Mitacs and the Banting Research Foundation
Partners for Innovation to Address Climate and Health
2023–24 Internship Application Guide
Established in 1999, Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from the best academic institutions at home and around the world. For more than 20 years, Mitacs has worked with over 165 post-secondary partners, thousands of companies, and federal, territorial, and provincial governments to build partnerships that support
industrial and social innovation in Canada.
The Banting Research Foundation:
Since 1925, the Banting Research Foundation is a unique, talent-spotting beacon. The Foundation identifies the best and the most promising new investigators in Canada, provides seed funds in biomedical discovery, and mentors them the way insulin discoverer, and Nobel laureate Sir Frederick Banting was encouraged. Social justice and equity in addressing the world’s biggest health challenges have always been a key value for the Foundation.
Research internships for postdoctoral scholars:
The Banting Research Foundation (BRF) and Mitacs developed a partnership through the Mitacs Accelerate program, which will support the brightest postdoctoral scholars conducting biomedical sciences research (see eligible research criteria) to address climate change repercussions on human health — under the supervision of faculty/early-career researchers who are previous Banting Research Foundation Discovery Awardees from 2016 to 2022.
- This highly interdisciplinary collaboration scheme supports potentially transformational solutions to tackle climate and health. Projects should challenge existing paradigms by using novel approaches and techniques. High-risk and high-reward projects are encouraged. The Mitacs-Banting Discovery Postdoctoral Fellowship program aims to expose postdoctoral scholars to new theories and methods which complement or build on their previous experience and expertise.
- This collaboration scheme will respond to well-identified needs in various research and innovation areas, expose the researchers to the academic and non-academic sectors, and offer research training, as well as transferrable skills and competencies relevant for innovation and long-term employability.
The postdoctoral scholars will share their time between academic institutions and eligible partner organizations. This application cycle is for a 24-month term for projects beginning no earlier than October 1, 2023.
Goals and themes:
- Climate and Health
For a long time, the public saw climate change as an environmental issue only.
Today, we see the direct health risks and inequities due to climate change in Canada and across the globe. Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health — clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure shelter. For example, people with neurological disorders such as migraine headache, dementia, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease may experience worsening symptoms due to climate change and air pollution. Climate change also creates new risks for human exposure to vector-borne diseases. Climate change is a serious threat to global food security, sustainable development, and poverty eradication. Projects addressing climate adaptation and food security policy, or the effects of climate change on brain and mental health, as well as on population and public health (including epidemiology informatics) will be considered.
The new Mitacs-Banting Discovery Postdoctoral Fellowship will:
- Help Canada lead in understanding the effects of climate change on human health
- Support research examining health outcomes and inequalities among marginalized and under-represented communities
- Increase the quality of internationally competitive, leading-edge research in areas critical to the health, economic, and social well-being of Canadians
The Mitacs-Banting Discovery Postdoctoral Fellowship will also encourage talented young scientists to think broadly beyond their scope of expertise and equip them to be future research leaders.
Postdoctoral scholar candidates are eligible for funding of Can$55,000/year, for two years, with $22,500 (+ applicable taxes)/year required from the eligible partner organization (see criteria below).
Applications to the Mitacs-Banting Discovery Postdoctoral Fellowship is a two-stage process: Letter of Intent (LOI) due to BRF and a full Mitacs Accelerate application. This is a competitive call with up to five fellowships available to be invited to Stage 2.
Please submit the LOI package to the BRF e-portal and Jillian Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Due date: June 10, 2023
- The LOI package must include the following:
- A high-level description of the proposed research
- All prospective applicants must submit a LOI for the BRF internal review and selection. The LOI is a simplified version of the final application. LOIs will be evaluated on the suitability between the applicant and the research environment, the proposed research program, and the research leadership/excellence of the applicant.
- Preference to be given to postdocs who are named at time of LOI, but faculty may submit an LOI with their Canadian partner organization with the candidate to be determined (TBD). In these cases, faculty should include a description of plan for recruitment.
- A high-level description of the proposed research
- Must be within five years of their PhD when the project starts
- Project proposal (one page) explaining how the project would advance the research program of the supervisor
- Summary (one page) of research contributions
- Canadian Common CV
- Confirmation of participation in Banting Discovery Award (2016 to 2022)
- Research project proposal (one page), including an overall objective with a maximum of three aims
- Name of the proposed partner organization (see section below) and their role in the research project
- Outline (one page) plans for training and development of future leadership potential
- Canadian Common CV
- Partner organization Letter of Support (see below)
Proposed partner organization:
- An eligible for-profit company with research site in Canada
- An eligible incorporated not-for-profit organization or hospital in Canada (***to confirm eligibility of the not-for-profit/hospital partner for Mitacs programs, please reach out to Jillian Murray (email@example.com) by May 31, 2023)
- See Mitacs Accelerate partner organization roles and responsibilities for more details on their involvement and interaction with the research project
- Letter of Support from the partner organization, including their commitment to contributing $45,000 (+ applicable taxes) over two years ($22,500 + applicable taxes/year) toward the project
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and Indigenization:
EDI will be central to the competition, both in whom the awards are delivered to, and how research contributes to issues related to EDI. This will include awards delivering to under-represented groups and delivering awards based on the research impact to under-represented groups, e.g., Indigenous health.
Successful eligible applicants from Stage 1 will be invited to submit a full Mitacs Accelerate proposal package with the support of a Mitacs Advisor to Mitacs. This application package will be sent for external peer review, as per Mitacs review policies.
Due date: August 15, 2023
Approved projects are expected to start no earlier than October 1, 2023.
For questions pertaining to this initiative or application process, please contact: BRF Program Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jillian Murray, PhD, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Mitacs: email@example.com
Reporting for the Banting Research Foundation All postdoctoral scholars must submit to the Banting Research Foundation a brief report of the work performed — describe the impact of research, career of postdoctoral trainees and the career of the faculty — within two months of the Accelerate grant end date.
Any publication(s), abstract(s), presentation(s), and proceeding(s) resulting from the work supported by the Mitacs-Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship program must contain the following acknowledgement: This work was supported by a grant from Mitacs, Banting Research Foundation and (name of the partner). One copy of ALL publication(s), abstract(s), and/or proceeding(s) must be forwarded to the Banting Research Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.