Mitacs Business Strategy Internship Program - 2023 Call for Proposals




Business Strategy Internship Program

For More Information

For full details on the program and how to apply, please visit the Mitacs Business Strategy Internship Program webpage.


The Business Strategy Internship (BSI) program provides either $10,000 or $15,000 per intern to allow them to undertake a four-month internship project with a partner organization in Canada. Interns will work with their academic supervisor to co-design a project with their partner organization to work on the organization’s innovation activities, helping them improve their products, processes or services. Throughout the internship, Mitacs provides online professional development courses to interns through their e-Campus, EDGE.

The BSI program aims to:

  • support innovation to generate knowledge and its transfer between academic and non-academic sectors
  • strengthen the innovation capabilities of partner organizations
  • support the creation and ownership of intellectual property in Canada
  • promote collaboration between sectors by reducing the risk for companies to engage in innovation
  • provide work-integrated learning and professional skills training to increase employability of post-secondary students
  • ensure and promote equitable access by underrepresented groups to foster inclusive innovation 

Innovation projects are expected to lead to change and improvements for the partner and/or community, through exploration, design and implementation of improvements/efficiencies in business models, products, processes or service delivery.

Program Details

  • The BSI program will provide an award of $10,000 per intern with the full amount of the award going towards the intern stipend. The partner organization will contribute $5,000 towards the award.
  • Alternatively, partner organizations can select a $15,000 funding model where up to $5,000 of the funds can be used for eligible project costs or to top up an intern stipend. Any combination of funding is allowed as long as the minimum intern stipend is $10,000 and the minimum partner organization contribution is $7,500.
  • Projects should be designed as four-month internships, however, they can be adjusted to six-month internships to provide flexibility to accommodate the intern’s other responsibilities.
  • Projects will be designed to address one or more business innovation components (e.g. marketing, operations, finance, intellectual property, etc.) dependent on the needs of the organization.
  • Projects submitted to Mitacs will be adjudicated to ensure that the participants meet the necessary requirements and that the work outlined is eligible for the program.
  • Each project will require supervision from a supervisor at the partner organization and an academic supervisor or a point of contact appointed by the institution to oversee the work and the intern.
  • Interns are expected to meet weekly with both supervisors to report on the progress of their project. Virtual meetings are acceptable.
  • Interns and both supervisors will be required to complete an exit survey at the end of the program reporting on project outcomes and skills developed as well as providing feedback on the program experience.
  • Interns will deliver a final presentation to their supervisors summarizing the work at project completion.  


Interns must: 

  • be a registered 
    • undergraduate, graduate student or postdoctoral researcher at a Canadian academic institution or
    • a recent graduate from a Canadian college or university (see the Accelerate FAQ page for more information about eligibility for recent grads) 
  • not be a current, active participant in another Mitacs program
  • can be from any discipline
  • can be part-time students that meet the following criteria:
    • 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 can pay the intern a salary or stipend from the Mitacs grant
    • the intern can commit to the project for the appropriate duration

Academic supervisors must:

  • be a faculty member at a participating Canadian university who is eligible to hold Tri-Agency funding

In addition to the eligible academic supervisors listed on the application, additional academic staff may be involved in the day-to-day management of the internship, including mentoring the intern. This supervision should be described in the text of the proposal.  

Partner organizations must be one of the following: 

  • a for-profit corporation in Canada
  • an incorporated not-for-profit (NFP) organization in Canada:
    • Eligible NFPs include charities, economic development organizations, industry associations, social welfare organizations, health organizations, foundations and research centres/institutes
  • a municipality
  • a hospital

Please contact Emily Gordon ( to check eligibility for NFP partners prior to application or if you have any questions about the eligibility criteria listed above.

Please note: BSI interns are not allowed to have any position of ownership, employment or influence over the daily operations at the partner organization. BSI interns with close family relationships or intimate relationships with academic supervisors or employees of the partner organization are not allowed.  

Any other Conflicts of Interest (COIs) — for example, involving the academic supervisor and the partner organization — must be disclosed to Mitacs during the application process and will be reviewed by Mitacs’s COI committee. Please visit the Mitacs Conflict of Interest Policy for more information. 

If a COI exists, please contact Emily Gordon ( prior to starting an application to ensure that you are eligible for the program. 

Funding Availability

Please note, there is a limited amount of funding available for this program.

Maximum Project Value

$10,000 to $15,000 maximum

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Projects should be designed as four-month internships; however, they can be adjusted to six-month internships to provide flexibility.

Special Notes

Intellectual Property (IP): If you expect IP to arise from the project, please contact Vanessa Knox in the Research Services Office ( to draft a research agreement with the Partner Organization on your Mitacs project after submission of your application. Please note, the research agreement with your Partner Organization must be finalized prior to the official start of the project. 


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. OR-5, full proposal/budget and signed Mitacs Memorandum must be submitted to the Office of Research ( a minimum of one week prior to the intended submission date to Mitacs.

External Deadline

Applicant submits full application through the Mitacs Registration and Application Portal (RAP).

How to Apply

Application submission

  • Prospective interns and/or academic supervisors apply to the program through the Mitacs Registration and Application Portal (RAP) and complete all sections of the application. The proposal template will be provided through the RAP.
  • All participants (intern, academic supervisor, partner organization) sign off on the application through the RAP.
  • The lead applicant downloads the completed project proposal and ORS sign-off template and sends to the ORS for review and signature.
  • The lead applicant uploads the ORS signature page to the RAP and submits the application.  

Application review (approximately four weeks)

  • Mitacs receives the application and reviews against selection criteria while checking for eligibility and completeness.
  • Partner organizations are invoiced for their contribution upon application submission.
  • Applicants may be asked to revise their project proposal if sections are incomplete.

Project approval (approximately three weeks)

  • Project start dates cannot pre-date the Approval letter you receive from Mitacs.
  • Once the project is approved and all partner contributions have been received, award funds are released to the intern's academic institution to be paid out to the intern.  

Project launch to completion

  • Project work should not start until the intern has received the funds from the academic institution.
  • Projects should be four-months long or can be extended to six-months part-time for increased flexibility.
For Questions, please contact

Mitacs Business Development Representative

Emily Gordon

Office of Research

Vanessa Knox, Awards and Agreements Officer
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x53429

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