NSERC and OCE IRDF Internship Program – New Pilot Ontario Funding

The Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has paired up with the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) to provide government funding for businesses who are interested in a research internship program involving hiring a PhD graduate. The Industrial Research and Development Fellowship (IRDF) program requires a two year internship program for a PhD graduate to be able to partake in a research position within the company. This research position applies to the technological innovation and development of the company’s processes, products, or services. The maximum salary offered is up to $70,000/year and would be funded in part by the NSERC ($30,000) and OCE ($20,000). The business itself would only be responsible for providing up to $25,000 of the graduate’s salary.

Alternative Research and Development Funding Programs

The NSERC-OCE IRDF is a pilot program and will provide funding for 10 internship positions with the initial release. Those who are unable to participate in the pilot program are encouraged to apply for the regular NSERC-IRDF Program. The regular version of the program provides a salary of $40,000/year ($30,000 from NSERC with $10,000 from the company) for an intern position similar to this pilot co-funded version. OCE also provides an alternative Ontario government funding program for R&D called First Job. This program provides funding for small business for the salaries of newly graduated masters or PhD students to support a Research and Development assignment related to their area of study.

Eligibility for Ontario Government Funding for Internships

  • Must be able to match the OCE funding contributions.
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide the managerial and financial resources required for the stable employment of the intern.
  • Explain how their R&D objectives have commercial applications and intend to provide growth to the company.
  • Have clear emphasis on the technology and research components of the business.
  • Demonstrate the intent to mentor and develop the candidate professionally.
  • Agree to the OCE reporting requirements if awarded the funding program.

Additional Information on Ontario Business Grants

For companies that are interested in applying for the NSERC-OCE IRDF internship program they must inquire through the South Western Business Development Team OCE Website and submit an enquiry form. For additional information on the other government funding for business programs, please contact Canadian Government Funding Experts at Mentor Works.

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