Mitacs and Scotiabank
Scotiabank Economic Resilience Research Fund (SERRF)
For More Information
For full program details, please visit the Mitacs-SERRF program web-page.
To help foster economic resilience, ScotiaRISE (via Scotiabank) will invest in three important focus areas across the geographies where Scotiabank operates:
- Education: Increase high school graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment, in order to increase employment prospects, life opportunities, and full participation in the economy.
- Inclusion: Help newcomers to feel at home faster and secure meaningful employment, in order to support their contribution to the prosperity and social fabric of their communities.
- Employment: Remove barriers to career advancement for underrepresented groups, to help enable their financial success.
To further the understanding of economic resilience, Scotiabank and Mitacs have created the Scotiabank Economic Resilience Research Fund (SERRF). This three-year partnership will focus on research needed to advance economic resilience in communities across Canada. This partnership will provide funding for collaborative research projects between Canadian not-for-profit organizations and researchers at Canadian academic institutions. Projects will be selected for support via a competitive process led by Scotiabank and funding will be deployed via the Mitacs Accelerate program as student internships.
The objectives of SERRF are to:
- Reduce financial barriers for Canadian not-for-profit organizations (NFPs) and charitable organizations to access talent from academic institutions in order to provide insights related to the economic resilience of Canadian communities.
- Support the next generation of problem solvers to ensure that students are actively engaged in innovative, useful and relevant community research.
- Strengthen relationships between Canadian NFPs and academia through collaboration and knowledge sharing.
- Increase the number of researchers representing the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) community.
- Continue to inform Scotiabank’s social impact strategy to ensure that it invests for impact.
SERRF Research Themes
Through this initiative, the partnership will solicit research applications that support the three key themes below:
- Accelerate newcomer integration: Demonstrate successful and rapid newcomer integration, enabling financial self-reliance and contribution to society. Canada’s prosperity and economic resilience are closely tied to the number and success of its immigrants, and, as such, should be the primary focus of the research study and not as that of a support mechanism or benefit. Proposed research projects will explore the experiences of newcomers to Canada (in the past three years) including immigrants, refugees, and temporary foreign workers to help fast track meaningful employment for newcomers to the country. Integration essentials might include language, culture and life skills, training and help qualifying for and finding employment, and support networks.
- Increase high school graduation and post-secondary participation: Secondary and post-secondary education increases employment prospects, life opportunities and the likelihood of financial success. Proposed research projects will target disadvantaged populations, including Canadian Indigenous communities and at-risk youth, to ultimately facilitate a higher rate of high school graduation and post-secondary participation. Post-secondary education is defined broadly, to include university, college and trades programs.
- Remove barriers to career advancement for disadvantaged groups: Help disadvantaged people and groups overcome obstacles rooted in sexism, racism or homophobia and other forms of bias and discrimination to gain an employment foothold and to progress in their careers. Proposed research projects should be focused on one or more equity seeking groups that face obstacles of sexism, racism or homophobia (e.g., people with disability, Indigenous, veterans, LGBTQ, women and BIPOC). The project should determine how to remove barriers to meaningful employment and find solutions to career entry and advancement.
Proposed research projects must include three partners: the intern, the academic supervisor and the partner organization. All partners must be identified at the Expression of Interest (EOI) stage. If an EOI is selected to submit a Mitacs Accelerate proposal, the partners must remain consistent between application stages and cannot be changed.
Project Eligibility Criteria
- Must align with one of the SERRF research themes outlined by Scotiabank.
- Described project must be feasible within the 4-month project timeline.
Intern eligibility criteria
- Full-time graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at Mitacs partner colleges and universities in Canada.
- Students must have a supervisor at their academic institution who is willing to supervise them on this project and administer the funds through the institution.
- Canadian citizens, permanent residents and international students over the age of 18.
- The intern cannot be a current employee of the partner organization.
- All academic disciplines.
Academic Supervisor Eligibility
- The academic supervisor must be at the same institution as the intern.
