Is Mitacs Elevate open to fellows in any academic discipline?
Do I need to be a recent PhD to apply?
No, but applicants should have completed their PhD within the last 5 years. Please contact elevate(at)mitacs.ca before applying and provide your CV so Mitacs can assess your eligibility.
I won’t have defended my PhD by the application deadline. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can apply; however, you must have fulfilled all PhD degree requirements (e.g., successful defense, final deposit and sign off of dissertation) and must clearly demonstrate that your PhD will be received by your project start date, which can be no later than February 8, 2021. In addition to having completed your PhD, you must hold postdoctoral status at your host university by the start date and for up to two years while in Elevate program or you will be ineligible to receive the award. No funds will be transferred to award recipients without postdoctoral status.
What universities are eligible for Mitacs Elevate?
Mitacs Elevate is open to all Mitacs Full, Associate and Honorary university partners, as well as non-member universities across the country. Please note that fellows applying from certain universities will require a contribution of $5,000 per year from their academic supervisor or university in order to participate in the program. Please see below for more details.
Why are some universities required to contribute $5,000 per year?
Elevate is supported by a combination of federal, provincial, and partner organization funds.
Dedicated funding varies by province. In some provinces, a financial contribution may be required (from the academic supervisor or university) in lieu of provincial funding. Visit our eligibility page to determine if additional funding is required for your application.
If my academic supervisor must contribute funds, how is this administered?
If your situation requires an annual $5,000 contribution from your academic supervisor, Mitacs requires confirmation of these funds at the time of the application (budget section of the proposal form). Funds are not required to come directly to Mitacs.
If you are successful, your university will be required to indicate the account number the funds are in, and that the university is prepared to report on the funds, as part of the fellowship funding, with a Form 300 or annual statement of account outlining the use of funds to support the fellow. This confirmation will be sent with a Provisional Notice of Award at the time the results are announced.
I received my PhD from an international university, am I still eligible for the program?
Yes. We accept PhD graduates from international universities for this program.
I currently hold an NSERC/CIHR/SSHRC or Mitacs Accelerate postdoctoral scholarship. Am I eligible?
You are eligible to apply for the program; however, you may not hold a Mitacs Elevate award at the same time as any other federal, provincial, or Mitacs grant or scholarship.
Can my academic supervisor be an adjunct professor or an assistant professor?
Any professor who holds a faculty position at a Canadian university, is eligible to administer Tri-Council funds, and is in a position that allows them to supervise graduate students at the host university may act as your academic supervisor. Please contact your university to determine if they have specific regulations in this regard.
My academic supervisor owns a spin-off company. Is it an eligible partner?
In most cases, this constitutes a Conflict of Interest and would not be allowed. Please provide a copy of your approved academic institution’s Conflict of Interest declaration, or other appropriate documentation such as a letter or email from your Dean, with your application. The documents must describe the nature of the conflict and the measures in place to manage the conflict.
Generally, Mitacs will accept the mitigation measures put in place by your academic institution. However, when the conflict is considered significant, Mitacs may require that the academic institution appoint an independent administrator to hold the award and to be responsible for ensuring the best interests of the intern. In such cases, the independent administrator must be included as an applicant, and must submit a declaration that they will act in the best interests of the intern(s).
Can the partner be a not-for-profit?
Under the Mitacs Elevate program, partner organizations must be:
- a for-profit Canadian corporation
- the Canadian business location of a foreign-owned for-profit corporation with significant Canadian operations
- a not-for-profit corporation, such as an economic development organization, an industry association, a charitable organization, or a social welfare organization. Projects with a not-for-profit organization must have a demonstrable economic or productivity orientation. Please contact elevate(at)mitacs.ca to discuss the eligibility of a specific not-for-profit organization.
- Partners should be potential end-users of the research, with a vested interest in the results.
Is an existing collaboration with a partner eligible?
Yes. A fellowship may build on an existing partnership or form the beginning of a new partnership. However, the partner funds must be received at Mitacs prior to the start date of the fellowship. No funds will be released until this contribution has been received in full.
