Program Details

About the program

 

Mitacs Elevate is a postdoctoral fellowship with an exclusive professional development curriculum component. Fellows address complex challenges through:

  • A one or two-year research project with a partner organization in need of high-level expertise
  • A professional development curriculum that prepares Elevate fellows for success as leaders in research and industry

Fellows progress through the program in a cohort, giving them cross-disciplinary networking and peer-learning opportunities they might not have otherwise in their careers.

Over the one or two-year fellowship, fellows will spend time with both a partner organization and their academic institution to work on their research project with their academic supervisor

The Elevate program offers:

  1. An award valued at $60,000 per year with a minimum stipend of $55,000
  • Partner organization contributes $30,000 per year

  2.  An exclusive professional development curriculum

  3.  Proposal assistance, including application feedback, from a Mitacs Advisor 

  4.  Certificate of completion after receipt of their exit survey and final report submission

Fellows can access the Elevate curriculum on our learning management system, EDGE

Training Courses

To learn more, go to Training.

Funding

Successful applicants receive a Mitacs Elevate award of $60,000 per year, for a total award of $120,000 for two-year projects, as well as the mandatory research management training curriculum. A minimum stipend/salary of $55,000 per year is allocated to the fellow, and up to $5,000 is allocated to research costs. Mitacs follows tri-council guidelines with respect to the use of funds towards eligible research costs. Awards are typically forwarded annually as a lump sum of $60,000 to the supervising faculty member, to be held as a research grant at their home academic institution, pending Mitacs’s receipt of the following:

  • the $30,000 annual partner contribution
  • any necessary documentation such as a Declaration of Conflict of Interest and/or other documentation as appropriate

Please note: Costs can only be incurred after research approval of the proposal AND the receipt of the partner funds at Mitacs as per Mitacs Policy.

 

Eligibility

Postdoctoral fellow eligibility:  

  • They are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or international applicants. 
  • They are based at an academic institution (including colleges or polytechnics) located in Canada for the duration of the fellowship. 
  • Their date of graduation from a PhD program is less than five years to proposed start date of the Elevate project, unless: 
    • Fellows who have had a break in their career due to military service, illness, or family leave may be considered exceptions and must be approved in advance of application 
    • If this situation applies to you, please contact a Mitacs advisor
  • They have fulfilled all PhD degree requirements (e.g., successful defence, final deposit, and sign-off of the dissertation), meet the postdoctoral fellow eligibility criteria at their home academic institution, hold a postdoctoral fellow status for the entire duration of their Mitacs Elevate fellowship. 
  • They can commit to the Mitacs Elevate fellowship, including the exclusive professional development curriculum. Replacement or substitute fellows are not allowed 
  • Elevate alumni that have completed a 1- or 2-year Elevate project will be able to apply for another Elevate project. Postdocs can only be funded for a maximum of 3 years 
  • Postdocs can complete nine internship units (typically 3 years) of Mitacs funding, including any combination of Elevate & Accelerate in any order (e.g. Accelerate after an Elevate; hold more than one Elevate). One year of Elevate counts as 3 internship units. 
  • Fellows cannot apply to multiple Mitacs programs for the same period of time. 

 

Fellows are ineligible if they have:  

  • Been employed for more than six months in an R&D position outside the academic institution after receipt of their doctoral degree 
  • Received an offer of employment from the proposed partner organization except an offer of this fellowship or short-term employment of up to six months while awaiting a decision on the Mitacs Elevate fellowship 
  • If the application is not recommended for an award, fellows may not be eligible to apply again if they have accumulated more than six months of industrial or partner organization work. It is recommended that fellows accept a temporary contract only if necessary and that the period is kept as short as possible.  

Questions about Mitacs Elevate eligibility? Contact a Mitacs advisor. 

How to Apply

Elevate proposals are now accepted all year round.

Before you apply
  1. Check the eligibility of the postdoctoral fellow, academic supervisor and partner organization
    a. 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 
  2. If you have a potential conflict of interest (COI):
    a. If you are uncertain whether you have a COI, please consult the Mitacs Conflict of Interest Policy or contact elevate@mitacs.ca
    b. Postdoctoral fellow COI: Submit the completed Intern eligibility and COI Declaration to your Mitacs Advisor 
    c. Academic supervisor COI: Bring your COI to your academic institution’s attention and include in your final application the documents below: 
  • Details on academic supervisor’s involvement with non-academic partner organization
  • Evidence that the academic supervisor’s academic institution is aware of the conflict
  • A description of the academic institution’s mitigation measures
How to apply
  1. Connect with a Mitacs Advisor
    a. Get your Elevate application started here
    b. Refer to guidelines under Elevate downloads on how to write your proposal. IMPORTANT: When filling in the proposal, please make sure to follow the format provided. Changing or modifying the format provided may result in your application becoming ineligible.

