A Prestigious Internship, A Worthy Experience: MITACS Globalink Research Internship

A Prestigious Internship, A Worthy Experience: MITACS Globalink Research Internship

Akshat Sitani Animesh Mohanty | Sep 09, 2019

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MITACS Globalink Research Internship

The Mitacs Globalink Research Internship is a competitive initiative for international undergraduates from the following countries and regions: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Mexico, Tunisia, United Kingdom, and Ukraine. From May to October of each year, top-ranked applicants participate in a 12-week research internship under the supervision of Canadian university faculty members in a variety of academic disciplines, from science, engineering and mathematics to the humanities and social sciences.

Eligibility criteria for MITACS Globalink Research Internship 2020

  • Be enrolled as a full-time student in an undergraduate or combined undergraduate/Master’s degree-granting program at an accredited and eligible university. 

  • Be in the 3rd or above of an undergraduate program, or combined undergraduate/ Master’s program to apply.

  • You must have a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 semesters of undergraduate coursework remaining after you participate in your internship to be eligible. For example, if you are successful in receiving an internship, you will need to complete at least one more semester of undergraduate or joint undergraduate/ Master’s coursework and have no more than three semesters remaining.

  • For India, there is a minimum CGPA criterion of 8.00 while applying for the internship.

  • Provide an official transcript from your home university. Note that if your transcript is not in English or French, you must submit a translated and notarized copy before the application deadline.

  • Applicants must be available to complete a 12-consecutive week internship (arrival dates must be between May 1st and July 31st).

  • Must be fluent in the oral and written language of the project (English and/or French).

  • Must complete your application by September 18, 2019, at 1:00 PM Pacific Time.

  • Possess a passport from your home country that is valid at least until January 2021.

    • Please note: you do not need a valid passport to apply. However, if your application is successful, you will be required to supply a copy of your passport, valid until at least January 2021, by no later than December 31, 2019.

  • Provide at least one letter of reference from an academic research professor or supervisor. Guidelines for letters of reference can be found in the link- https://www.mitacs.ca/sites/default/files/resources/mitacs_globalink_reference_letter_instructions_june2016.pdf

  • Provide a CV that details your research experience.

  • Consent to the 2020 Globalink Research Internship Terms and Conditions.

  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.

  • Apply to a minimum of 3, maximum of 7 projects in the Globalink Research Internship project tab of the application and ensure your selections are from at least 3 different Canadian provinces.

Procedure for applying for MITACS GRI

The first step in the procedure is to apply for the MITACS Globalink Research Internship on the MITACS website for which the deadline is 1:00 pm on 18th of September, 2019 or 12:30 am 19th of September IST. The application includes a number of fields to be filled up by the applicant.

  1. Personal Information:- This requires you to fill up all your personal details.

  2. Education:- In this field, you have to fill up the details of the current institution in which you are studying.

  3. Research:- It is a very important part in which you have to fill up your description of skills, background knowledge and interests in research and notable achievements in around 100 words each. This is the part in which you have to showcase your unique selling point and your skillset.

  4. Experience with MITACS:- In this field, you have to mention from where did you hear about MITACS GRI and a consent that you are available to work for 12 consecutive weeks starting anytime between May 1st, 2020 and July 31st, 2020.

  5. Academic Reference:- Here, you have to upload the letter of recommendation from the referring professor. You can either upload one or two references according to your choice.

  6. Acknowledgements and Consents:- In this part, you have to give consent to the terms and conditions of MITACS GRI and acknowledge that you have read the Acknowledgements and Consents.

  7. Projects:- This is a field in which you can select and rank your projects according to your preference.

  8. Documents:- Here, you have to upload the required documents. One of them is your CV or Circular Vitae. Another is a transcript from the college. Although they have asked for four transcripts, uploading only one will be enough.

After Applying

After the submission of application, there are three categories:-

  1. Candidate under consideration:- Under this, either you will have to sit for interviews or will be given tasks related to the project. If selected, you will be given a choice of reordering of your projects. In the end, you will receive an offer letter having the details of your internship.
  2. Waitlist:- Under this category, you will have to wait for the next round for consideration.
  3. No longer under consideration:- Under this category, you are either not eligible for the internship or there are some discrepancies in your application.

FAQ’s     

                      
Q. Did you receive any extraneous guidance in the application procedure that was helpful?

AMITACS Globalinks Research Internship is widely popular among those looking for research internships. Last year around 40 students from NIT Rourkela got the chance to intern at a Canadian University through MITACS. The information on the portal is self-sufficient and much detailed but most of the interns opine that seniors, who had previously been MITACS interns, were of much help for writing the SOP and Research Rationale.

