Mitacs BSI – Funding Stream

Mitacs funding for international students

In partnership with Canadian academic institutions, Mitacs is launching the Business Strategy Internship (BSI) program. BSI is an internship program that will provide students with the opportunity to develop a strategic project in partnership with a company or not-for-profit (NFP) organization in Canada. This internship program is for students to apply their strategic business skills to help Canadian SME businesses on the road to economic recovery. Strategy might be related to product redesign, product & services pivot, marketing, operations, finance, logistics, etc.

International visa students and all Canadian and students with permenant resident status are eligible for this funding stream. The award will provide $10,000 to interested students who develop a project designed to help the organization restore or modify business operations in the new economic environment.

Mitacs is showing its commitment to working with Indigenous peoples by creating equitable access to these programs.

Mitacs is offering an Indigenous call for BSI proposals with discounted internships from December 1st, 2020 until January 29th, 2021 by providing 3:1 matching for the Mitacs BSI program for projects that have an Indigenous partner organization and/or an Indigenous intern.

This means that the partner organization portion is reduced to $2,500 + HST, and Mitacs will contribute $7,500 for each $10,000 internship unit.  The intern must self-identify as being Indigenous, or the partner organization is 50% owned or greater by an individual that self-identifies as Indigenous.

How does it work when applying from UWaterloo?

The University of Waterloo has negotiated 100 spots under this funding stream for the Winter 2021 and Spring 2021 work terms. For Spring 2021, applications must be approved before March 31, 2021.

The required length of the work term is 480 hours over a 4-month period. However, work terms with minimum 3 months in length might also qualify with the time before/after invested in opt-in training and report writing.

Once the work term is pre-approved for BSI funding consideration by co-op, the employer is invoiced $5,000 CAD (+tax) by Mitacs. Mitacs will add $5,000 CAD and send a total of $10,000 CAD per internship to UWaterloo’s Office of Research. The student will receive 2 installments of $5,000 CAD in the first and third month of their work term as an award from UWaterloo’s Student Awards and Financial Aid office.

Since this is a Mitacs funding stream, an academic supervisor is required. CEE’s Associate Provost, Dr. Norah McRae will be the academic supervisor for approved work terms.

The student application will be reviewed twice – first, by UWaterloo co-op for quality and adherence to program objectives in accordance with Mitacs assessment criteria, followed by a Mitacs review for eligibility and completeness.

Program outcomes

Mitacs expects the following outcomes:

  • Enhanced skills amongst participating interns.
  • Enhanced plan for organization continuation and survival following the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Identification of new connections, potential for further collaboration, or project extension through other Mitacs programming.

Are you eligible to apply? Eligibility and accountabilities

Seven steps to access Mitacs funding

  1. Once the co-op student is matched to a job or has their arranged-own job approved on WaterlooWorks, they should discuss with their employer if the organization qualifies for the funding, and their work term fits under the business strategy.
  2. If yes; then the student must fill in the Mitacs BSI Application Form and submit it to
    1. Proposals will be reviewed and assessed based on criteria on pg. 4 (section: Program application review) of the Applicant Toolkit (PDF) (info about Mitacs BSI also found here).
    2. The student will receive a response in 2-3 business days.
    3. The student must upload the approved PDF returned to them into their application in the portal.
  3. If approved, the student should start the application in the Mitacs Registration and Application Portal (RAP), using either Edge or Chrome.
    1. The students are requested to use the Application Guide for submitting their application. A copy of the application guide will be provided to you once you have connected with expressing an interest in applying.
    2. The Academic Supervisor’s CV will also be required and a copy will be sent to you after connecting with
  4. The student will send the employer and academic supervisor invitations via the online portal to submit and verify their details for the application.
  5. After the employer and academic supervisor have submitted their details, the student must complete the application.
  6. Once the application is submitted, Mitacs will reach out for invoicing the organization for their financial contribution to the project. Payment must be made prior to the final approval stage.
  7. The end-to-end approval process generally takes 3-4 weeks.

Additional requirements

  • During the work term, students will have access to training content via Mitacs’ EDGE platform.
  • At the end of the work term, students must submit a Final Report to Mitacs in addition to any faculty-related work report requirements.
  • Before the end of the work term, students must submit a PowerPoint deck of the 15-minute presentation to be made to your academic supervisor.
  • At the end of the work term, both students and employers must fill out the Mitacs survey.
  • The Mitacs BSI award will first be applied toward any outstanding fees the student may have on their Quest student account. The rest will be refunded to the student. Refunds will only be issued by direct deposit to a personal bank account at a Canadian bank. The student should add or update their Canadian banking information on Quest to ensure they receive any refunds owing to them. If the student is not able to add Canadian banking information on Quest, their refund will be held on their student account to be applied to future charges. The award is contingent upon the student completing the work term as agreed between them and their supervisor. If they are unable to complete the experience, the value of the award may be adjusted.

If you have questions, please reach out:
Phone: 519-888-4567 ext. 46624