  2.  Upload the following documents to your Elevate application:
       a. For postdoctoral fellow, please upload the following to your profile:

  • Postdoctoral fellow’s CV
  • One (1) recommendation letter* from a former supervisor or person familiar with the fellow’s research expertise 
  • Any supplementary documents as applicable
    b. For academic supervisor, please upload the following to your profile:
  • Proposed academic supervisor’s CV 
  • One (1) recommendation letter* from the proposed academic supervisor 
  • Any supplementary documents as applicable

        c. For partner organization, please upload the following to your profile:

  • One (1) recommendation letter* from an eligible partner organization including financial contribution in dollar amount 
  • Any supplementary documents as applicable

*All recommendation letters must include letterhead and signature. Please refer to Recommendation Letter Guidelines under Elevate downloads.

3. Submit your Elevate application

After you apply

You will receive an email confirmation that your application has been received.

For more information on the adjudication process, refer to the Adjudication section in Program Administration.

If accepted, the project can only start after research approval of the proposal AND the receipt of the partner organization funds at Mitacs as per Mitacs Policy.

Elevate downloads

All necessary Elevate and Mitacs forms, templates, terms, policies, etc., may be downloaded via the following zip files:

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

Program Administration

Successful applicants receive a Mitacs Elevate award of $60,000 per year, renewable for a second year, for a total award of $120,000, as well as the mandatory professional development curriculum ($7,500 non-cash value over two years); a minimum stipend / salary of $55,000 per year is allocated to the fellow and up to $5,000 is allocated to research costs. Mitacs follows tri-council guidelines with respect to the use of funds (refer to Mitacs Use of Funds Policy in the downloadable General Mitacs Terms, Conditions & Policies zip file under How To Apply) towards eligible research costs. Awards are typically forwarded annually as a lump sum of $60,000 to the supervising faculty member, to be held as a research grant at their home academic institution, following Mitacs receipt of the following:

  • the $30,000 annual partner contribution
  • any necessary documentation such as a Declaration of Conflict of Interest and/or other documentation as appropriate

Please note: Costs can only be incurred after research approval of the proposal AND the receipt of the partner funds at Mitacs as per Mitacs Policy.

All parties involved with the Mitacs Elevate program are bound by the intellectual property terms of the university where the fellow is appointed. Please see the links below to the intellectual property terms for the following universities:

  • Concordia University
  • McGill University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Victoria

For all other institutions, the Mitacs Elevate program’s policy is to take no position regarding the intellectual property created by the projects and fellowships that are funded.

Intellectual property is left to be shared between the university, its researchers, and the industry partner, according to the intellectual property rules of the host university, unless a separate agreement is negotiated between the university, its researchers, and the industry partner. Mitacs strongly recommends that any discussions pertaining to intellectual property and confidentiality – where relevant – be resolved prior to submitting the Mitacs Elevate proposal.

NOTE: All recommendation letters must include letterhead and signature.

From former/current supervisors

Former or current supervisors who are providing a letter of recommendation on behalf of an applicant should include the following information:

  •  When did you supervise the proposed fellow, and how many other students have you supervised at the same level? [as applicable]
  • Please comment on the productivity and accomplishments of the proposed fellow, relative to other researchers you have known and/or supervised at the same career stage.
  • Make note of any particular achievements (e.g., publication record, patents, awards and scholarships, high-impact research results, leadership, mentoring, accomplishments in teaching, related industry or entrepreneurial activities) by the proposed fellow that you would like to further comment on.

All Mitacs Elevate fellowship proposals undergo a two-stage review process:

Stage 1: an administrative review to confirm program eligibility, followed by

Stage 2: an external review based on peer assessment of the research project proposals.

Peer assessment criteria are grouped into two (2) broad categories: the technical merit of the proposed research project; and the excellence of the proposed fellow.  For these categories, Mitacs seeks arm’s length expert reviewers to answer the following questions:

A. Technical merit of the proposed project

  • Does the project significantly contribute to the advancement of knowledge or the development of new applications, and is there an appreciable element of novelty?
  • Are the objectives achievable, given the current state of the art and the expertise of the project team?
  • Are the methods and techniques appropriate for the objectives?
  • Is the proposed project at an appropriate level for a postdoctoral fellow

B. Excellence of the proposed fellow

  • Relative to other researchers at the same career stage, how would you characterize the achievements of the proposed fellow (e.g. publication record, patents, awards and scholarships, mentoring, accomplishments in teaching, related industry or entrepreneurial activities, etc.)?
  • The Elevate program offers training opportunities to develop leadership, communication and business skills. Does the candidate demonstrate commitment to this professional development?

