General Program Information

Program Overview  

Connect Canada is helping to increase the amount of research and development in Canada. The program matches graduate students and post-doctoral fellows with private-sector host companies (industry partner) for research internships. The interns work on research projects jointly developed by their academic supervisor and the industry partner.

Internships are four to six month placements, with at least 50 per cent of the intern’s time spent at the industry partner’s facilities. The value of the total internship stipend is $10,000, funded equally between the industry partner and Connect Canada. Connect Canada funding is stackable, allowing industry partners and academic researchers to leverage other sources of funding.

Connect Canada takes no ownership of intellectual property generated through a placement. Intellectual property agreements are to be determined by the terms of the intern’s home university, unless a separate agreement is negotiated between the university, the researchers and the sponsoring company.

How Does It Work?

Internships can begin in two ways:

Industry Driven: Companies with specific R&D issues can create an internship opportunity by identifying the type of research to be undertaken and the particular skill sets and/or academic background required by the intern.
Professor or Graduate-Student Driven: A graduate student or post-doctoral fellow can submit a research proposal identifying a potential or specific industry partner.
Regardless of the project’s origin, the Connect Canada intern will be guided by their academic supervisor (university professor) during the entire length of placement.

Connect Canada is managed by AUTO21 Inc. and the University of Windsor. It is a federal Industrial Research and Development Internship Program, administered by the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat.

Application and Review Process

Once a proposal is received, it is reviewed by an Internship Management Committee (IMC), which consists of industry representatives with technical, scientific or business backgrounds, and academic representatives with PhDs and research backgrounds. The IMC reviews the proposal based on      Excellence of the research
Relevance of the research to industry
Overall quality of the project
Impact of the research
Final decisions on the placement are determined by the Connect Canada CEO and Scientific Director, following a review of IMC recommendations.

The application and review process takes approximately six weeks from submission to the actual start date of an intern placement. Industry partner funds must be sent directly to Connect Canada upon approval of the internship proposal, prior to the start of the placement.