Mitacs is committed to fostering policy leadership among Canada’s researchers. We have worked closely with the academic research and policy communities to identify ways to integrate academic research and evidence-based policy-making at the federal level. Mitacs and its partners are pleased to introduce the result of this collaboration, the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship.
The fellowship helps government develop policy with advice from respected professors and postdoctoral scholars and will strengthen ties between the public sector and academia. The first of its kind in Canada, the fellowship is offered in partnership with the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP), Mitacs’ university partners, and the Government of Canada.
The inaugural cohort of 10–12 fellows will be matched with federal host departments or agencies in Ottawa, where they will contribute to policy design, implementation, and/or evaluation. Matches will align each fellow’s background and expertise with the identified needs of the host department.
The fellowship aims to:
- Form mutually beneficial and robust relationships between government decision-makers and academic researchers in support of pressing policy challenges in Canada
- Enhance science communication, collaboration, and policy capacity within government departments and agencies
- Develop a network of external expertise in Canadian science policy that complements existing capacity within the public service
- November 1–December 30, 2016: Call for government host department
- January 17–March 24, 2017: Call for fellow applicants
- April and May 2017: Application review; shortlists of candidates provided to host departments; candidate interviews with host departments
- May 2017: Selection and placements of fellows confirmed
- June–August 2017: Fellows arrange travel and accommodations and finalize fellowship arrangements with host departments
- September 2017: Mitacs hosts welcome and orientation session in Ottawa; fellows begin their placements
- August 2018: Fellowship concludes
Any changes to these dates will be communicated to applicants through a mailing list and on this web page.
Remuneration for fellows
Fellows will receive a stipend that reflects their qualifications and is commensurate with comparable full-time employment within the federal public service. Individual stipends may vary depending on the host department or agency.
Postdoctoral fellows receive:
- $70,000 minimum annual stipend
- $5,000 research/travel award
- $60,000 minimum annual stipend
- $5,000 research/travel award
Participating faculty must secure a one-year leave and may retain either full or partial salary compensation during their fellowships; however, they are responsible for negotiating these arrangements with their respective home universities.
Fellows’ roles and responsibilities
Fellows will be considered full-time employees of their host departments or agencies. They will work with policy decision-makers and participate in related activities including:
- Design, implementation, or evaluation of policy
- Stakeholder meetings and/or consultation management
- Parliamentary committee support
- Senior decision-maker briefings
- Preparation of briefing and speaking notes
Mitacs and ISSP will conduct professional development, skill-building, and networking events throughout the fellowship. These events will enhance the fellows’ knowledge and capabilities and foster interaction and collaborative connections.
In addition to an inaugural orientation and a year-end closing session, events throughout the year will address the following topics:
- Public policy
- Public engagement
- Legal concepts and policymaking
- Media and public relations
- Communicating scientific research
- Management and leadership