Responsibilities

Mitacs Elevate Terms and Conditions (see Downloads under How To Apply) outline participants’ responsibilities in further detail — each participant is expected to understand and adhere to the Terms and Conditions of the program.

The Elevate program invites applicants now to apply all year round.  A Mitacs Elevate Fellowship is a comprehensive program with a range of components designed to provide advanced training to enhance the professional and R&D management skills required for the fellow’s chosen career. As such, during the tenure of the award, the fellow is expected to: 

  • Meet with their academic supervisor and partner supervisor at the beginning of the fellowship to agree on the research plan 
  • Work with and receive mentorship from their academic supervisor at the academic institution 
  • Spend at least 50% of the fellowship working at the industry partner on-site on a research project of mutual interest 
  • Organize monthly status meetings with the academic and partner supervisors 
  • Remain a PDF of their host academic institution and shall not be an employee of the partner organization 
  • Work with Mitacs personnel to develop and implement a personalized training program to enhance their future career 
  • Spend from one to two days per month on training and/or networking activities 
  • Attend mandatory professional skills & research management training events facilitated by Mitacs and complete follow-up activities through the Elevate online learning portal 
  • Participate in the Mitacs Ambassador program as appropriate 
  • Submit all signed, required documentation by Mitacs and its funding partners, including, but not limited to, mid-term reports, final reports, and surveys. 

Please note: Partner contributions must be received by Mitacs and academic institution funds 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 funds at Mitacs as per Mitacs Policy. Fellows starting their project before this time do so at their own risk. 

The supervising professor is expected to: 

  • Provide ongoing mentorship and research support to the fellow 
  • Meet with and provide research expertise to the partner organization, as appropriate 
  • Assume fiduciary responsibility for the fellowship research grant, including ensuring expenditures consistent with program objectives & guidelines 
  • Participate in status meetings as necessary during the project 
  • Support the fellow’s professional training by allowing them to attend the mandatory Mitacs Elevate professional and research management training sessions 
  • Attend relevant Mitacs Elevate program events 
  • Sign off the final report to be submitted at the conclusion of the project 
  • Provide appropriate financial reporting and program feedback to Mitacs, as required by its funding partners, including a mandatory online feedback survey within one month of project completion 

Please note: Partner contributions must be received by Mitacs and academic institution funds 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 funds at Mitacs as per Mitacs Policy. 

A primary contact at the partner organization must be identified and is expected to: 

  • Ensure the partner’s financial contribution is forwarded to Mitacs in advance of the fellowship start date. Please note that delay in sending payment will result in delay of the PDF receiving funding and starting the project as Mitacs cannot release funds until the partner organization’s payment is received. 
  • Partner organizations will receive an invoice before the announcement of results. This invoice is due upon receipt so that the fellow’s payment can be processed in time for the project start date. If, for any reason, the fellowship cannot proceed, Mitacs will refund the payment. 
  • Assist the fellow with identifying appropriate research issues and developing a research plan 
  • Ensure that the company provides in-kind support, including hosting the fellow on-site at their facilities for at least 50% of the research project (exceptions with justification can be a minimum of 25%); providing supervision and guidance on the project; and helping the fellow make connections within the company and/or industry 
  • Support the fellow’s professional training by allowing them to attend the mandatory professional and research management training sessions and participating in training activities when appropriate 
  • Attend relevant Mitacs Elevate program events 
  • Provide program feedback on the program to Mitacs, as required by its funding partners, including telephone or email surveys 
  • Provide feedback on the fellow’s final report and sign off on the final report to be submitted at the conclusion of the project. 

Please note: Partner contributions must be received by Mitacs and academic institution funds 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 funds at Mitacs as per Mitacs Policy. 

The fellow must fill out a mid-term survey in the middle of the fellowship. The mid-term survey is accessible on the EDGE portal.

