By Stephen Kavanagh. Mitacs Incorporated:  Mitacs, the national research network that funds graduate and PhD student internships with industry partners, will be looking to place 100 Memorial graduate students and post-docs in internships over the next two years. A large number of these internships will come from the ocean technology industry.  Mitacs is also pleased to be working closely with Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada (PRAC) to fully fund 20 internships for the offshore energy industry in the coming months. 

Since 1999, Mitacs has played a key role in linking businesses, government and not-for-profits with over 50 of Canada’s universities. During this time, Mitacs has funded projects focusing on collaborative research projects between Memorial University and local ocean technology firms.  These projects have provided successful research outcomes, helped students understand the needs of industry, and, in some cases, they were retained by the partner companies as employees.  Some examples of Mitacs-funded projects in this sector include: “Mathematical Modelling of Planing Hull Motions in Waves” (Virtual Marine Technologies), “Computation of Second-Order Wave Forces on Offshore Structures” (Oceanic Consulting), and “Protection Strategies for Subsea Wellheads in Iceberg Environments” (C-CORE).

The organization’s programs focus on developing and attracting a new generation of Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs through skills training and entrepreneur workshops, technical training events, graduate and post-doctoral internships and outreach activities. 

Mitacs facilitates these collaborations primarily through its Accelerate program.  This is a unique cost-shared internship program involving a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow and a partnering company. Armed with the latest tools and techniques, the intern brings a new perspective and the latest knowledge to a research challenge faced by the partner. Mitacs’ funding for these projects is supplied by a combination of federal and provincial (i.e., RDC) government funding.

The benefits to the student are obvious: the development of strong teamwork skills balanced with the exercise of individual responsibility, the opportunity to engage in real-world work that matches academic and personal interests, and the chance to develop important competencies such as project management skills. Internships also help students build professional networking contacts, develop mentoring relationships, and become viable, experienced job applicants when seeking employment after graduation.

The benefits for the sponsoring companies include: better leveraging of the R&D budget, catalyst for other internal research opportunities, and development of connections for collaborative research with academics at the university. The internship can also be used as a low-risk opportunity to “interview” the student for a potential position with the company once they graduate.

The benefits to the student are obvious: the development of strong teamwork skills balanced with the exercise of individual responsibility, the opportunity to engage in real-world work that matches academic and personal interests, and the chance to develop important competencies such as project management skills. Internships also help students build professional networking contacts, develop mentoring relationships, and become viable, experienced job applicants when seeking employment after graduation.

The benefits for the sponsoring companies include: better leveraging of the R&D budget, catalyst for other internal research opportunities, and development of connections for collaborative research with academics at the university. The internship can also be used as a low-risk opportunity to “interview” the student for a potential position with the company once they graduate.