Through Mitacs Accelerate, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from over 50 universities apply their specialized expertise to business-related research challenges. Armed with the very latest tools, techniques, and innovations, the intern (a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow) brings a new perspective to the problem faced by the industry partner.

  • Interns spend approximately half of the time on-site with the industry partner; the remainder is spent at the university advancing the research under the guidance of a faculty supervisor.
  • Open to all disciplines and all industry sectors, projects can span a wide range of areas, including: manufacturing, technical innovation, business processes, IT, social sciences, design, and more.



University & Intern

  • No deadlines: applications are accepted at any time
  • Application process: simple, easy, and quick; typically approved within six to eight weeks
  • Not a competition
  • International students and Postdocs are eligible to apply
  • Real-world exposure: interns and faculty apply the latest tools and innovations to real issues.
  • Funding provided to support the intern’s research


  • Peer-reviewed: ensures high quality research
  • Industry-friendly: Mitacs and the university manage all administrative and financial   issues; intern is not a company employee
  • Increased innovation: gain novel solutions to challenging problems
  • Projects may be eligible for SR&ED tax credits, Mitacs provides matching funds to the  projects
  • Mitacs can help companies access university expertise


Scalable projects

  • Accelerate Standard: Scalable in 4-month internship units
  • The Mitacs Accelerate internship program is scalable in its design. Projects can range from a single four-month internship unit to multiple units combined together to accom­modate larger projects.
  • Cost-shared model with Mitacs, through the support of federal and provincial govern­ment funding, matching the industry partner contribution dollar-for-dollar.
  • Each four-month internship unit can be stretched to a maximum of six months to allow for part-time participation



  • Each 4-month internship project receives $15,000 in direct funding, with the partner organization and Mitacs each providing $7,500
  • Longer projects are possible as multiples of 4-month internships
  • Larger and longer projects are also possible. Please see the “Clusters” section below
  • Internship funds are limited to supporting the direct costs of research as directed by NSERC.  A detailed description of eligible expenses is available here
  • The $15,000 will be provided to the intern’s academic supervisor as a research grant
  • It is required that the intern receive a stipend of a minimum of $10,000 of the total grant per 4-month internship
  • Any funds over and above the intern stipend will be used to support research related to the internship
  • If the partner funds received towards the internship are being matched by a federal source (e.g. NSERC CRD grant), please inform program administrators in the proposal to ensure that the same industrial contribution is not matched by two federal sources of funds. Please note Mitacs Accelerate cannot match funds received from granting agencies like NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC or funds received from Universities. For any questions, please contact us.
  • The intern must be a full-time graduate student or post-doctoral fellow enrolled at a Canadian university
    • Eligible PDF’s must (1) have completed all requirements of his/her first doctoral degree no more than five years before the application submission date; and (2) be officially accepted for post-doctoral studies at a Canadian university.  
  • The intern need not be a Canadian citizen; foreign students and permanent residents are eligible
  • The intern, academic supervisor and partner supervisor will meet at the initiation of the internship to agree on the research plan
  • The intern will undertake a research project which has the potential to lead to, or supplement, the student’s thesis in the case of a graduate student or to further the PDF’s research program
  • The intern will remain a student of their university while (s)he is an intern and shall not be an employee of the partner organization
  • Students may complete up to 2 internship segments (4-6 months each) during a Master’s degree, and up to 6 during a PhD.  Post-doctoral Fellows may complete a maximum of 6 internship segments
  • The project must successfully pass peer review in order to be approved for the Accelerate program. Outcomes for the Mitacs peer review process are normally provided to the applicants (approval, decline, or request for proposal revisions) within approximately six weeks (for single internship applications) from the submission of a complete proposal.


Accelerate Cluster projects

An Accelerate Cluster project consists of a set of related internships.  They are undertaken by a team of 3 or more interns addressing a larger research goal. The Cluster can be made of multiple universities, multiple professors and multiple partners but the overall project must be a single cohesive research plan.

Clusters start off with a minimum of 6 internships – with no upper limit

  • To form a cluster a minimum of $36,000 ($6,000 per internship) is needed from the industrial partner, which is matched with $44,000 from Mitacs
  • This base funding allows for 6 individual internships provided to a minimum of 3 participating graduate students or post-doctoral fellows.  Each internship must receive a stipend of $10,000.  The additional $20,000 is available to the research team for research support and equipment costs.
  • Each additional $6,000 contributed by the industrial partner supports an additional internship (stipend = $10,000), and a further $3,333 to the research team as research support and equipment costs.
  • Each cluster will be assigned a Mitacs Business Development staff member to assist with developing a full project proposal, and to manage the proposal milestones to completion.
  • Accelerate Cluster projects are subject to all other policies and guidelines in effect under the Mitacs Accelerate program.  
  • Please speak to a business development representative for more information.

NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships

Mitacs is now the primary delivery agent for industrial graduate internships through its Mitacs Accelerate program. As announced in the 2015 federal budget, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships program will be wound down after it fulfills current awards. For more information, contact a Mitacs representative.  

