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Smith partners with Mitacs to support businesses and non-profits through internships for students that focus on organizational innovation capabilities and strategies.

In partnership with Mitacs, Smith School of Business is participating in the Business Strategy Internship (BSI) program for the second year. Last year, more 100 Smith students supported local and national businesses and non-profits in their COVID-19 response by helping them pivot, generate new strategies, sell products and services more efficiently, and come out of the pandemic stronger than ever before.

This year, the BSI program supports graduate and undergraduate students to work on an organization’s innovation activities, helping them improve their products, processes, or services.

Students complete a supervised project as a 4-month paid internship during which they gain valuable experience while the organization benefits from the strategic work accomplished.

Internships can commence immediately once a partner organization and student submit a project proposal and have been approved by Mitacs.

For those organizations that took part in last year’s there are some changes to note this year:

  • Projects are $10,000 or $15,000 for 4 months – Contribution of $5000 or $7500 from partners, which is matched by Mitacs.
  • Partners can choose to extend projects up to 6 months in length – They will need to note this in their application submission. Partners will pay an additional $2500 per month (undergrad) or $3000 per month ( graduate) extension, all of which will go to the student.
  • Streamlined single approval vs. double approval process – Partners now only need to be approved by Mitacs and not Smith. This will reduce approval time and help your organization hire a student intern faster and more efficiently.

Funding model and student compensation

Option #1: Hiring Undergrad students
  • $10,000 Mitacs BSI project ($5000 funding from partner; $5000 matching funding from Mitacs)
  • Students receive $10,000 stipend over 4 months
  • $2500/month (undergrad) top up funding (optional) - All top up funds go directly to student stipend
Option #2: Hiring Graduate & Post-doctoral students
  • $15,000 Mitacs BSI project ($7500 funding from partner; $7500 matching funding from Mitacs)
  • Student receives $13,500 stipend over 4 months
  • 10% project expenses (i.e. $1500) will be added to these projects
  • $3000/month top up (optional) - All funds go directly to student stipend

"Early Bird" Special Funding Opportunity:

Until funding runs out (estimate of December 31st), Mitacs has offered 75% matching funding for projects. So instead of $5000 or $7500 contributions by partners, your organization only needs to fund $2500 or $3750 (a 50% reduction) which will then be matched by Mitacs for the full $10,000 or $15,000 award.

Note: Early Bird Special Funding only available for SME's and not-for-profits with less than 500 full-time employees.

Intern working in a retail store

Process and Eligibility

Partner organizations must be one of the following:
  • A for-profit corporation in Canada
  • An incorporated not-for-profit (NFP) organization in Canada
  • Eligible NFPs include charities, economic development organizations, industry associations, social welfare organizations, health organizations, foundations, and research centres/institutes.
  • A municipality
  • A hospital
Commitments from partner organizations:
  • Businesses and NFP’s must provide $5000 or $7500 in funding to support an internship (please note special funding until Dec. 31, 2021)
  • Funding will be matched by Mitacs 1:1 for a $10,000 or $15,000 student internship (please note special funding until Dec. 31, 2021)
  • Partner organizations must co-submit an internship proposal with a student
  • Smith will match Project Advisors with approved student projects
  • Meet weekly with student (virtually ok) to provide guidance, update on progress and plan next steps
  • Provide a signed copy of the Queen’s Experiential Learning Placement Agreement (ELPA) OR your own NDA/IP Agreement
Details and Next steps:
  1. Use the "Connect with an Intern" form to submit your interest for having an intern work with your business or NFP
  2. You will receive an automated email with steps and links to post an internship at Smith using Quest (our student job board)
  3. You will receive a Mitacs BSI Job Posting template to help structure your job posting
  4. Students will apply to your internship opportunity through Quest
  5. You will receive applications on a rolling basis and can interview and select the student you wish
  6. You and the student will co-submit a proposed project through Mitacs Registration and Application Portal (RAP)
  7. Smith will provide Faculty Supervisor signoff and a letter from Queen’s research services for you upon proposal submission
  8. Mitacs will approve the internship project and then invoice the partner organization. This approval confirms that the project will be funded
  9. All parties (partner, student, Queen's) will sign the Experiential Learning Placement Agreement or NDA provided by partner
  10. The project can then begin
Additional Details
  • There is no guarantee submitted projects will receive funding from Mitacs for the internship project
  • For simplicity, funds will be paid to the student via Smith; therefore organizational partners need not set up the selected BSI interns as employees in their organization (i.e. no taxes, EI, CPP, etc. payments required)

For more information, please view the Mitacs BSI landing page.

For any further questions about the program, please contact Mitch Gudgeon at

Connect with a Student Intern Now

Complete the form below to receive an automated email detailing next steps involved in hosting a Mitacs BSI internship for Smith students.