Biodiversity Research: Integrative Training and Education (BRITE)
Internship Program

View 2017 Internship Opportunities


A key element of the BRITE initiative is an internship program for master's and doctoral students. This program has the following goals:

  • to allow students to enhance their training by experiencing collaboration within a non-governmental organization, government agency, or industry to improve the breadth of training and networks;
  • to directly facilitate the application of academic biodiversity research;
  • to extend or apply student research or training;
  • to provide supplementary funding to graduate students; and
  • to advance the missions of partner organizations and institutions, where that mission goes beyond basic research.

ELIGIBILITY: All master's and doctoral students who are primarily sponsored by a Biodiversity Research Centre affiliated Faculty member are eligible to participate in a BRITE internship. Post-doctoral fellows are not eligible for internship funding.

TIMING & DURATION: BRITE internships are expected to last from six weeks to three months of full-time equivalent work. Students are expected to make contact with prospective internship hosts, arrange position requirements, salaries, and start and end dates. Partner organizations will select among applicants and initiate the Internship Agreement (see form below).

AGREEMENT: Before the internship begins, a formal Internship Agreement about remuneration, period of employment, and other terms should be signed by all parties involved: the employing agency supervisor, the student, the internship coordinator (see form below).

PURPOSE: The purpose of the BRITE internship is to facilitate a career-related experience that is outside what would normally be possible in the context of a science graduate degree. Funds allow students to network or explore a dimension to their career that interests them but is slightly tangential to their scientific training. We expect the internship experiences of BRITE students to vary. The internship can be very closely aligned with the student's ongoing or future research, thesis or otherwise. It may also be unrelated to thesis research. In terms of timing, the internship may be before the start of thesis research and thus may be a catalyst for the research. It may be at the end of the research period and serve as an opportunity to incorporate the results into policy.

FUNDING: Funding decisions are made by a BRITE committee. In the application, it is important to convey specifically how the internship provides an opportunity or training not achieved by a traditional science graduate education, and how the host or training experience will support the intern in that experience. Applications that do not convey this are unlikely to be funded.

Learn about current and past BRITE interns and read descriptions of their experiences.

See the list of companies, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations that have expressed an interest in hosting internships.

Within four months of the end of the internship, the student makes a presentation to the Biodiversity Research Centre about their internship experience. The student completes an Internship Report and Evaluation, and the agency supervisor completes a Performance Evaluation (see forms below). The final $500 will be paid to the student on completion of these requirements.

back to top


We expect internship employers to pay students as employees. The salary target is $4,000 per month for full time employment or an equivalent. Up to $6,000 of that funding is available from the BRITE program per intern (for a total contribution from BRITE over all interns of $36,000 each year); the remainder is to be provided by the sponsoring organization (the $6K from BRITE could cover at most 6 weeks and 3 days of work). Accordingly, organizations should only propose internship projects for durations they can afford based on the salary target above, the possible $6,000 from BRITE, and the funding the organization can offer. Internship proposals will be considered if the partner organization cannot offer funding, but higher levels of funding from partners will be viewed positively, increasing the probability of the internship receiving BRITE funding.

The BRITE matching funds are provided in the form of salary. The student or the partner is responsible for travel and out-of-town living costs during the internship.

back to top

How to Apply

There are two possible routes for a student to take when applying for a BRITE internship. The first is to apply to the positions advertised by the partner organizations, which are distributed to students by the BRITE program admin (the Internship Coordinator, Program Manager, or a designate). There is a main annual competition announced in Feb-Mar of each year over the main Biodiversity Centre email list, but occasionally other ads are distributed at other times. The second is to seek out an organization independently and apply for an internship. In this case, the student should check with the BRITE admin for approval before formally applying for an internship. By either route, once the student has been accepted by the partner, the partner organization and the student together fill out the Internship Agreement Form together and submit to the BRITE admin for adjudication/approval.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The committee's criteria for selection are as follows: (1) anticipated contribution of the opportunity to the student's career (how does this internship help the student achieve career goals?); (2) importance of the project, to the partners and in general (why is the project worth supporting?); (3) fit of student with project, ability of the student to do as hoped (how/why will the goals stated above be achieved?); (4) expected quality of internship experience based on partner agency/supervisor; (5) financial considerations (matching funds are a plus; student need). PLEASE ENSURE THAT THE APPLICATION/AGREEMENT FORM CONTAINS TEXT SUFFICIENT FOR THE COMMITTEE TO EVALUATE THESE FIVE CRITERIA.


  • Friday January 13, 2017 - Deadline for BRITE partner organizations to submit internship advertisements
  • Friday February 10, 2017 - Student deadline to apply for internship advertisements
  • Friday February 24, 2017 - Completed Internship Application/Agreement deadline

Advertisements should include the following (please use this template):
- Funding contributed by partner (in addition to up to $6K from BRITE)?
- What assistance/supervision is offered?
- Where will the internship be located?
- Is the internship part-time or full-time, and what is the expected duration?
- What experience is required/requested?
- What will the intern's role be in the project?
- Please provide contact information.

back to top


BRITE Internship Coordinator: Kai Chan
Kai will provide guidance to partner organizations and prospective interns. Internship Report and Evaluation, Internship Agreement, and Performance Evaluations must be returned to Kai.

Contact: #438 - 2202 Main Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4
(phone) 604-822-04000
(fax)     604-822-9250 (attn: Kai Chan)

BRC Administrator: Katie Beall
Katie will help with administrative and financial questions.

Contact: #115 - 2212 Main Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4
(phone) 604-822-0862

back to top

MITACS Internship Program

The MITACS internship-funding program is open to graduate students or post-doctoral fellows from all disciplines. This program facilitates research projects involving the student, academic advisor and a non-academic partner. MITACS and the participating organization will contribute $7,500 each to the successful applicant. Internship placements are for 4 months, with the student spending 50% of their time at the partner organization and 50% at the research institution under the guidance of their supervisor.
MITACS is an independent internship program but can be undertaken in conjunction with the BRITE program if appropriate.

back to top


Internship Application/Agreement
Purpose: Formal agreement between the BRITE Program, the student, and the employer. The agreement should reflect the specific conditions of the internship and be completed prior to the start of the internship. The completed form should be submitted to the BRITE Internship Co-ordinator.

 • Canadian Internship Agreement

 • International Internship Agreement

Performance Evaluation - Employer
Purpose: Evaluation of the internship experience, to be completed by the employing agency supervisor at the end of the internship and submitted to the BRITE Internship Coordinator.

 • Performance Evaluation

Internship Report - Student

Purpose: A brief written report, describing and evaluating the internship experience. Guidelines for the oral presentation. Complete and give to BRITE Internship Co-ordinator within 1 month after completion of internship period.

 • Internship Report and Evaluation

back to top
BRITE Training Program


Past Interns



Hesse Award

© Biodiversity Research Centre - UBC | site credits