Mitacs Elevate is a collaborative research and development program that connects PhD fellows to industry partners. Through the program, businesses receive funding to hire a PhD fellow for a minimum one year (ideally two years) with the intentions of using their knowledge to breakthrough innovation challenges. PhD fellows will spend 50% of their time at their host business and 50% of their time at a Canadian college where they can perform additional R&D activities.
Mitacs Elevate funding directly offsets the annual stipend/salary of PhD fellows. Businesses may receive $25,000/year in government grants for up to two years.
To apply for the Mitacs Elevate program, businesses must initiate an application with a local university. Universities must be in the same province as the applicant business. Once a university expresses interest in a project, a joint application will be developed and submitted during one of the program’s bi-annual calls for proposals. Competitive project proposals will then be invited to a second round of applications where the project can be better defined.
How does the Mitacs Elevate Research Funding Program Work?
Mitacs is a Canadian non-profit organization devoted to helping businesses and universities collaborate on highly innovative research projects. Mitacs’ network of 60+ university partners from coast to coast has supported Canadian businesses by providing greater access to research talent and funding.
Through Mitacs Elevate, businesses can gain access to PhD fellows and reduce annual salary/stipend costs by up to $25,000 per year. With the funding, businesses only need to cover $30,000 of the researcher’s compensation per year.
To start the process, companies must approach an eligible Canadian university and work with them to define the research project, find a PhD fellow candidate, then fill out funding applications. This can take several weeks or months to complete.
To learn more about the purpose and process of the program, please read our Mitacs Elevate overview blog.
Business Eligibility for Mitacs Elevate Funding
To qualify for Mitacs Elevate small business research grants, companies must be either a:
- For-profit company;
- Non-profit organization; or
- Crown corporation receiving a maximum 50% of revenue from government sources.
Some organizations will not be able to participate in Mitacs Elevate. These include:
- Aboriginal governments and municipalities;
- Foreign companies;
- Government departments, agencies or ministries;
- Hospitals; and
Mitacs Elevate Funding: Project Eligibility
Collaborations accepted for Mitacs Elevate funding will need to evaluate how the project addresses the following eligibility criteria:
- Makes a New Contribution to the Body of Knowledge: Research answers a question that has not been answered previously or otherwise makes a new contribution.
- Broadly Applicable: Research builds on existing knowledge in a field and contributes to future research when it is shared with the wider community.
- Defined by the Research Community: Must be clear about the methodology that will be used for data collection, identification of sources, analysis, and any other research activities in the project.
- Builds on Previous Research: Must use a literature review to situate the proposed work within the discipline’s existing body of research.
- Development as an Intrinsic Part of Research: In many disciplines, development of a new artifact is often a key part of research. Research projects consisting largely of development are considered eligible if applicants expect to publish their findings.
- Project is Appropriate to the Fellow: Projects should involve advanced research and development of novel ideas.
Expenses Eligible for Funding through Mitacs Elevate
Mitacs programs provide limited support for the following types of expenses:
- Researcher compensation (salary/stipends);
- Travel and subsistence;
- Sabbaticals and research leaves;
- Equipment and supplies;
- Computers and electronic communications;
- Dissemination of research results; and
- Services and miscellaneous expenses.
Get Started with Mitacs Elevate Grants for Research
Mitacs Elevate applications are typically developed between universities and industry partners while the research project is being refined. Because of this, the first step for many businesses is finding an eligible Canadian university.
Mentor Works can also help the process of accessing Mitacs funding by evaluating your proposed project’s eligibility, identifying other government grants to use, and providing support during the funding application and reporting stages. Contact Mentor Works to learn more about this program, including if your business or projects qualify.
Posted: June 26, 2014 by Ryan Weaver. Updated: December 7, 2017 by Jeff Shepherd