There’s no need for me to go to the partner organization’s facilities, I can do all the research at the university. Is this allowed?
No. Under this program you must interact with the company in person at the Canadian partner organization’s facilities on-site for at least 50% of the fellowship. Partner organization facilities located on campus are not allowed.
The company I want to work with is very small. Is that ok?
Small companies are eligible as long as they have an independent site off campus where you can work with company personnel for at least 50% of the time during your fellowship.
Can my partner organization contribute more than $30,000 per year?
Yes. Partner organizations are welcome to contribute additional funding but Mitacs will not provide any additional funding outside of the standard award. This additional partner funding should be included in the application budget and the anticipated use of funds (e.g. stipend/salary top-up, specialized equipment). Top-up funds must be received at Mitacs at the same time as the minimum contribution and will be added to the annual award and forwarded to the university.
Are partner organization funds that are matched by other organizations eligible for Elevate?
No. Funds used towards Elevate cannot be matched by any other federal or provincial agency.
Can an Elevate application have more than one academic supervisor or more than one partner organisation?
Yes, this is allowed. Please attach the forms with the final completed application package.
Is there a template for the CV?
We do have a template that is used for the Mitacs Accelerate program; however, sending your CV in a template is not necessary for this application.
Does the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/Signature Page need original signatures from the university, or can the signatures be electronic?
Yes, electronic signatures are accepted. The MOU/signature page must include signatures from all parties. These signatures can be sent by email and be on separate pages.
My project requires ethics/animal care/biohazard review. Do I have to submit the approval from the university review committee with my application?
No, the approval is not required by the application deadline, but a valid University Research Ethics Board/University Animal Care Committee/Biohazard certification or approval is required for the research activities contained in the Elevate proposal, in accordance with the requirements of the federal granting agencies. Mitacs may request a copy of the report to ensure compliance.
Can I use my research costs to offset my relocation costs?
Relocation costs for eligible research personnel and their immediate family members, via economy airfare or cost of land travel, up to the equivalent of economy airfare, are eligible expenses. Eligible expenses in support of the research must be budgeted and agreed upon by all parties (postdoctoral fellow, academic supervisor and partner organization) at the time of proposal and be detailed on the application form. These funds are limited to supporting the direct costs of research. Mitacs follows NSERC guidelines for allocation of funding and eligible expenses. More details are available on the NSERC website.
Does the fellow need to be identified at the time of application?
Yes. If you are a professor and you are interested in a project with a partner organization but have not yet identified a fellow, you may want to consider applying for the Mitacs Accelerate program instead.
How long does the fellowship last?
The Mitacs Elevate program is a two-year program. In order to receive funds in the second year, fellows must renew their application by providing proof of continued financial support from their partner, proof of participation in training in the first year, and a research report before the end of the first year. In certain cases, academic supervisors may also be required to contribute funding support in lieu of provincial support for the second year.
When will the awards be announced?
At this time, we anticipate announcing the awards by November 2020.
How many fellowships will be awarded?
The Mitacs Elevate Review Committee will decide the number of fellowship awards at the time of review, dependent upon quality of submissions and available funding.
When can I start the fellowship?
Fellowships may begin any time after the acceptance notice is received, but they must commence no later than February 8, 2021. Fellows should allow at least 3 weeks from Mitacs’ receipt of the industry funds for their award to be processed and provided to the university. Funds from the partner organization must be received at Mitacs and university funds transfers (if applicable) must be confirmed, BEFORE any funds are awarded to the university. Costs can only be incurred after research approval of the proposal AND the receipt of the partner funds at Mitacs as per Mitacs Policy. Fellows starting their project before this time do so at their own risk.
What does the professional development component for Elevate involve?
The professional development component of Elevate consists of:
- Three in-person retreats and events over the two-year period
- Several online training courses
- Development of a business case for the PDF’s own research project and partner organization
- Additional online activities to support the fellow’s career development
What happens if I do not attend the professional development events that are part of my Elevate fellowship?
Each postdoctoral fellow will be monitored on a regular basis for effectiveness and attendance at professional development events and will be expected to take part at least in three, mandatory, in-person retreats over a two-year period. If you do not attend these mandatory events, your Mitacs award may be withdrawn. If you wish to focus your time on collaborative research without a professional development component, please apply to our Mitacs Accelerate program.
When must the partner contribution be received at Mitacs?
The partner funds must be received in full at Mitacs prior to any fellowship funds being sent by Mitacs to the University. Please note that all partner funds must be sent directly to Mitacs and not to the university. The funds must be received in advance of the fellowship start date.
Can my partner organization submit payments of their contribution funds in installments?
We request that the contribution funds are sent in a single installment. If there are extenuating circumstances in which your partner organization is not able to pay in one installment, please contact Mitacs.
Is my Elevate award a stipend or a salary? Will benefits be deducted?
Elevate is offered in partnership with your university, which administers your award. We recommend that you speak with your professor and institution about postdoc status (“employees” or “trainees”), 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.
Can I change my academic supervisor, university and/or partner organization for the second year of the fellowship?
Requests to change the academic supervisor, university and/or organization partner will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Applicants requesting such a change will be asked to provide a clear and satisfactory justification. Impacts on the research project and learning environments (academic and partner organization) will be assessed to ensure a high-quality experience for the fellow.
Can I take Paternity and/or Maternity Leave while in the program?
Yes. This should be communicated to your supervisor, organization partner and university. Your fellowship will be put on hold for this period of time, and you will not be paid from your fellowship. Once a return date has been determined, you will need to inform Mitacs of when you plan on returning to the fellowship to complete your term.
If I cannot complete the full term of my Mitacs Elevate fellowship, what is the procedure for returning the unused contribution funds to my academic supervisor/partner organization?
If you plan to terminate your award early, you will need to send a written notice to Mitacs, including the reasons for such action and the effective termination date, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your host university will be required to return any prorated funds for the remainder of the fellowship. Once the university returns these unused funds to Mitacs, we will issue a refund to your partner organization for the prorated amount of their contribution. These funds are limited to supporting the direct costs of research. Mitacs follows guidelines for eligible expenses as set out by NSERC. More details are available on the NSERC website.
Does Mitacs require Form 300s / Statements of Account from the universities at the end of each Elevate fellowship?
Yes. The University must provide a Form 300 / Statement of Account (separate Form 300s / Statements of Account for each account, if applicable) for funds received by the supervisor for each fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) and the form(s) should be sent to Mitacs Inc. no later than May 31. Please note that if a balance is left in the account as of March 31, a separate Form 300 / Statement of Account for the following fiscal year is required, detailing how the remaining funds were spent. At the end of the fellowship, a Form 300 / Statement of Account with a zero balance is required within 30 days of the award end date, detailing how the remaining funds were spent. The supervisor as well as the University Finance Officer must sign the Form 300 / Statement of Account and the form with original signatures must be sent to Mitacs.
Due to COVID-19, can Mitacs allow for virtual interaction with partner organizations and academic institutions?
As the landscape around COVID-19 continues to change, our priority of supporting global public health remains steadfast. In response to these unprecedented times, Mitacs is making short-term modifications to our operations.
Please send an email to email@example.com to let us know of your project changes if you are currently working on a project or will start one before August 31, 2020.
Please let us know which option below best meets your needs during the pandemic period:
A) Off-site: Mitacs is allowing work to take place virtually during this unprecedented time. In this case, we expect interns/fellows to follow partner and academic institution work from home procedures. We expect all participants to keep in close contact with each other, agreeing on expectations, and carrying out methodologies. Please confirm if this is the case.
B) Changes: We are also supporting changes to projects on a case-by-case basis. If your project is not able to continue in the current climate (e.g., indispensable infrastructure isn’t available), you can put your project on hold at any time — now or in the future. If you wish to do this, we invite the academic researchers and the partner organizations to discuss the best course of action. Please advise us of the exact or anticipated dates on which your project was/will be put on hold and when it will be resumed.
C) Other: If your project can carry on as originally planned, please let us know. If you need to make other modifications, please also let us know.
For more information on how to get the most out of your virtual experience, we recommend you visit the following guides and resources: