How It Works

Program Details

The Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship provides a long-term funding and internship option for master’s and PhD students. Recipients can also access professional development training that helps them ensure project success and gain in-demand career skills.

Interested applicants can apply for the Accelerate Fellowship at any time. All other Accelerate program guidelines apply.

Funding

 

Contact accelerate@mitacs.ca for more information.

Eligibility

  • Master’s and PhD students at all Canadian universities
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and international Master’s and PhD students over the age of 18
  • All academic disciplines
  • For-profit corporations and eligible not-for-profit corporations, municipalities, and hospitals in Canada
  •  If you are collaborating with a not-for-profit, hospital, or municipality, you must seek partner and project eligibility approval before proceeding by connecting with a Mitacs Advisor in your region

How to Apply

  1. Review the following information when you begin writing your proposal:
  • Eligible research and adjudication criteria
  • Writing Your Proposal guide
  • Policies

  2.   Get feedback on the proposal from all participants and your Mitacs Advisor

  3.   Collect all required signatures: intern(s), professor(s), partner contact, and university Office of Research Services or equivalent

  4.   Email your proposal package to your Mitacs Advisor

Note: Interns travelling internationally (whether to or from Canada) for an Accelerate project must visit our Accelerate International page for additional instructions and requirements.

 PROPOSAL PACKAGE

Accelerate proposal (under Applications). Please note that only this latest version of the Mitacs Accelerate template proposal will be accepted.

Intern CV (interns may use Mitacs’s optional template [doc])

Please be sure to include supporting documents as required by your university or province.

For projects with international travel, you can submit the following documents after the submission of the proposal; however, funds will not be released until Mitacs receives these forms.

For travel abroad: 

International pre-departure form
Code of Conduct

For travel to Canada: 

International pre-departure form
Code of Conduct

What happens next 

  1. Peer review of your proposal will take approximately six to eight weeks. Proposals with multiple internships or that require revisions may take longer.
  2. Partner organizations will receive an invoice (refundable if not approved), so that the intern receives payment when the project begins
  3. Mitacs will contact all participants with the outcome and applicable instructions.
  4. Mitacs forwards the Accelerate funds to the academic institution upon receipt of the partner contribution and the proposal’s approval.

Application timeline

Questions? Consult the FAQs or reach out to accelerate@mitacs.ca

Additional resources for applicants:

 

HOW TO FIND A PARTNER

Watch the Research Partnerships 101 webinar

 

COMPANIES SEEKING INTERNS

Search our list of available projects

 

OUR PROJECTS DATABASE

Explore previous Mitacs-funded research in your field

Application
All Files.zip
Project Name Terms, Conditions & Policies
All Files.zip
Mitacs Terms, Conditions & Policies
All Files.zip

Program Administration

Mitacs invoices a partner organization upon submission of their Accelerate proposal. Upon receipt of the partner’s contribution, Mitacs forwards the research award to the Canadian academic institution. No funds will be released to the academic institution until the invoice has been paid and the proposal is approved. Mitacs has no control over when funds are administered by the academic institution. If you have questions about your Accelerate award after Mitacs has released funds, contact your academic institution’s Office of Research Services (or equivalent).

Mitacs’ policy is to take no position and claims no intellectual property (IP) from projects it funds. All Mitacs Accelerate participants are bound by the IP terms of the academic institution where the intern is enrolled. IP is left to be shared between the academic institution, its researchers, and the partner organization, according to the IP rules of the academic institution, unless a separate agreement is negotiated.

The following universities have developed their own IP terms for Mitacs projects:

Note that these IP agreements may not apply to joint applications with other funding organizations.

External referees for internship proposals receive the following questions to guide their assessment of the proposal:

1. Mitacs Accelerate supports research-based internships. Does the proposed project qualify as research in its discipline?

2. Is the project appropriate for the academic degree level of the intern?

3.  Are the objectives clear?

4. Is the methodology appropriate to achieve the objectives?

5.  Is the timeline realistic?

6. Other comments and suggestions for the applicants. For example, is there prior work that should be considered by the researchers?

7.  Confidential comments for Mitacs:

8. Will the research work potentially have adverse effects on the environment? Do you recommend that an additional environmental impact review be conducted?

9.  Does this project have a demonstrable economic or productivity orientation? (for projects with not-for-profit partners only)

When a proposal involves over $0.75M requested from Mitacs (approximately 100 internship units), a collaborative review meeting will typically be held virtually or on-site after the external peer review is completed. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the results of the peer review, the project management strategy, the mentoring and training strategy, and to tour project facilities and interns’ work environment when relevant.

Responsibilities

The following steps outline the responsibilities of each Mitacs Accelerate participant before, during, and after their project. For projects with multiple internships, each intern is responsible for his or her individual steps.

Interns travelling internationally (whether to or from Canada) may have additional or different responsibilities, which can be found on the Accelerate International page.

Mitacs Accelerate Terms and Conditions outline participants’ responsibilities in further detail — each participant is expected to understand and adhere to the Terms and Conditions of the program.

  • Confirm the internship start date with your professor and partner. Notify Mitacs if your start date changes.
  • Develop a research plan with your professor and partner. Confirm intellectual property requirements with your academic institution.
  • Read and follow the Accelerate code of conduct.
  • Ensure appropriate insurance coverage, as necessary.
  • Start the internship only after funds have been forwarded to the academic institution.
  • For internships with international travel: International Pre-departure form and Code of Conduct must be received before the internship can begin.
  • Organize monthly status meetings and update Mitacs as necessary.
  • Spend approximately 50% of your time on site with the partner.
  • Spend approximately 50% of your time at the academic institution(s).
  • Maintain student or postdoc status at the university, or student status at the college, for the duration of your internship.
  • Consider taking a Mitacs Training workshop before or during your internship. Topics include essential interpersonal, project management, and entrepreneurial skills.
  • Complete a final report and submit it to Mitacs EDGE.
  • Intern must submit the final report no later than one month after the conclusion of the Accelerate internship
  • The final report template can be accessed on the EDGE platform and should:
  • Identify future research plans
  • Identify benefits for the partner organization
  • Summarize research goals, research techniques used, and research outcomes
  • Be no more than three pages in length 
  • Please upload completed final report to your EDGE profile
  • Complete the Accelerate Intern Exit Survey. You will receive an email from Mitacs with the survey link shortly after you complete your internship. 
  • Add your Accelerate internship and Training courses to your CV and LinkedIn profile  
  • Sign up for the newsletter (optional). As a participant in a Mitacs program, you can receive exclusive updates on job postings, funding and research opportunities, courses, and more.
  • Acknowledge all Mitacs-sponsored results, including work by professors, postdocs, other interns, and research associates with the following statement: “This work was supported by Mitacs through the Mitacs Accelerate program.”

  • Develop a research plan with the intern(s) and partner. Confirm intellectual property requirements with your academic institution.
  • Provide feedback to the intern(s) to improve the quality of the proposal.
  • Ensure appropriate insurance coverage, as necessary.
  • Confirm the internship start date with the intern(s).
  • Start the internship only after funds have been forwarded to the Canadian academic institution.
  • Take fiduciary responsibility for the Mitacs grant (Canadian university professors only).
  • Provide ongoing direction and research support to the student prior to and during the research project.
  • Attend monthly status meetings and update Mitacs as necessary.
  • Supervise the intern(s) during their internship activities at the academic institution.
  • Sign the final report.
  • Complete an exit survey.
  • Acknowledge Mitacs-funded results with the following: “This work was supported by Mitacs through the Mitacs Accelerate program.”

