On June 9, 2017 Mitacs, a national not-for-profit research and training organization, and the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko (Shevchenko Foundation), announced a new partnership that will allow Ukrainian undergraduate students to participate in research internships at Canadian universities for the first time.
The agreement, effective for three years, was signed at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology, University of Toronto by Mitacs CEO and Scientific Director Alejandro Adem and Shevchenko Foundation President Andrew Hladyshevsky, Q.C.
Under the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship Program, up to 35 Ukrainian university students will be able to participate in a 12-week research internship in Canada under the supervision of Canadian university faculty. After that, they will be expected to return to their university to complete the bachelor degree. When they apply, the students will be able to choose up to 7 research projects provided by Canadian academics. The trainees will be given professional skills training and supervision by the university staff. Interns interested in returning to Canada for graduate studies will be eligible for a Mitacs Globalink Graduate Fellowship. Mitacs Globalink Research Internships are currently available at over 60 universities across Canada.
“By formalizing this partnership between Canada and Ukraine, we are encouraging the exchange of research knowledge and innovation between our two countries. The agreement with the Shevchenko Foundation will provide new opportunities for Canadian faculty and universities to benefit from students’ international perspectives, while demonstrating a range of Canadian research opportunities,” said Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs (via Shevchenko Foundation).
The Mitacs partnership is one component of the newly established Shevchenko Foundation Future Leaders Fund, a broader initiative designed to identify and foster new generations of young scholars who will become the leaders of tomorrow. The Future Leaders Fund will complement the educational activities of the Shevchenko Foundation which include raising awareness in Canada of the Ukrainian heritage through traditional and non-traditional educational programming at all educational levels, funding the advancement of Ukrainian Canadian studies and promoting Ukrainian studies in educational institutions across Canada.
According to Oleksandr Romanko, the originator of Ukraine’s involvement in the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship Program, George Myhal and Western NIS Enterprise Fund each co-funded participation of ten Ukrainian students in the Program, through Shevchenko Foundation. International organization of Ukrainian Communities Fourth Wave also contributed to the Program’s funding. After the signing of the agreement, Oleksandr Romanko called on Ukrainian Canadian businesses, organizations and individuals to provide funding to sponsor 15 more potential trainees from Ukraine by contributing $6000 CAD toward each student’s internship cost that is matched by the $9000 CAD contribution from the Government of Canada via Mitacs.