Study of Mitacs program outcomes reveals significant skills development, job creation, and retention of highly qualified personnel in Canada

Vancouver, BC – Results from a longitudinal survey released this week by Mitacs Inc. demonstrate that Mitacs Accelerate benefits Canadian research and development as well as individual participants.  Mitacs Accelerate pairs graduate students from Canadian universities with companies across Canada for research internships. Former Mitacs Accelerate participants overwhelmingly report improved academic experience and skills development, as well as increased employability beyond graduation as a result of their internships. Results indicate that the program creates up to 200 new R&D jobs in Canada annually.   

“Mitacs is committed to continually improving our programs so we can deliver the best possible outcomes for the government’s investments in R&D,” says Dr. Robert Annan, Chief Research Officer for Mitacs. “This survey indicates that Mitacs Accelerate helps interns hone their skills to advance innovation in Canada. It supports Mitacs’ overall mandate to create stronger bonds between academia and business to create jobs and build Canada’s economy.”


The first-ever Mitacs Accelerate Longitudinal Impacts Survey tracked outcomes and deliverables from the Mitacs Accelerate program, and reached out to more than 2,500 former interns. 686 interns took the survey, providing a 27% response rate.  Mitacs is committed to developing ways to measure the impacts from its programs for the benefit of the Canadian public.

Key Impacts

Skills Development

  • More than 85% of interns indicated significant improvement in their critical & creative thinking, competence in research development & design, knowledge of the discipline and ability to address private sector problems
  • Most interns felt more employable and attribute a better starting position to their participation in the program through, among other things, the acquisition of professional experience and an expanded professional network

“Expertise and relevant know-how of the private sector was by the far the biggest learning benefit for me. I learned the ins-and-outs of my industry from the ground up.” Kelly Watson, Master’s of Public Administration student, University of Victoria. Accelerate partner company, Bank of Nova Scotia.

Highly Qualified Personnel Retention

  • 91% of former interns are still in Canada
  • 87% of interns who were non-Canadian citizens consider their participation in Mitacs Accelerate to have positively impacted their satisfaction with their stay in Canada

“I decided on career in industry rather than academia as a direct result of my Accelerate internship; the exposure to industrial R&D in Canada was very important to me.” Yamuna Vadasarukkai, Master’s of Civil and Resource Engineering student, Dalhousie University. Accelerate partner company, Clearford Industries Inc.

Jobs in Canada

  • 67% of employed interns now work in an R&D environment
  • 46% of former research interns who now work in the private sector were hired by their partner company
  • 14% of employed interns have started their own company
  • The creation of up to 200 jobs annually can be attributed to the Mitacs Accelerate program

“Mitacs Accelerate allows graduate students to create their own opportunities. My internship showed me that it would be possible to blend what I love about academia with a position in industry.” Baijie Wang, Master’s of Geomatics, University of Calgary. Accelerate partner company, Husky Energy.

About Mitacs

Through unique research and training programs, Mitacs is developing the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills. In partnership with companies, government and academia, Mitacs is supporting a new economy using Canada’s most valuable resource – its people. For more information, visit