The university signs a three-year, $6.3-million deal with Mitacs, a Canadian innovation organization, to offer international-research bursaries to 600 students and bring 450 foreign students here.
As part of her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Université de Montréal, Laurence Saint-Pierre spent the summer of 2018 at the Kumpula campus of the University of Helsinki, Finland, doing lab work on nanocarriers that deliver cancer-fighting drugs.
She was there on a $6,000 Globalink Research Award from Mitacs, a Vancouver-based national non-profit that has been supporting industrial and social innovation in Canada since 1999, largely through its work with universities.
"I wouldn't have been able to go to Finland if it weren't for that bursary – it would have been too expensive," said the 21-year-old, who'll complete her degree here this spring before starting her master's
. "In the end, I got to broaden my experience academically and also socially. I worked with people from all over Europe, made contacts with people with all kinds of expertise."
UdeM has just signed a three-year deal with Mitacs to give another 600 students the chance to do part of their program abroad. Signed Jan. 24, the $6.3-million agreement will also give 450 international students the chance to come here, partly subsidized by UdeM and its partners.
"The beauty of this arrangement is that it's
for all disciplines and specialities, at all levels of study, and it jibes perfectly with our mission, which is to be not only the University of Montreal but also the university of the world, open to the best and brightest, wherever they may be," said UdeM rector Guy Breton.
Who's eligible to apply
Undergraduates who have completed their second year of study, as well as all students at the master's and PhD levels or doing postdoctoral training, are eligible to apply for the Globalink bursaries. The extended stays abroad - or time spent here, for foreign students - last from three to six months. Students must be supervised by a professor from their own university as well as at the one they travel to.
Countries participating include Australia, Brazil, China, the European Union countries, Israel, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Mexico, Norway, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Countries that are also eligible under special arrangement include Argentina, Chili, Colombia, Iran (for incoming students only), Malaysia, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Ukraine.
Students receive $6,000 each: those at UdeM who go abroad get that amount from Mitacs, while foreign students who come here get half from Mitacs and the other half from their own university, other granting partners or UdeM investigators' research funds, all coordinated by UdeM's International Affairs Office.
"I've travelled a lot before but never to Paris and never for that long," said geography student Amélie Chaput, 23, who spent three months at Université de Paris Est-Crétail last summer doing research at LISA (Laboratoire interuniversitaire des systèmes atmosphériques), analyzing the dust giving off by samples of soil she'd collected to aid in conservation efforts.
"The Mitacs bursary was something I only twigged to when it came up in an e-mail discussion," recalled Chaput, who is now finishing her master's at UdeM. "I talked about the bursary with my supervisor and we agreed that the opportunity was a good fit - it would be a nice add-on to my master's. And it was.
"What I did in Paris turned out to be very important for the work I'm doing at UdeM."
About the Globalink Research bursaries
The Mitacs Globalink Research bursaries provide $6,000 for UdeM senior undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, to conduct 12- to 24-week research projects at universities outside Canada or, for international students, at UdeM. To apply, students must write a research proposal and line up an academic supervisor; generally, it's advised to apply at least three months before planning to travel. For more information, UdeM students and professors should contact Julie Benoit at the International Affairs Office or Nadia Dubé at Mitacs.
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