Mitacs Globalink Research Internship Experience – Canada 2021
Mitacs Globalink Program:
This is a competitive internship for international undergraduates from Australia, Brazil, China, France, India… basically a lot of countries. If selected, you will (and must) work for a period of 12 weeks in one of the Universities in Canada.
MITACS internships are available in over 45 Canadian Universities and hence you have a good pool to choose from. This 45 includes many of the top-ranked Universities such as the University of British Columbia, McGill University, University of Toronto, etc. (Of course, please don’t limit yourself to top Universities) The CGPA cutoff is a bit lax here with a minimum of 8/10 for Indians.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR MITACS GLOBALINK RESEARCH INTERNSHIP 2021:
- 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, 2020, 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.
My Experience :
Applying for the Mitacs internship was no different. It was after the Cycle-Test exams, around the third week of September 2020, when I realized that I needed to hush up my application for the Mitacs program, sealing it up just a few hours before the deadline (Ahh, I was so freaked out). Then, about a month later or more(13 Nov 2020), they mailed back that my application was being forwarded to the professors whom I had chosen to work with. And the same day, I got a mail from a professor(University of Toronto) whom I had chosen to work with setting up an interview over Zoom meet(My first ever Mid-Night Interview xD). I was asked to brief them about my previous projects and some problems on Data Structure and Algorithm (Medium level problems) and in return, they gave me an idea on the project that I could be potentially working on and some talks related to the covid-19 situation in Canada and obviously India, then some maths jokes and computer science basic talks, so if I would sum up, it was more of a formal interview. And next same day I received a mail from another Professor for a skype interview at ETS Montreal.
Again, after a month’s wait, I woke up to the subject in my mailbox: “Mitacs Globalink Research Internships — Official Project Offer to Students / Programme de stages recherche Globalink — Offre de project officielle aux étudiants”. That’s when, it was official, and that’s when you are dropped from the roller coaster after months of potential build-up. I was selected for my internship at Computer Communication Laboratory, École de Technologie supérieure — Montréal(ETS Montreal) to work with Prof. Ghizlane El Boussaidi on An empirical study of mobile development frameworks and their impact on apps’ quality.
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, 2020 or 12:30 am 19th of September IST. The application includes a number of fields to be filled up by the applicant.
- Register in the MITACS portal — https://globalink.mitacs.ca/gri/index.html (This will test your patience, I tell you. To write this article I tried registering myself and it took me 20 minutes to log into the portal even at 1 AM in the night)
- The section Personal Information implores basic details. I understand you all have a nicely structured CV/Resume of your own, however, MITACS wants it to be tailored according to their need. So strictly follow their guidelines and upload the CV/Resume.
- Under the Education section, you will have to upload your transcript (don’t mind the fact that they have asked it 4 times, just upload it once). The English proficiency exam is not compulsory and will not increase or decrease your chances of getting the scholarship.
- The Research section is the most important and scrutinized one of all. It has four sub-sections. Take your time to fill out each of them. MITACS has a word limit, mind you, so you need to learn to omit superfluous words and be succinct. For ‘General Description of Skills, Background Knowledge, and Research Interests’, I wrote bullet points under each of the topics separately. Skills here refer to your software (and maybe soft skills) and technical skills. Jot down your coursework in the Background Knowledge and anything else if necessary.
‘Notable Achievements’ is pretty self-explanatory. Please include only those that you think are really noteworthy and don’t use terms which they will not understand (such as ‘Festember’, ‘Pragyan’, give a brief description if you’re mentioning them). ‘Research Rationale’ was the hardest for me to write in spite of it being 100 words. When it comes to SOP’s, the shorter the word limit, the harder it gets. Think about why you really want to pursue research, if you feel there is a personal and emotional connection to it then do mention it. If you had any life-changing events or lectures, mention them. Write it once, come back after a day and read it afresh. Edit it, and do the same at least 4–5 times. I would definitely not say that this decides whether or not you get it, but it’s important.
- The toughest part I would say is choosing the projects. And since there are so many and we have amazing net speed here, use as many filters as you can and narrow down the areas to suit your needs. I faced the problem where I had to the trade-off between a good project and a good university. I went ahead with the good university, but I feel like that was a slight error on my part. If you have the same conundrum, go with a good project if you really like it.
Please, please don’t wait till the last day to do something. I still remember on the last night of the deadline I remembered something which I had to change. It was 2 hours before the deadline and I took a big leap of faith by trying to change it. Do not do that, finish your application 10 days in advance and keep proof-reading it every two days. Also, if you did not know already, DO NOT mail any of the professors separately. MITACS highly discourages that practice (which only saves you more time). Once you’re done with the application, you might or might not get interview calls from Professors. I got 2 interviews but many of my knows didn’t get any interviews, so if you don’t there is no need to worry. Some professors just like to talk and interact once before they take a student in and some feel that your application is enough. Some might be just too busy.
After the submission of the application, there are three categories:-
- 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 your projects. In the end, you will receive an offer letter having the details of your internship.
- Waitlist:- Under this category, you will have to wait for the next round for consideration.
- No longer under consideration:- Under this category, you are either not eligible for the internship or there are some discrepancies in your application.
Thanks for reading this article!
All the best for the future.