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.

The contribution varies depending on the applicant’s province and university partnership level.

To determine your criteria, please select your province :

Elevate supervisors must hold a faculty position at a Canadian university and must be eligible to administer Tri-Council funds and be in a position that allows them to supervise graduate students.

Mitacs Elevate is open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and international applicants. The fellow must be based at a university located in the same province as the partner organization for the duration of the fellowship.

Fellows must be committed to the two-year fellowship, including the training and development, when applying to Elevate. Replacement and/or substitute fellows are not allowed.

Postdoctoral fellows may apply for Mitacs Elevate fellowship if their date of graduation from a PhD program is no more than 5 years prior to the proposed start date the research project.  Fellows who have had a break in their career due to military service, illness, or family leave may be considered as exceptions and must be approved in advance of proposal submission. If this situation applies to you and/or you have any questions, please contact Mitacs at elevate(at)mitacs.ca.

Successful candidates must have fulfilled all degree requirements (e.g., successful defense, final deposit, and signoff of dissertation) for their PhD at time of project start date which can be no later than September 5, 2018.

All fellows who successfully enter into the Elevate program are responsible for ensuring that they meet the PDF eligibility criteria at their host institution and that they will hold a PDF status by the start date of their fellowship (no later than September 5, 2018) and for the two-year duration of the Elevate program.

  • Fellows must not have been employed for more than six months in an R&D position outside the university after receipt of their doctoral degree; and
  • Fellows must not have received an offer of employment from the partner organization except an offer of this fellowship or short-term employment of up to six months while awaiting a decision on the fellowship.
    • If the application is not recommended for an award, the candidate may not be eligible to apply again once he or she has accumulated more than six months of industrial or partner organization work. It is therefore recommended that candidates accept a temporary contract only if necessary and that the period of the contract be kept as short as possible.
  • Fellows who have held a Mitacs Accelerate award as a Masters, or PhD student are eligible to apply. Applicants may also apply if they have been approved for no more than 3 internship units of Accelerate funding (1 year equivalent) support at the postdoctoral level to be completed before the start of the Elevate fellowship.  Postdoctoral fellows who have already held a Mitacs Elevate award are not eligible to apply again to Elevate or to apply afterwards to Accelerate.
  • Fellows cannot apply to multiple Mitacs programs for the same period of time.

Eligible partner organizations to Elevate include:

  • For-profit corporations and crown corporations receiving no more than 50% of their revenues from government sources.
  • Not-for-profit (NFP) corporations, such as industry associations, charitable organizations, and economic development organizations.

All projects in collaboration with an NFP partner must demonstrate an economic or productivity orientation.  Examples include creating new jobs, reducing costs of goods or services, or increasing productivity in a process or industry. 

Examples of eligible research projects include:

  • Examining the barriers to meaningful employment of blind Canadians
    • Anticipated research outcome: improved employment opportunities for an underemployed population
  • Creating themed video games and apps for a theatre festival
    • Anticipated research outcome: festival gains new audience and attendance is increased
  • Developing a pilot program that helps stroke victims return to work
    • Anticipated research outcome:  implementation of the program to facilitate shorter recovery times and a faster return to the workplace

Please contact us to discuss the eligibility of an NFP organization before submission of the completed application package.

All Mitacs Elevate partner organizations must be Canadian or a Canadian location of a foreign-owned organization. They should be end-users of the research and must have an office or site in the same province as the fellow’s university, where the fellow undertakes at least 50% of the fellowship interacting with the partner.

Organizations not eligible to participate as organization partners include:

  • Government departments, agencies or ministries
  • Hospitals 
  • Universities
  • Aboriginal governments and municipalities
  • Foreign companies

Questions about Elevate eligibility? Contact a Mitacs representative.

