Is Mitacs Elevate open to fellows in any academic discipline?

Yes.

What is the Mitacs Elevate thematic call?

The Mitacs Elevate thematic call is a limited time offering new to the Fall 2021 call. This Elevate thematic funding opportunity offers a total research grant of $80,000 per year for projects addressing at least one of the key priority sectors of artificial intelligence, biomanufacturing, clean tech, or quantum science. Fellows receive a $70,000 minimum stipend/salary with up to $10,000 available to support research costs per year.

Speak with your local business development representative for any proposal assistance, including eligibility checks for this new funding opportunity, application feedback, and to explore any enhanced leveraging opportunities available to you. 

Do I need to be a recent PhD to apply?

No, but applicants should have completed their PhD within the last five years. Please contact elevate(at)mitacs.ca before applying and provide your CV so Mitacs can assess your eligibility.

Are part-time postdoctoral fellows eligible?

In order to participate in any Mitacs program, it is preferred that interns they have full-time student or postdoc status at their academic institution. However, individuals with part-time status as postdoctoral fellows are also eligible for Elevate, provided that the following conditions hold:  

  • They have postdoctoral fellow status at the academic institution for the duration of the fellowship
  • They are covered under the institution’s insurance, the same as full-time postdocs
  • The institution is able to pay the fellow a salary or stipend from the Mitacs grant
  • The fellow is able to commit to the project for the appropriate two-year duration

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 defence, final deposit and sign off of the dissertation) and must clearly demonstrate that your PhD will be received by your project start date, which can be no later than September 7, 2022. In addition to having completed your PhD, you must hold postdoctoral status at your home academic institution by the start date and for up to two years while in the Elevate program or you will be ineligible to receive the award. No funds will be transferred to award recipients without postdoctoral status.

What academic institutions are eligible for Mitacs Elevate?

Mitacs Elevate is open to all Mitacs Full, Associate and Honorary university partners, as well as non-member academic institutions across the country. Please note that fellows applying from certain academic institutions will require a contribution of $5,000 per year from their academic supervisor or academic institution in order to participate in the program. Please see below for more details.

Why are some academic institutions required to contribute $5,000 per year?

Elevate is supported by a combination of federal, provincial, territorial, and partner organization funds.

Dedicated funding varies by province. In some provinces, a financial contribution may be required (from the academic supervisor or academic institution) 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 academic institution will be required to indicate the account number the funds are in, and that the academic institution 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 academic institution, am I still eligible for the program?

Yes. We accept PhD graduates from international academic institutions 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, territorial, 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 academic institution, is eligible to administer Tri-Agency funds, and is in a position that allows them to supervise graduate students at the home academic institution may act as your academic supervisor. Please contact your academic institution to determine if they have specific regulations in this regard.

My academic supervisor owns a spin-off company. Is it an eligible partner?

Please provide a copy of your supervisor’s approved academic institution’s Conflict of Interest declaration, or other appropriate documentation such as a letter or email from the Dean or Department Chair, 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 fellow. In such cases, the independent administrator must be included as an applicant, and must submit an independent administrator form to declare that they will act in the best interests of the fellow(s). Please see our Mitacs Conflict of Interest Policy for more information.

Can the partner organization be a not-for-profit?

Under the Mitacs Elevate program, partner organizations must be either:

  • 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 academic institution. Is this allowed?

In-person interaction at the partner organization’s location is required when feasible, but we recognize that due to pandemic restrictions, many organizations and academic institutions began working virtually as much as possible, and that this mode of work may continue in some fields as part of the new normal. If the partner organization does not have a physical location where you can interact with their staff, explain this, and be sure to clearly describe your plans for virtual interaction. If you expect to interact virtually due to the current pandemic situation but may be able to go to the partner organization in person later in the fellowship, also mention these plans.  

In this section, describe the nature of the planned interaction (whether it will be in-person, virtual, or both) with all parties (for example both the academic supervisor and the partner organization). 

  • Which parts of the project will be conducted on site at the partner organization or at the academic institution?
  • Describe the interaction with and supervision by employees of the partner organization. If the interaction will be virtual, how will the fellow be exposed to the activities and culture of the partner organization (e.g., team meetings, company events, virtual coffee chats, training activities, etc.)?
  • Provide details of the resources (physical or virtual) and expertise to be shared by partner staff. 

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, recommendation letter 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 academic institution.

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, provincial or territorial agency.

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.

My project requires ethics/animal care/biohazard review. Do I have to submit the approval from the academic institution review committee with my application?

No, the approval is not required by the application deadline, but a valid academic institution 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 are typically 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 the proposal and be detailed on the application form. These funds are limited to supporting the direct costs of research. See Mitacs use of funds page for details of eligible expenses for Mitacs programs.

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 in March 2022 for Elevate thematic applications and June 2022 for Elevate standard applications.

How many fellowships will be awarded?

The Mitacs Elevate Review Committee will decide the number of fellowship awards at the time of the 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 September 7, 2022.  Fellows should allow at least three weeks from Mitacs’s receipt of the partner organization funds for their award to be processed and provided to the academic institution. Funds from the partner organization must be received at Mitacs and academic institution fund transfers (if applicable) must be confirmed BEFORE any funds are awarded to the academic institution. Costs can only be incurred after research approval of the proposal AND the receipt of the partner organization 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:

  • Ten courses and events, synchronous or asynchronous, over the two-year period
  • 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 ten courses 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 academic institution. Please note that all partner funds must be sent directly to Mitacs and not to the academic institution. The funds must be received in advance of the fellowship start date.

Can my partner organization submit payments of their contribution funds in instalments?

We request that the contribution funds be sent in a single installment. If there are extenuating circumstances in which your partner organization is not able to pay in one instalment, please contact Mitacs.

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

Elevate is offered in partnership with your academic institution, which administers your award. We recommend that you speak with your academic supervisor and institution about postdoc status (“employees” or “trainees”), funding policies (“stipend” or “salary”), and potential deductions of benefits. Academic institutions 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, academic institution and/or partner organization for the second year of the fellowship?

Requests to change the academic supervisor, academic institution 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 Parental Leave while in the program?

Yes. This should be communicated to your academic supervisor, organization partner and academic institution. 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. 

The Request for Leave form must be submitted to elevate@mitacs.ca to request to put the fellowship on hold.

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 elevate@mitacs.ca. Your host academic institution will be required to return any prorated funds for the remainder of the fellowship. Once the academic institution 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. See Mitacs use of funds page for details of eligible expenses for Mitacs programs.

The Early Cancellation of Fellowship form must be submitted to elevate@mitacs.ca in order to officially cancel the fellowship.

Does Mitacs require Form 300s / Statements of Account from the academic institutions at the end of each Elevate fellowship?

Yes. The academic institution 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 academic supervisor as well as the academic institution 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 elevate@mitacs.ca 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 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: