Mitacs Globalink Research Award

NOTE: Due to the current global pandemic, the University of Ottawa has postponed all student mobility until the end of 2020. In response, our Centre is working to establish virtual research placement opportunities for fall 2020 and winter 2021. All in-person activities should be planned to commence next summer 2021.

Status: Closed

The Mitacs Globalink Research Award provides $6,000 for senior undergraduate and graduate students to conduct 12–24-week research projects at universities overseas.

How to participate

Eligibility

To be eligible, a student must:

  • Be registered full-time in an undergraduate or graduate program at the University of Ottawa (exchange students are not eligible);
    • Undergraduate students must be in the third or fourth year of their program;
    • Open to citizens or permanent residents of Canada, as well as international students.
  • Have a strong academic background. 

NOTE: Since this is a competitive program, priority will be given to students with academic excellence as demonstrated by their cumulative grade point average (CGPA).

Participating countries

The Globalink Research Award supports research at the following universities:

  • China
    • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
      • Project 1: Finding the hallmark gene regions for all species
        • Context and objectives: With the fast-growing number of genome sequences available, it is possible to find species-specific genome regions. However, genome comparison is a time consuming and space expensive procedure. In this project, we will compare existing methods for genome comparison and we will evaluate the efficiency of these methods to find species-specific regions. A new method will be proposed based on the comparison result.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate students
      • Project 2: Cloning and Functional Characterization of plant Male Sterile Genes
        • Context and objectives: The life cycle of flowering plants alternates between diploid sporophyte and haploid gametophyte generations. Male gametophytes develop in the anther compartment of the stamen within the flower, which requires cooperative functional interactions between gametophytic and sporophytic tissues. The male reproductive development is highly complicated, involving numerous biological events, including cell division, differentiation and degeneration of somatic tissues consisting of four concentric cell layers surrounding and supporting reproductive cells as they form mature pollen grains through meiosis and mitosis. To understand the mechanism of plant male reproduction, we are combining systematic biology (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabonomics) with other approaches such as genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, and structural biology to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying each biological event of male reproduction.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate students
      • Project 3: Database Design of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins
        • Context and objectives: Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) have not fixed tertiary structure, but play key roles in signal regulation, molecule recognition, and drug target. Human proteomes indicate 35-50% of proteins with more than 40 consecutive disordered residues. IDPs are also found to have strong associations with many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyloidosis, and others. However, there is not yet a professional database of IDPs to build the paradigm of the sequence, disorder, and function. Therefore, we will collect the sequence of IDPs identified by experiment and prediction, the NMR parameters, SAXS, conformation clouds, function information. This database can apply the tool for the researcher of IDPs.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate students
      • Project 4: Induced pluripotent stem cells as a tool to study autism-related disorders
        • Context and objectives: The project is based on the samples of Chinese patients with NRXN1α gene deletion. We intend to build cerebral organoid from this samples, and investigate the function of NRXN1α gene in the development of Autism.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate students
  • France
    • Université de Lyon
      • Coming soon!
  • United Kingdom
    • University of Liverpool
      • Coming soon!
  • Taiwan
    • National Cheng Kung University
      • Project 1: Effects of hypoxia and fibrosis on the interaction between pancreatic cancer cells and the inflammatary tumor microenvironment
        • Context and objectives: In 2019, pancreatic cancer (PC) was the fourth-leading cause of cancer death, and it is expected to become the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States by 2030. Systemic chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for unresectable PC; however, the prognosis and survival outcomes are poor. PC is characterized by a prominent desmoplastic reaction caused by abundant cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), and around 90% of pancreatic tumors are made up of fibrous extracellular matrix (ECM). CAFs can be activated by several growth factors and cytokines secreted by injured acinar cells and ductal cells, PC cells, and immune cells, which leads to increased ECM production and thus results in decreased microvessel density and abnormal vasculature and intrastromal and intratumoral hypoxia. Hypoxia can in turn drive the activation of CAFs to generate more fibrosis, creating a hypoxia-fibrosis cycle. The cellular response to hypoxia is governed by Hypoxia Inducible Factors (HIFs). HIFs in cancer regulate many functions, including angiogenesis, stemness/self-renewal, proliferation, apoptosis, EMT, metastasis, invasion/migration, and redox homeostasis. In addition, hypoxia also contribute to immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment and thereby may inhibit the efficiency of immune system response to PC. In this project, we aim to  investigate the role of the hypoxia-fibrosis cycle in the interplay between PC cells and the inflammatary tumor microenvironment and its impact on pancreatic tumorigenesis.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students
      • Project 2: Application of an exergaming program to improve balance control in children with developmental coordination disorder
        • Context and objectives: Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) are characterized with motor skill deficits without explainable medical reasons. Balance control deficit is one of most complaints of the deficits in children with DCD. Therefore, they tend to withdraw from participating physical activity. Such situation may end in a vicious cycle of low motor activity and physical unfitness. Our laboratory has developed an exergaming system for children with DCD. The purpose of the study is to design a program through the system and to examine its effect on balance skills in preschool and primary school children with DCD.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Graduate students (master)
      • Project 3: Investigation of Ballet Pointe Shoes on Ankle-Foot Segment from Biomechanical Perspective
        • Context and objectives: The research project looks at the effect of ballet pointe shoes on ballet dancers’ performance, joint loading, ligament strain through perspective of in vivo, in vitro, and computer simulation.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students 
      • Project 4: Biomechanical Investigation of Hamstring Injury Mechanism
        • Context and objectives: This research project looks at the hamstring injury mechanism and its intervention effects from biomechanical and electrophysiology perspectives.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students
      • Project 5: Innate immunity in infectious disease and inflammation
        • Context and objectives: Influenza A virus (IAV) is a major respiratory pathogen causing epidemics every year or pandemics sporadically. The mammalian innate immune system employs several RNA sensors, including cytosolic RIG-I, endosomal TLR3, and TLR7, to detect IAV infection to trigger type I interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral immunity. Meantime, IAV has evolved diverse strategies to subvert type I IFN-mediated antiviral defenses. Of note, the IAV nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) plays a crucial role in counteracting the RIG-I pathway in an RNA binding-dependent and -independent manner. It is of our interest to further explore if IAV NS1 may employ other mechanisms to impair innate immune responses to facilitate IAV propagation in the host. Our recent work reveals a novel mechanism by which IAV NS1 not only counteract RIG-I signaling but also other RNA sensing pathways.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students
      • Project 6: Longitudinal Health Impacts of Food Insecurity in Economically Disadvantaged Children and Adolescents
        • Context and objectives: Taiwan has experienced the process of industrial development and economic growth in the last century. Socioeconomic inequality is however not eliminated by the accumulation of national wealth but may well be contrarily aggravated by the unjust process of wealth redistribution, thus disproportionately incurring health problems, particularly concentrated in poor socioeconomic strata. The data come from a nationally representative cohort of economically disadvantaged children and adolescents. The project is aimed to explore the issue of food insecurity and how it is related to health outcomes. Specifically, we will draw the trajectory of food insecurity and analyze the relationship between changes of food insecurity and depressive symptomatology and problem behaviors in the surveyed.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students
      • Project 7: Exploring the regulation and the role of Autophagy in maintaining cancer cell survival
        • Context and objectives: Our lab’s main research is the molecular regulation of specific proteins to maintain cancer cell survival.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students
      • Project 8: Nanotechnology approach for nerve regeneration
        • Context and objectives: Our main research interests are tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, mechanobiology, and vascular remodeling. We focus on investigating the external forces and microenvironments for cell/tissue remodeling and functional nerve regeneration.
        • Duration: 12 weeks (during 2021 summer semester)
        • Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students
Application process