  1. Fellows must submit the final report no later than one month after the conclusion of the Elevate fellowship. 
  2. The final report must be written on the template provided under Elevate downloads and should: 
  • Be no more than three pages in length
  • Summarize research goals, research techniques used, and research outcomes
  • Describe the fellow’s participation and experience in Mitacs-led professional development curriculum
  • Identify benefits for the partner organization
  • Identify future research plans

   3.  Please send the completed final report to the EDGE portal.

 

 

  1. All three fellowship participants: the fellow, the academic supervisor, and the designated contact at the partner organization must complete the exit survey within one month after the conclusion of the Elevate fellowship. 
  2. The invitation to complete exit survey will be sent to participants through email. 
  3. After the fellowship, once the fellow’s exit survey is completed and the fully signed final report is received to elevate@mitacs.ca, fellows will be able to access their certificate of completion on Mitacs EDGE 

Note: NSERC Form 300 or an equivalent Statement of Account must be completed by the fellow’s academic institution and signed by the academic supervisor who received the fellowship award. 

Have questions? Reach out to the Elevate Team.

Elevate fellowships may be cancelled by the fellow within the one or two years of the project for various reasons. In general, we consider a fellow obtaining full-time employment and cancelling their fellowship as a successful outcome of the program. 

The early cancellation form downloads is available under Elevate downloads.

Once completed, please send to elevate@mitacs.ca 

FAQs

In order to participate in any Mitacs program, it is preferred that interns 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

No. Funds used towards Elevate cannot be matched by any other federal or provincial agency.

Yes, they can apply; however, they must have fulfilled all PhD degree requirements (e.g., successful defense, final deposit and sign off of dissertation) and must clearly demonstrate that their PhD will be received by their project start date, which can be no later than February 28, 2023. In addition to having completed their PhD, students must hold postdoctoral status at their host academic institution by the start date and for up to two years while in the Elevate program or they will be ineligible to receive the award. No funds will be transferred to award recipients without postdoctoral status.

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.

Any professor who holds a faculty position at a Canadian academic institution is eligible to administer Tri-Council funds, and is in a position that allows them to supervise graduate students at the host academic institution may act as an academic supervisor. Please contact your academic institution to determine if they have specific regulations in this regard.

Under the Mitacs Elevate program, partner organizations must be:

• 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 in Canada. Please contact elevate@mitacs.ca to discuss the eligibility of a specific not-for-profit organization before submission of the completed application package.
• a hospital or municipality in Canada. Please contact elevate@mitacs.ca to discuss the eligibility of projects with hospitals, or municipalities before submission of the completed application package

Partners should be potential end users of the research, with a vested interest in the results.

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

If a student’s situation requires an annual $5,000 contribution from their 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 they are successful, their 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.

In-person interaction at the partner’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 a student can interact with their staff, students should explain this, and be sure to clearly describe their plans for virtual interaction. If a student expects 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 and/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.

They are eligible to apply for the program; however, they may not hold a Mitacs Elevate award at the same time as any other federal, provincial, or Mitacs grant or scholarship.

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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. Please refer to the 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fellowship may begin any time after the acceptance notice is received. Mitacs cannot release an award until we receive partner funds, and your fellowship should not start before the award letter has been received by your institution. 

At this time, we anticipate announcing the awards in November 2022 for the Spring 2022 Elevate thematic call.

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.

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

Yes. This should be communicated to their academic supervisor, organization partner and academic institution. Their fellowship will be put on hold for this period of time, and they will not be paid from your fellowship. Once a return date has been determined, they will need to inform Mitacs of when they plan on returning to the fellowship to complete their term. A Request for Leave form (found in the downloadable Application Package zip file in the How To Apply section) must be submitted to elevate@mitacs.ca to request to put the fellowship on hold.

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.

As the landscape around COVID-19 continues to change, our priority of supporting global public health remains steadfast.
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.
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.
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 & Policies zip file under How To Apply.

If a fellow plans to terminate their award early, they will need to send a written notice to Mitacs, including the reasons for such action and the effective termination date, to elevate@mitacs.ca. Their 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 the fellow’s partner organization for the prorated amount of their contribution. These funds are limited to supporting the direct costs of research. Refer to Mitacs Use of Funds policy for details of eligible expenses for Mitacs programs.

An Early Cancellation of Fellowship form (found in the downloadable Application Package zip file in the How To Apply section) must be submitted to elevate@mitacs.ca in order to officially cancel the fellowship.

Elevate is offered in partnership with your academic institution, which administers the award. We recommend that students speak with their 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 the fellow’s pay or the accompanying research funds.

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

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 in at least three mandatory, in-person retreats over a two-year period. If a fellow does not attend these mandatory events, their Mitacs award may be withdrawn. If a fellow wishes to focus their time on collaborative research without a professional development component, they should apply to our Mitacs Accelerate program.

Invoices must be paid in full to 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.