New University of Ottawa-Mitacs agreement boosts international student research placements

Two students wearing a lab coat and protective glasses, are handing a pipette while looking at a beaker.

By Arturo Segura

The University of Ottawa and Mitacs, a not-for-profit research and training organization, have signed a partnership agreement to provide $2.7 million in Mitacs Globalink Research Awards in order for senior undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to conduct research around the world.

“Success in the global economy requires innovation facilitated by international connections and collaboration,” said Lissa Matyas, Vice-President, International Partnerships, Mitacs. “We are delighted to partner with the University of Ottawa through the Mitacs Globalink program, which enables bilateral research collaboration and student mobility with international networks that might otherwise be inaccessible.” 

The goal of the University of Ottawa-Mitacs partnership is to mobilize 450 students (300 outbound and 150 inbound) from all disciplines over the next three years.

“Our partnership with Mitacs is a testament to our commitment to student success and internationalization. Students from all faculties will be able to gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge research at academic institutions in 50 different countries,” said Sylvain Charbonneau, Vice-President, Research. “In collaboration with Mitacs, we will increase opportunities for students to participate in international experiential learning, add to the learning experience and credentials of our students, and prepare our students to excel in the workforce,” he added.

Mariam Jabara, an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Science, enjoyed a research placement last summer in Germany through a Mitacs program. During her research placement at the Institute for Neuroinformatics at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Jabara worked with a team to create a program that models the regions of the brain involved in recognition memory.

“I was met by an amazing, interdisciplinary team at Ruhr University, where my supervisors made sure that my first exposure to research was a great one,” said Jabara. “As research becomes more collaborative and interdisciplinary, I think there is no better time to be sending more students abroad to explore their research interests and create more international relationships.”

University of Ottawa students will not be the only ones to have access to funds to carry out research abroad. Students from around the world will be able to apply for funding to conduct research on our campus under the supervision of one of our faculty members through the Visiting Student Researcher Program.

Last year, uOttawa welcomed more than 300 international students in research placements at the undergraduate and graduate levels. PhD candidate Lucia Minarrieta of Uruguay came to the University of Ottawa as a visiting student researcher after studying and conducting research in immunology in Uruguay, the United States and Germany.

“I decided to join the University of Ottawa because of its strong background in metabolism. I contacted Dr. Julie St-Pierre of the Faculty of Medicine and I joined her research team as a visiting student researcher,” said Minarrieta. “This spring I will be defending my PhD thesis in Germany. My time at the University of Ottawa has been so enriching that I have applied to continue in Dr. St-Pierre’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow starting in the fall.”

Visit the Centre for Research Opportunities to find out how you can receive funding to conduct research on campus and abroad.

A group of six people standing in front of a uOttawa Research banner

From left to right: Sylvain Charbonneau, Vice-President, Research; Lucia Minarrieta, PhD candidate; Lissa Matyas, Vice-President, International Partnerships, Mitacs; Martine Lagacé, Associate Vice-President, Research Promotion and Development; Mariam Jabara, undergraduate student in the Faculty of Science and Arturo Segura, Director, Centre for Research Opportunities


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