STEP 1 -

Please contact rch@uOttawa.ca to register for an orientation session. 

The timeframe to complete an application is approximately 4-6 months, so please plan accordingly.

NOTE: Due to the current global pandemic, the University of Ottawa has postponed all student mobility until the end of 2020. In response, our Centre is working to establish virtual research placement opportunities for fall 2020 and winter 2021. All in-person activities should be planned to commence next summer 2021.

 

STEP 2 -

Peruse the list of current research opportunities (please see 'Participating Countries'). Identify opportunities to which you would like to apply.

 

STEP 3 -

Submit a complete application package to rch@uOttawa.ca for each chosen opportunity, including: 

  • Student's letter of intent:
    • The student's letter of intent must explain the reasons for her or his interest and what she or he hopes to gain from the experience. The letter should also explain how her or his past experiences and academic background qualify her or him for this internship. 
  • A letter of recommendation from a University of Ottawa home supervisor (must be a faculty member); and 
  • Transcript (PDF format from uoZone is accepted). 

 

STEP 4 -

If the Centre for Research Opportunities supports your application, then proceed with completing the application package (provided by the Centre).

Once you're accepted

Congratulations! You will now join hundreds of other students that have benefited from the Mitacs Globalink Research Award. The following sections provide key information that will help make your research experience rewarding and successful.

NOTE: Failure to complete the following sections will result in the annulment of the award.

The next step, before going any further, is to determine whether your research project needs ethics approval by consulting the responsible conduct of research checklist.

Responsible conduct of research checklist
Pre-departure sessions

The pre-departure session is divided in two parts:

  1. During the first meeting, the Centre for Research Opportunities will provide you with a checklist of documents that you need to obtain before your departure.
  2. Once you have all the required documents, you will have a second meeting to go over your code of conduct and other conditions to be mindful of while you are abroad.

Please contact rch@uOttawa.ca to arrange your pre-departure session.

Disbursement of awards

In order to proceed with the disbursement of the funds, your supervisor at the University of Ottawa will have to complete an RE form to open a research account. Once we receive your cheque, the funds will be deposited in such research account and your supervisor will be responsible to process the disbursement.

Depending on the Award allocation and breakdown section of your Mitacs application, the following applies:

  • Stipend: Funds will be provided to you throughout your placement as deposits every two weeks.
  • Research Costs: You will have to pay upfront, keep the receipts, and then ask for reimbursement.
  • Travel and Living Expenses: You will have to pay upfront, keep all receipts, and then ask for reimbursement.
Back to top