- The academic supervisor must be eligible to hold tri-council funding at their institution.
- All academic disciplines.
Partner organization eligibility
- Registered not-for-profit or charitable organizations operating in Canada.
- The partner organization cannot be a post-secondary institution.
- The partner organization cannot be a federal or provincial government agency.
- The partner organization must be an active partner on the project, providing mentorship/on site work experience to the intern for a minimum of 25% of the time for the duration of the project.
- The partner organization must be willing to be named in future success stories and knowledge dissemination activities related to the project.
- If the application is successful, the partner organization must commit to funding the partner contribution toward the student intern’s stipend ($3,750 plus tax). This contribution will be invoiced in cash and cannot be in-kind support.
Project partners and the scope of work outlined in the proposal must be eligible to participate in the Mitacs Accelerate program. For more detail about eligibility, please see the Mitacs Accelerate program web-page. If you are uncertain of your eligibility, please contact Emily Gordon (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Contributions from SERRF will provide up to $15,000 to eligible interns to complete a four-month internship. The named student on the successful research proposal will receive a $10,000 stipend and up to $5,000 in expenses related to the direct costs of research. Any unallocated research costs during the four-month term of the project will be used to increase the eligible intern stipend for the project.
For projects in which the intern identifies as BIPOC, the intern will receive an additional stipend top up of $1,500 thereby increasing the minimum intern stipend to $11,500.
4 month internship
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
Please submit your completed EOI form to Emily Gordon at email@example.com.
Please note that Stage 1 of the application process for the SERRF is a highly competitive process with limited funding. If an EOI is not selected to move to Stage 2 of the SERRF application process, the project may still be eligible to apply for the Mitacs Accelerate program through the standard funding stream without the financial contribution from Scotiabank.
Faculty supervisor to submit signed OR-5 form, full proposal/budget, including the signed memorandum, to firstname.lastname@example.org a minimum of one week prior to the intended submission date to Mitacs.
External deadline is expected to be in June 2023.
Applicant submits full application directly to Mitacs representative.
How to Apply
Submitting an application to the Mitacs–SERRF partnership internship program is a two-stage process. Projects must successfully pass through both application stages to receive SERRF funding.
Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EOI) form (due April 5, 2023 by 12:00pm PT).
- Applicants will develop and submit an EOI. EOIs will be evaluated to assess project/applicant eligibility and fit with the intent of the SERRF initiative (see eligibility tab). All project partners should be engaged in the EOI development process. Interns and supervisors should confirm with their institution that they are eligible to apply for the program and receive this research award.
- The EOI form can be downloaded from the Mitacs-SERRF program web-page.
- Please send your completed EOI form to Emily Gordon (email@example.com) who will make the final EOI submission on your behalf. EOIs will be reviewed and ranked by a panel of subject matter experts in a competitive process led by Scotiabank. The top ranked EOIs from each SERRF research theme will be invited to proceed to Stage 2. Please note that Stage 1 of the application process for the SERRF is a highly competitive process with limited funding. Only the most highly ranked EOIs will be invited to submit a full Mitacs Accelerate proposal in Stage 2.
Stage 2: Mitacs Accelerate proposal (due June 2023).
- Successful projects from Stage 1 will be invited to submit a Mitacs Accelerate proposal with the additional funding contribution from SERRF included in the project budget.
- Complete Mitacs Accelerate proposals funded under the SERRF initiative should be submitted to Emily Gordon. Please note that the University of Guelph Research Services Office (RSO) must sign the proposal and this process can take up to 2 weeks. Therefore, it is highly recommended that proposals are submitted to the RSO a minimum one week before the external deadline.
- Full Accelerate proposals undergo a peer review process to ensure that all projects meet Mitacs Accelerate program criteria and follow best practice for research in their chosen discipline. This review process will take approximately 8 weeks from the time of submission.
- All SERRF projects that meet Accelerate program criteria at the full proposal stage will be approved for funding. The adjudication of projects at the full proposal stage is not a competitive process.