  • Develop a research plan with the intern(s) and professor(s).
  • Provide feedback to the intern(s) to improve the quality of the proposal.
  • Confirm the project start date with the intern(s).
  • Agree to protect and keep confidential intern(s)’s personal information with any third party, unless granted written permission by intern(s).
  • Ensure appropriate insurance coverage, as necessary.
  • Pay the contribution upon receipt of the Mitacs invoice. Projects can only begin after Mitacs has received the partner payment and forwarded the Accelerate grant to the academic institution.
  • Attend monthly status meetings and update Mitacs as necessary.
  • Supervise the intern(s) during their on-site internship activities.
  • Provide access to the project site for an in-person assessment at Mitacs’s request.
  • Sign the final report.
  • Complete an exit survey.
  • Acknowledge Mitacs-funded results with the following: “This work was supported by Mitacs through the Mitacs Accelerate program.”

  • Mitacs Accelerate internships require the active participation of the intern, professor, and partner organization. All participants should attempt to fulfill their project obligations.If all parties are in agreement, a project or individual internship may be terminated. If one party wants to cancel the internship without other parties’ agreement, s/he must first notify them in writing and allow 30 days for resolution of outstanding issues.Any funds remaining after a cancelled internship must be returned to Mitacs.

FAQs

In order to participate in any Mitacs program, it is preferred that interns have full-time student or postdoctoral fellow status at their academic institution. However, part-time students are also eligible for Accelerate internships that do not include international travel, provided that the following conditions hold:
• They have student status at the academic institution for the duration of the internship
• They are covered under the institution’s insurance, the same as full-time students
• The institution is able to pay the intern a salary or stipend from the Mitacs grant
• The student is able to commit to the project for the appropriate duration (Accelerate internships are four months and may be spread over up to six months to accommodate other commitments)

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.

Yes, Accelerate supports internships based in Canada and around the world, provided those internships include at least one intern travelling to or from Canada, university, or partner organization that is based in Canada. See Accelerate International for more information.

No. Accelerate internships are full-time internships, which means participants are expected to be spending 50% of their time at the partner organization and 50% of their time at their host academic institution.
• Interns cannot simultaneously hold Accelerate internships, or combine them with any other Mitacs internships or fellowships that overlap.
• While a Mitacs intern can hold multiple awards over time based on their degree level, internship or fellowship start and end dates cannot overlap.
Participants who hold another Mitacs award or internship must complete it prior to receiving an Accelerate Award to start an internship.

Mitacs cannot support an internship in which the intern is doing work they were previously doing as an employee or contractor. We can allow internships where the student has previously been an employee or contractor under the following conditions:
• The intern has gone back to school to pursue a new post-secondary diploma or degree following their employment
• The proposed internship is substantially different to the work they were doing as an employee or contractor
• The intern is not an employee or contractor during the internship
Postdoctoral fellows are not eligible for internships/fellowships at organizations where they have already been a full-time employee. Only if their employment was part time and/or very short-term can their eligibility for Mitacs programs be considered. Please discuss this situation with a Mitacs Business Development representative before applying.

Mitacs does not have any restrictions on its recipients holding other grants.
You are responsible to determine if your other grants have such restrictions prior to applying to Accelerate.

No, Mitacs does not offer any scholarships to cover university tuition fees. Our programs are designed to offer support to students conducting research projects.

Internships are 4–6-month units of a research project, valued at $15K per unit, with $7,500 from both the partner organization and Mitacs, to support post-secondary research projects. Funds flow through the academic institution with a stipend to the student at a minimum of $10K, with up to $5K to support research costs. Please refer to the Funding section for an illustrated explanation.

The maximum allowable number of internships varies depending on your current academic designation: 

  • College students can complete up to three internship units 
  • Undergraduate students can complete up to three internship units 
  • Master’s students can complete up to six internship units 
  • PhD students can complete up to twelve internships 
  • Postdoctoral fellows can complete up to nine internships 

Graduate students seeking longer-term funding can also apply for Accelerate Fellowship funding, in which: 

  • Master’s students can complete an 18 or 24-month project  
  • PhD students can complete a three or four-year project  

Applicants can apply for Accelerate and Accelerate Fellowship funding at any time. 

Mitacs cannot find partner organizations for individual interns. For tips on finding a partner organization, view the Research Partnerships 101 webinar, talk to your academic supervisor, or visit the Researchers Wanted page.