Expectations of the Intern

  • Read the Mitacs Accelerate Code of Conduct
  • Develop a research plan in partnership with an academic supervisor and a supervisor from the partner organization
  • Spend approximately 50% of his/her time during the internship on site with the partner
  • Spend a minimum 25% of the time during the internship at the university, receiving direction from the academic supervisor on the best techniques or methodologies to apply  to the research
  • Organize monthly status meetings with the academic and partner supervisor
  • Provide updates on the status of the project to Mitacs as necessary
  • Ensure confidentiality of partner information as specified in the research program
  • Prepare a final report (Please right click and select “Save link / Target as" to download the Final report template) at the conclusion of the project which details the research performed, its results and any recommendations
  • Complete an exit survey within one month of the completion of the internship


Expectations of the intern's supervisor

  • ​Assist the intern in developing the research plan in conjunction with the partner
  • Provide ongoing direction and research support to the intern
  • Participate in status meetings as necessary during the internship
  • Take fiduciary responsibility for the internship grant, including ensuring appropriate expenditures consistent with the objectives of the program
  • Complete an exit survey within one month of the completion of the internship


Expectations of the partner supervisor

  • Assist the intern with identifying the appropriate research issues and developing a research plan in conjunction with the academic supervisor
  • Ensure the company’s contribution is forwarded to Mitacs
  • Provide support to the intern in his/her dealings within the partner organization
  • Ensure that the intern’s activities at the partner site are limited to those specified in the research plan
  • Complete an exit survey within one month of the completion of the internship



External referees for internship proposals receive the following questions to guide their assessment of the proposal:

  1. Mitacs Accelerate internships support university-industry research collaborations. Does the proposed project qualify as research in its discipline?
  2. Is the project appropriate for the level of the intern?
  3. Are the objectives clear?
  4. Is the methodology appropriate and sufficient to achieve the objectives?
  5. Is the timeline realistic?
  6. Other comments and suggestions for the applicants:
  7. Confidential comments for Mitacs:
  8. Will the research work potentially have adverse effects on the environment? Do you recommend that an additional environmental impact review be conducted?
  9. The partner for this project is a not-for-profit (NFP) organization. To be eligible the proposed project must have a clear economic or productivity orientation. Does this project have a demonstrable economic or productivity orientation? 

When a proposal involves over $0.75M requested from Mitacs (approximately 100 internship units), a collaborative review meeting will typically be held virtually or on-site after the external peer review is completed.  The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the results of the peer review, the project management strategy, the mentoring and training strategy, and to tour project facilities and interns’ work environment when relevant.

Mitacs Accelerate Appeals Process

Applicants wishing to appeal the decision on their internship application may send a letter of appeal to the Mitacs Research Council (MRC) Chair by email to mrc-chair(at) Appeals must be received within 90 days of the notice of decision and must include the original signed proposal.  Appeals are typically responded to within 5 business days. 


Mitacs Accelerate internships require the active participation of all three groups of participants: the intern(s), the academic supervisor(s), and the sponsoring partner organization(s) (the “Parties”, or individually, a “Party”). In committing to participation in the Mitacs Accelerate internship program, all Parties should make the best effort possible to fulfill the obligations of the project. 

A project or individual internship may be terminated at the request of the participants if the Parties are all in agreement with the termination of the project (for example, if one Party is no longer able to continue with the project and a replacement participant cannot be found). 

Should one Party wish to cancel the internship or project without the agreement of the other Parties, that Party must first notify the other Parties in writing of their concerns and allow 30 days for the issue to be remedied prior to going forward with the termination, during which Parties are encouraged to negotiate in good faith towards resolving any outstanding issues. Any payments that remain outstanding at the time the internship is terminated shall be reimbursed to Mitacs.

All parties involved with the Mitacs Accelerate program must comply with the Canadian host university’s policies regarding the ethical conduct of research and scholarly activities.  Any issues or disputes around research or academic misconduct will be subject to the host university’s processes following their institutional policies.

Intellectual Property

All parties involved with the Mitacs Accelerate program are bound by the intellectual property terms of the university where the intern is enrolled. Please find below links to the intellectual property terms for certain universities:

For all other institutions, the program’s policy is to take no position in the intellectual property created by the projects and internships that are funded. Intellectual property is left to be shared between the university, their researchers and the sponsoring company according to the intellectual property rules of the host university, unless a separate agreement is negotiated between the university, their researchers and the sponsoring company.

Mitacs policy is to take no position.


Conflict of Interest

The Conflict of Interest Policy is intended to enable Mitacs participants to recognize and disclose situations that may be open to question and to ensure that such situations are appropriately resolved.

Individuals participating in Mitacs such as members of the Board of Directors, Research Management Committee Members, Research Review Committee Members, officers, employees, researchers and interns are required to disclose any financial interest or position of influence, as described in Section 2.0 of the Mitacs Conflict of interest Policy, in any business in the same area of interest as Mitacs, other than that of their main employer.

In addition, where there is an ownership or operational relationship between an investigator and the partner company, Mitacs may request details on the investigator’s involvement with the company, and evidence that the organization is under the effective day-to-day management control of someone other than the Mitacs investigator, as well as evidence that the academic interests of the students and postdoctoral fellows are protected. This request may come at the beginning or during the course of the project. Mitacs deals with each case individually.


Mitacs Environmental Review Policy

Mitacs will ensure that the research it supports promotes sustainable development and is conducted in a way that respects and protects the environment. To do this, Mitacs  is committed to paying careful attention to environmental considerations in its decision to fund  any research project. Ultimate responsibility for environmental considerations rests with the Mitacs Board of Directors which may, at its discretion, assign this duty to a subcommittee.

Click here for the Mitacs Environmental Review Policy


Responsibilities of Program Administrators (Mitacs)

Mitacs will administer the Accelerate program. Its responsibilities will include:

  • Promoting internship opportunities to graduate students, companies and university faculty across Canada
  • Assisting interns with developing the research plan
  • Adjudicating internship proposals in partnership with an arms-length College of Reviewers
  • Collecting and managing funds from partners and funding agencies
  • Providing said funds to academic supervisors via their university’s Office of Research Services
  • Monitoring the overall success of the Accelerate program