Connecting the brightest minds to the right opportunities for a healthier province

24 January 2024

In today’s fast-paced world, we need to invest in skills and talent development. It’s imperative that research trainees have hands-on experience that enables them to advance their knowledge to solve complex health challenges and improve the health of British Columbians.  

We are excited to announce a new program that offers much-needed paid internships for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. They will receive guidance from expert mentors at BC-based life sciences companies and gain hands-on business skills. By hosting and mentoring trainees, small and medium-size companies gain research expertise to drive innovation, solve complex challenges and help position BC as a global hub for life sciences.  

The program is offered in partnership between Michael Smith Health Research BC and national research organization Mitacs. Together, the organizations are working to reduce a barrier identified in BC’s life sciences and biomanufacturing strategy to find the right people with the right skills needed to support a healthy future for British Columbians.


“Our organization is creating a diverse and skilled research talent pool that expands research impact and improves the health of British Columbians,” says Dr. Bev Holmes, president & CEO, Michael Smith Health Research BC. “I’m excited to launch this new program that supports passionate researchers and creates jobs in BC’s life sciences sector.” 


“At Mitacs we’re committed to investing in skill development — whether that’s opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning or ensuring businesses in British Columbia have the tools they need to succeed,” says John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs. “This important partnership with Health Research BC will open doors to collaborations and opportunities across academia and industry. Together we’ll empower research talent to fill a critical gap between academic skills and life sciences business skills.” 


Program details

The program is open to BC-based students in master and PhD programs, postdoctoral fellows and companies in the life sciences sector. Learn more about the program here.

Key dates  

  • Letter of intent submission period (reviewed on a rolling basis): January 24 – December 1, 2024 
  • Deadline for full application: December 20, 2024 
  • Placements start: between March 1, 2024 and March 1, 2025  


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If you have questions about this program, we encourage you to reach out to our partnerships team.