Mitacs supports university-based research projects and university-industry research collaborations through the Globalink, Accelerate, and Elevate programs.  These Mitacs programs are open to researchers in all disciplines and provide support to projects in many sectors.  The following list articulates the key characteristics of research and provides guidelines on the types of projects eligible for support through the Globalink, Accelerate, and Elevate programs:

Research makes a new contribution to the body of knowledge in a field
Research answers a question that has not been answered previously or otherwise makes a new contribution by developing new techniques to solve an existing problem, applying and/or combining existing techniques to solve a new problem, or analyzing new or existing data to generate new knowledge. Mitacs research proposals should be clear about the objectives and novel aspects of the proposed work.

Research is broadly applicable
Research builds on existing knowledge in a field and makes a contribution to future research when it is shared with the wider community. For research collaborations between universities and non-academic partner organizations, projects are expected to produce results of broader interest, in addition to any results that may be of interest only to the partner organization.  This idea of general applicability of results that could be publishable in a peer-reviewed venue distinguishes a research project from a consulting project.

Mitacs appreciates that intellectual property (IP) is an important concern for applied research projects with industrial partners. IP concerns should be settled according to any applicable IP policies at the intern’s university. From the research perspective, interns need to be allowed to publish the results of their research, but may be asked to delay publication briefly while the company files patents.

Academic research in business disciplines (e.g., accounting, marketing, operations, labour economics) that is publishable in peer-reviewed journals is eligible for Mitacs funding. Business projects that use well established, standardized methodologies for data collection are ineligible. Projects that generate knowledge of interest only to a particular company or interest group rather than knowledge that is of general interest in the discipline are also ineligible. Examples include market research, development of business plans, consulting projects, and white papers.

Research is defined by the research community
The research landscape is constantly changing, so the most reliable judge of whether a project is considered research is the research community. As such, peer review is a standard method of evaluating proposals employed by many research organizations, including Mitacs.  Discipline-specific experts offer advice to Mitacs about Accelerate and Elevate research proposals. Mitacs is also supported in this role by the Mitacs Research Council (MRC).

In the context of peer review, the proposal must be clear about the methodology that will be used for data collection, identification of sources, analysis, and any other research activities in the project. This methodology must be recognized as an appropriate one in the discipline and suitable for the type of problem being addressed.

Research is publishable in a peer-reviewed venue
The results of a research project are normally reviewed and disseminated within the research community. In most fields, this means the results are publishable in a peer-reviewed journal or conference.

Mitacs does not require that the results of funded projects be published, though it is strongly encouraged.  Regardless, a good test of the project’s eligibility is whether it is expected that the results will be publishable in principle.  Master’s theses and PhD dissertations are also considered peer-reviewed academic publications, so research projects that form part of an intern’s thesis or dissertation are acceptable.

In creative fields such as fine arts, architecture, and interior design, review and dissemination can include the presentation of work in a juried, refereed, or curated venue.

New research builds on previous research
A literature review is used to situate the proposed work within the discipline’s existing body of research. A preliminary literature review is a required part of writing a research proposal to ensure that the proposed work is novel, that it builds appropriately on the latest work in the field, uses the most up-to-date methods, etc.

For an Accelerate internship that is part of a student’s thesis work or another larger project, the intern may have already conducted a thorough literature review and does not need to spend internship time on this task. In other cases, an in-depth literature review of the specific subfield pertaining to the project can be included as a small part of an Accelerate internship.  Most of the internship should be devoted to conducting new research.

Development is an intrinsic part of research in many disciplines
Development of a new artifact is often a key part of research in engineering or computer science; the “unknown” being addressed by the research project is whether the artifact in question can be successfully built. Thus, research projects consisting largely of development are considered eligible if the applicants expect to be able to publish a paper(s) based on the work.

Projects in which the intern develops novel software to answer a research question or test a hypothesis are also eligible. It is important to be clear how the results will be evaluated.

Research should be appropriate to the level of the intern or fellow
The level of research expected for an eligible project varies based on the type of intern or fellow. Frequently, undergraduate research projects are an introduction to research or a contribution to a project led by a more advanced student. A Master’s degree is also considered an initiation or familiarization to research and typically involves developing a new approach to solving a known problem or applying existing tools to solve a new problem. PhD students are expected to exhibit originality and make an important personal contribution to their field. A PhD or postdoctoral project is generally novel in at least some aspect of both the tools and the problem.