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Mitacs Accelerate: Research Grants for Hiring Post-Graduate Students

Innovative companies on the verge of technological breakthroughs often face situations where outside researchers can advance the project. Whether it helps to improve the research and development cycle, or simply speeds time to commercialization, accessing research talent significantly supports project outcomes. Although many innovative firms have difficulty finding top research talent, Canadian government funding programs can help.

The Mitacs Accelerate program is uniquely positioned to help innovative companies complete research projects. Through the program, firms work with local universities to establish a research partnership; once connected with a professor, companies get in touch with Master’s and PhD students that can provide further support on project deliverables. Interns support the company over a four- to six-month period and must spend at least half of this time at the business’ office or site.

Mitacs Accelerate offsets research intern wages of up to $7,500 for a four- to six-month placement. For longer placements and additional interns, eligible applicants can receive larger research grants.

To start the collaborative research process, companies must first contact a local post-secondary institution and propose their project. If there is a good fit for work with a professor and their students, the professor and company will develop a joint project proposal and submit directly to Mitacs for funding. Companies are not required to apply directly for funding but are required to pay interns for costs not covered through the Accelerate program.

What are Mitacs Accelerate Research Grants?

Mitacs Accelerate is a Canadian research funding program designed to support research and development projects performed by businesses and non-profit organizations. Through the program, companies access one or more research interns to support innovative projects. During the project, interns split their time between the company’s office and the post-secondary institution.

In addition to the research talent, businesses are entitled to research grants that offset $7,500 or more of intern salaries. Funding is compounded for each research intern hired.

Each four- to six-month internship unit is extended a $15,000 research award, of which Mitacs pays half and the business covers the other half. For six or more units with three or more interns, companies can contribute $6,000 per project unit, which receives a $13,300 research award.

During the research project, companies are required to supervise on-site research and sign a final report that includes project results and experiences. At this point, companies can leverage the project’s results as intended. Intellectual property (IP) rights to the project’s results are negotiated between the professor and company during the initial stages of the project and must be adhered to upon completion.

Explore Research Grants: Mitacs Accelerate is one of many Canadian government funding programs for R&D. Explore your full range of options here.

Mitacs Accelerate Hiring Grants: Applicant Eligibility

A wide range of Canadian entities may apply for Mitacs Accelerate. Research grants can be provided to:

  • Incorporated, for-profit businesses within Canada;
  • Select non-profit organizations; and
  • All industries and sectors within the Canadian economy.

Industries with Successful Mitacs Accelerate Applicants

Past participants of the Mitacs Accelerate program have come from a variety of industries throughout Canada. These include:

  • Technology;
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT);
  • Environmental Sciences and Technology;
  • Sustainability and the Environment;
  • Healthcare;
  • Mining;
  • Agriculture & Agri-Food;
  • Forestry;
  • Biotechnology; and
  • Water.

Mitacs Funding for Research and Development: Project Eligibility

All eligible applicants that have an internal technical challenge may apply for Mitacs Accelerate. Projects are assessed based on technical merit and ability to effectively use the skills of graduate student researchers.

Projects can last between four months and two years for Master’s students, or up to three years for PhDs and Post Doctoral Fellows. Companies must retain the same grad student for the project’s duration.

Successful Mitacs Accelerate Funding Applicants

Many companies have already accessed Mitacs Accelerate to grow their research and development capabilities:

  • Mercedes-Benz refined quality control measures in fuel-cell manufacturing;
  • Durston Honey Farms created new beehive monitoring and record-keeping systems;
  • Canfor measured historical water levels to forecast how climate change might affect demand for natural resources; and
  • Two Hat Security developed a new algorithm that detects negative messages posted online. This will help to cut down on cyberbullying and other online threats.

How to Apply for Mitacs Accelerate Canadian Research Funding

There are a couple of ways Canadian innovators can kick-off the Mitacs Accelerate research process:

  1. Institution Known: Applicants that have already met with a post-secondary institution may work collaboratively to frame the project and send Mitacs a request for an application. Once received, partners can complete and send back to Mitacs for approval.
  2. Institution Unknown: Applicants can contact a Mitacs representative to discuss the project’s fit, identify potential research partners, and develop a proposal.

Applications typically take six weeks to be approved. Upon approval, applicants may begin working with the professor and their interns.

Contact Mentor Works to discuss your suitability for Mitacs Accelerate and explore other research grants that can support your upcoming research project.

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