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Mitacs forwards Accelerate funds to the student’s academic institution only after it has received the contribution from the student’s partner organization. Please allow two weeks for processing upon receipt of this contribution. Interns travelling to Canada should be aware that their funding may not be available until they arrive in Canada. Mitacs recommends that interns contact their Canadian host university’s Office of Research Services prior to the project to determine when they can access funds.

Mitacs follows Tri-Agency eligible expenses for use of funds. Please refer to Mitacs Use of Funds policy (found in the downloadable General Mitacs Terms, Conditions & Policies zip file under How To Apply) for details of eligible expenses for Mitacs programs.

Accelerate is offered in partnership with a student’s university, which administers their award. We recommend that students speak with their professor and institution about student 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-Agency guidelines. If benefits are included, they may be deducted from either a student’s pay or the accompanying research funds.

Students are welcome to revise and resubmit either a new version of the current proposal or a new proposal on a related, eligible project, per the guidance provided in the decision letter. We provide feedback from Mitacs Research staff, external expert reviewers and/or the Mitacs Research Council in all decision letters in order to help applicants improve proposals which were not initially approved.

Masters and PhD students must hold student status at their academic institution and meet all eligibility criteria for the Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship before applying.

After their research proposal has successfully passed the research review, they will receive an email that confirms Mitacs received the partner contribution confirmation. They will also be asked to confirm their start and end dates at that time. Students should not start until they receive the email confirming that Mitacs has received the partner funds. This is necessary to be able to pay the intern on time.
Please read the Mitacs Accelerate project start and end dates policy found in the downloadable Application Package zip file in the How To Apply section.

The partner funds must be received in full at Mitacs prior to any internship 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 internship start date.

To maximize your experience, we ask students to complete the Mitacs Accelerate Orientation online session to prepare them for their internship, and the Mitacs Virtual Interactions Resources online session if they have virtual partner interaction.
The other online courses in the Accelerate Curriculum are skills-development courses suggested for students to support your professional development.

Yes. This should be communicated to their supervisor, organization partner and university. The internship will be put on hold for this period of time, and the student will not be paid from their internship. Once a return date has been determined, the student will need to inform Mitacs of when they plan on returning to the fellowship to complete their term.

The final report is part of the program deliverables for interns at the end of their internship. Students should consult the onboarding information from their Accelerate Outcome email, or refer to the Responsibilities/Deliverables tab under Program Administration for more information.
A final report must be submitted by the intern no later than one (1) month after the conclusion of the internship. The report must be completed on a prepared template found on EDGE or in the downloadable Application Package zip file under How To Apply.

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 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 review the Virtual Interactions Guide found in the General Mitacs Terms, Conditions and Policies zip file under How To Apply. Or, refer to the Mitacs Virtual Interactions Resources online session found on the EDGE portal.

Once the completed Final Report has been submitted and reviewed, a Mitacs Accelerate: Certificate of Completion will be available on EDGE.

Mitacs Accelerate internships require the active participation of the intern, professor, and partner organization. All participants should attempt to fulfill their project obligations.
If all parties are in agreement, a project or individual internship may be terminated. If one party wants to cancel the internship without other parties’ agreement, s/he must first notify them in writing and allow 30 days for resolution of outstanding issues.
Any funds remaining after a cancelled internship must be returned to Mitacs. For more information, please refer to the downloadable General Mitacs Terms, Conditions & Policies zip file found under How To Apply.

The Mid-Term surveys are mid-term checks that are sent to Accelerate Interns & the partner organizations at the midpoint of each internship unit on the project, to check-in and ensure that the internship started as originally proposed, to address any issues, and to offer an opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback to the Accelerate team during the internship.

Students should check their spam or junk folder. If they still haven’t received it, they should contact evaluation@mitacs.ca.

Students should receive an invitation within the 30 days following the completion of their internship/fellowship.

Students should log in to their Accelerate e-campus on EDGE, then upload the completed Final Report there, once they have completed all required courses.
Students having trouble accessing the Final Report once they’re logged in should contact accelerate@mitacs.ca.