Academics and federal policy-makers work together through new Mitacs fellowship initiative

Ottawa, ON — Mitacs, a national non-profit research and training organization, announces a new pilot program, the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship, which sees PhD holders from all disciplines inform policy development, implementation, and/or evaluation in the Government of Canada’s departments and agencies.

In partnership with the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy and Mitacs’ university partners, the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship establishes relationships between government decision makers and academic researchers to help address policy challenges that Canada faces. The initiative aims to enhance science in policy and support evidence-based decision making within government.

The initiative will begin this fall with a pilot cohort of 10 fellows based in Ottawa. Fellows will spend 12 months in offices across eight federal departments including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Recipients of the first Canadian Science Policy Fellowship will be announced in October 2016.


Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Through Mitacs’ Canadian Science Policy Fellowship, talented Canadian researchers will have opportunities to apply their specialized expertise to important policy challenges. While building mutually beneficial relationships with government policy makers, the fellows will help strengthen the role of science in evidence-based decision making.”

Monica Gattinger, Director, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, University of Ottawa

“The University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy is delighted to partner with Mitacs on the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship program. Not only does the program provide unparalleled training opportunities for the fellows, it directly contributes to strengthening the federal government’s capacity in science policy and evidence-based decision-making.”

Quick facts:

  • The Canadian Science Policy Fellowship is made possible thanks to Professor Sarah Otto, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia; participating federal agencies and departments; the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy; and Mitacs’ Science Policy Fellowship Advisory Council.
  • Mitacs is a national not-for-profit organization led by Canadian universities that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for more than 15 years.
  • Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and federal and provincial governments, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.
  • The Institute for Science, Society and Policy is a cross-faculty institute at the University of Ottawa that carries out research, training and public outreach on the inter-relationships between science, society and policy.


For information about Mitacs and our programs, see