As someone who has ample experience going through the often tedious process of finding an appropriate internship, any news that gives post-secondary students more internship opportunities is welcome.
Per a news release issued by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, students across British Columbia will soon benefit from a provincial investment of $10 million in internship programs.
These programs are targeted in such a way that students — or budding researchers — will be able to connect with real industry partners to solve real-world problems are present in our modern world.
“Research internship programs are giving our students and researchers the skills, knowledge and experience they need to advance our knowledge-based economy and build the best B.C.,” said Melanie Mark, the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “These students are doing innovative work that will support technology, health and business sectors, so that everyone can prosper and thrive. Partnerships between students, industry and our post-secondary institutions are helping to support a strong, sustainable 21st-century economy.”
According to the news release, the investment promotes innovation for British Columbia’s students by funding internships through Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that builds partnerships between undergraduate and graduate students and researchers, post-secondary institutions, and industry and community partners.
Mitacs interns are encouraged to apply their expertise to real challenges that are affecting businesses and communities across the province, in fields such as technology, health, business and engineering.
“Our $10 million investment in Mitacs will advance B.C. innovation by providing students with unique opportunities to apply their research in the real world,” said Bruce Ralston, the Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Whether finding ways to make bicycle helmets safer or understanding how to meet future food needs, B.C. students participating in Mitacs internships are unlocking new discoveries to improve people’s lives and expand our economy.”
Government funding will ultimately support three Mitacs programs that will reportedly benefit students and industry. The first, Mitacs Accelerate, offers four-month minimum collaborative research internships in which graduate students and post-doctoral researchers may interact directly with industry professionals.
In addition, Mitacs Elevate will provide two-year collaborative post-doctoral fellowships with industry, with special focus on advancing research management and professional skills. Finally, Mitacs Globalink focuses on offering research internships for top international undergraduates to study in Canada, or for Canadian students to pursue research projects in other countries.
“The support announced today by the Government of British Columbia will help connect top talent from the province’s post-secondary institutions to businesses and not-for-profit organizations,” said Alejandro Adem, CEO and scientific director of Mitacs. “Through Mitacs internships, students are able to transfer their knowledge into action, turning their research into successes that lead towards greater innovation in Canada.”
Mitacs has reportedly designed and delivered research and training programs for students in Canada for 19 years. By working with 60 post-secondary institutions, thousands of companies and both federal and provincial governments, Mitacs has been able to build partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.