Q. When to apply for the MITACS Globalink research intern program?

A. The MITACS GRI portal opens in late August and remains open till mid-September. As on the date of publishing this article, the portal is already open and applications are being accepted till 18th September, 1 pm PT. Taking into consideration the time taken to ensure you receive your recommendation letters as well make an informed decision, starting as early as possible is a wise choice.

Q.How to write my SOP and Research Rationale?

A. The application requires one to describe in 100 words the following:

Skills, Background Knowledge and Research Interests: This should include a list of software and core skills the student has in his/her field of interest. The courses, in the institution and beyond the institutional domain serve as a description of the background knowledge one holds. It should be ensured that one writes about courses relevant to the domain of his/her research. Research Interests is a highly personalized response regarding the exact domains and the motivation behind a research interest in those domains is there in the student. Students should mention the exact area in which they want to do research, for example, say someone is very interested in Machine Learning and wants to do an internship in that. So one shouldn’t mention Machine learning(as its a very broad term) as the research interest but rather he/she should mention which particular area of machine learning interests him/her(in this case say Artificial Neural Networks or Reinforcement Learning etc.).

Notable Achievements: This concise list should include scholarships & awards a student is a recipient of. Publications and commendable presentations in conferences are very sought after as well. Achievements that are not understandable internationally and have no relevance to the research position should be avoided, e.g - Academic ranks and positions in extracurricular activities at the school level, positions of responsibility in the institute. In addition, Internships come under work/research experience and not under achievements.

Research Rationale: This paragraph serves as a unique selling point for the candidate. A well thought the description of the motivation to pursue research that is not hackneyed but shows the student’s individuality is appreciated. Students should try to focus on which aspects of a particular topic interests them and how they think they can help to better the already existing research on that topic. Here the professors whom you are applying to want to check your inclination towards research although they don’t expect someone at Btech level to have a thorough research background.

Q.What are some of the criteria and their respective weightage in the selection of candidates?

A. The minimum eligibility criteria is a CGPA of 8. MITACS conducts the first round of screening based on the application submitted. If the candidates are found suitable and satisfying all the basic criteria already mentioned in the MITACS website and if the application stands out, the Candidate is put under consideration for the matching process with professors. It is further under the jurisdiction of the professors to screen the candidates through either emails, tasks or interviews. Previous MITACS GRI interns were asked questions about their skills which were relevant to the project and about their previous projects or internship experiences. You can be contacted by many or one or no professors. But don’t be discouraged if you are not contacted by any professor. Last year people still got selected even though they were not contacted by any professor. The most important parts of the application are SOP and Research Rationale. The CGPA acts as an icing on the cake if the latter mentioned things are strong enough. A good SOP and Research Rational coupled with a good CGPA are enough to ensure that you get selected. 

Q.How were the financial provisions distributed? When and how were they disbursed?

A. The Internship is completely funded by either MITACS or MITACS and a partner organization from the country which is MHRD and AICTE for India. The interns receive 4000 Canadian Dollars(CAD) from MHRD for travel, VISA, and housing before departure from India. Another 4000 CAD is provided by MITACS in two instalments in Canada for which opening a Canadian bank account is necessary. The disbursement of funds from MHRD is done through the TEQIP III office in NIT Rourkela.

Q.How is the accommodation and VISA to be arranged?

A. The MITACS GRI interns whom Team MM approached, advise students to apply for VISA through offline route in the Canadian Consulate in Kolkata as it will be a much safer and hassle-free option. Although VISA can be applied by online route also, it’s generally thought that the offline route is faster one for getting the VISA approved in time. The students applying for MITACS GRI should also have their passports ready and if they don’t, then they should get it ready by December. The stipend for the internship also includes a daily allowance of 42 CAD for meeting the daily expenses and 800 CAD for housing costs. Students may either opt for university housing or they can look for other cheaper options on websites like Airbnb, Craigslist and Kijiji. The daily costs vary from city to city, in metropolitan areas like Vancouver or Toronto, the daily costs may go up as high as 35 CAD a day and in relatively lesser populated areas like Edmonton, the daily costs are around 25 CAD a day.

Q.How is the overall experience of research and life during the period of the internship?

A. Canada is a very safe place for students. It has a natural scenic beauty to offer them along with the exposure to world-class research facilities. Living in Canada was a pleasurable experience for most of the interns interviewed by team MM for this article. The culture is very inclusive and the students selected will get the chance to meet students from other parts of the world too and work with them. The professors in Canadian universities are excellent mentors and will provide the interns with a lot of independence and also accountability in research.

Team Monday Morning wishes the best of luck for all the students applying to the MITACS GRI program.
 

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