Mitacs is committed to fostering policy leadership among Canada’s researchers and we have worked to identify ways to integrate academic research and evidence-informed policy-making with federal and provincial governments. In collaboration with Canada’s research and policy communities, Mitacs has established the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship, the first initiative of its kind in Canada.

The MITACS’ Canadian Science Policy Fellowship program forms mutually beneficial relationships between government decision makers and academic researchers in support of policy challenges in Canada and enhance science communication, collaboration, and policy capacity in government departments and agencies. ISSP members supports the program by delivering training sessions to incoming fellows each fall (24 fellows per year).

The program

The fellowship provides a 12-month immersion into the policy-making process. Working in host offices with government decision makers and stakeholders, fellows contribute their academic expertise and analytical skills to inform policy actions. Fellows’ participation in policy activities provides them with the direct training and experience to address challenges of national public importance.

During the fellowship, Mitacs and its partners provide professional development, skill-building, and networking events, which will enhance fellows’ policy-related knowledge and capabilities and expand their networks. Mitacs instructor-led courses are mandatory and focus on developing two central themes: increasing awareness of Canadian public policy (federal and/or provincial), and strengthening communication and relationship building skills with diverse stakeholders, including government and academia.

Supporting organisations

The fellowship is made possible thanks to the Government of Canada and participating government offices; the Government of British Columbia and participating government offices; the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy; Professor Sarah Otto, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia; the University of Victoria; and the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship Advisory Council. Participating hosts for the fellowship include host offices from the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, and Quebec.

The ISSP was proud to partner again with Mitacs to provide training on science policy, evidence-informed decision-making and public administration to the 2018-2019 cohort of the Canadian Science Policy Fellows program in Ottawa. The Fellowship program, which places post-doctoral fellows and faculty members in science policy positions in government departments and agencies, is in its third year of operation.