in Accelerate?

For-profit and not-for-profit (NFP) corporations can participate. Projects with an NFP partner must demonstrate an economic or productivity orientation, which must be described in the proposal and will be evaluated by the peer reviewers.

All partner organizations must be Canadian or a Canadian location of a foreign-owned organization. They must also have an office or site where the intern(s) undertakes at least 50% of the internship.

If you’re not sure if a partner is eligible, contact a Mitacs representative or accelerate(at)mitacs.ca.

When can I start my Accelerate internship?

Provided you have grad student or postdoc status at your university, or full-time student status at your college, you can start an internship at any point in your academic program. You must maintain that status throughout your internship.

How many internships can I do?

The maximum allowable number of internships varies depending on your current academic designation:

  • College students can complete one internship unit
  • Master’s students can complete up to two internship units
  • PhD students and postdoctoral fellows can complete up to six internships

Graduate students seeking longer-term funding can also apply for Accelerate Fellowship funding, in which:

  • Master’s students can complete an 18-month project (equivalent to three internship units)
  • PhD students can complete a three-year project (equivalent to six internship units)

Applicants can apply for Accelerate and Accelerate Fellowship funding at any time.

Can I hold both an Accelerate and other grants at the same time?

Mitacs does not have any restrictions on its recipients holding other grants.

You are responsible to determine if your other grants have such restrictions prior to applying to Accelerate.

Can I complete my internship at the academic institution and interact with the partner organization remotely?

Interns are required to spend at least 50% of their internship on site with the partner organization.

In exceptional circumstances, interns may spend less than half of the internship with their partner. Consult with your Mitacs representative to determine if your project is eligible.

Can I do an Accelerate internship outside of Canada?

Yes, Accelerate supports internships based in Canada and around the world, provided those internships include at least one intern travelling to or from Canada, university, or partner organization that is based in Canada.

Who owns any intellectual property generated during an internship?

Mitacs takes no position on intellectual property (IP). 

IP is to be shared between the academic institution, its researchers, and the partner organization according to the academic institution's IP rules, unless a separate agreement is negotiated.

Mitacs can facilitate IP discussions with any Canadian academic institution. The following universities have their own IP policies for Mitacs projects:

My Accelerate internship has been approved. When will the funds be available?

Mitacs forwards Accelerate funds to your academic institution only after it has received the contribution from your partner organization. Please allow two weeks for processing upon receipt of this contribution. 

Interns travelling to Canada should be aware that their funding may not be available until they arrive in Canada. Mitacs recommends that interns contact their Canadian host university’s Office of Research Services prior to the project to determine when they can access funds.

My internship proposal was not approved. What can I do?

You are welcome to revise and resubmit either a new version of the current proposal or a new proposal on a related, eligible project, per the guidance provided in the decision letter. We provide feedback from Mitacs Research staff, external expert reviewers and/or the Mitacs Research Council in all decision letters in order to help applicants improve proposals which were not initially approved.

Is my Accelerate award a stipend or a salary? Will benefits be deducted?

Accelerate is offered in partnership with your academic institution, which administers your award. We recommend that you speak with your professor and institution about funding policies (“stipend” or “salary”) and potential deductions of benefits. Universities administer funds according to their individual institutional policies, which are flexible under Tri-Council guidelines. If benefits are included, they may be deducted from either your pay or the accompanying research funds.

How can the flexible research funds be spent?

Mitacs follows NSERC guidelines for use of funds.

What happens if a project needs to be cancelled?

Mitacs Accelerate internships require the active participation of the intern, professor, and partner organization. All participants should attempt to fulfill their project obligations.

If all parties are in agreement, a project or individual internship may be terminated. If one party wants to cancel the internship without other parties’ agreement, s/he must first notify them in writing and allow 30 days for resolution of outstanding issues. 

Any funds remaining after a cancelled internship must be returned to Mitacs. 

I am travelling to Canada, what documentation am I required to obtain?

You will need to obtain a work permit under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) International Mobility Program (IMP). Once your proposal is approved, Mitacs will provide instructions to facilitate your work permit application. You are responsible for paying application fees and forwarding a copy of your permit to Mitacs.

I am an industry partner in Canada and would like to bring an intern into Canada. Do I need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?

No. Interns who want to collaborate with a Canadian university and with your organization are eligible to participate in the IMP and they are exempted from requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

What immigration procedures are required of host universities and partner organizations in Canada?

Mitacs will provide participating interns with offers of employment for an LMIA-exempt work permit under IRPR 205.a “Policy Objectives.” The specific work permit requested will be “Award Recipient” under the International Mobility Program.

  • Universities can provide optional letters of invitation at their discretion. University HR offices will be noted on the offer employment as sites where the permitted work may occur.
  • Partner organizations must sign the Partner Organization Acknowledgement form prior to the project start date but are otherwise are not required to provide documentation to interns. 

Mitacs will pay the IRCC Employer Compliance fee and will be subjected to IRCC audit as the signatory to the intern’s offer of employment. Neither universities nor industry partners incur any costs associated with the immigration to Canada process, nor are they required to provide any documentation, whether on IRCC official Employer Portal or elsewhere.

Industry partners will be contacted once they application is approved to confirm the location of the internship, which will be noted on the IRCC offer of employment as a work site of the research.

I am travelling from Canada, can Mitacs provide assistance with immigration procedures?

No.  Please work with your host industry partner and university (if applicable) to identify the immigration channels you will need to use. As a first step, we recommend contacting the consulate or embassy of your destination country for advice on the immigration channel you will need to use.