Yukon offers internships to study impact of COVID-19

Joint news release with the Government of Yukon, Mitacs, Yukon University and the University of Alberta North

A unique opportunity to participate in COVID-19 research internships will benefit both Yukon organizations and post-secondary students.

Starting immediately, Yukon businesses, not-for profit organizations and municipalities can apply to be matched with post-secondary students who will research COVID-19’s impact on their operations and help develop plans to overcome those challenges. In return, students will gain high-quality work experience in the field of applied research.

This program will support research to improve Yukon’s understanding of the social, cultural, economic, environmental and health impacts of the pandemic, including direct and indirect impacts on businesses, communities or individuals. Relevant, local and high-quality research will help support eligible organizations with their recovery planning and decision making, and better equip them to manage for the future.

The internships are offered through a partnership between the Government of Yukon, Yukon University, University of Alberta North and Mitacs. Mitacs, a national not-for-profit applied research and training organization, will administer the internships and provide a significant share of the program funding, with support from the Government of Canada.

This initiative advances the Government of Yukon’s Science Strategy, particularly the goals of stimulating private and civil sector science and building Yukon’s science capacity.

This initiative will provide an important stepping stone for students by offering crucial experience in the field of applied research. At the same time, this program will support Yukon businesses and organizations in plotting an evidence-based course to a new normal. I encourage interested Yukon businesses and organizations to take part and I thank all of our partners involved in this initiative.

Premier Sandy Silver

Through this new partnership with the Government of Yukon, Mitacs advances a pathway to innovation. By providing young researchers with opportunities to work with businesses, we are helping deploy this talent resource to support the Yukon economy. Through this new initiative, together we will mitigate the adverse economic impacts of COVID-19.

CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs, John Hepburn

Yukon University is committed to supporting student research and this initiative provides an opportunity for us to address one of the most urgent issues of our time. These student research projects will explore how COVID-19 and the pandemic response have impacted northern communities, environments and economies thanks to our partnership with with UAlberta North, Mitacs and the Government of Yukon.

Yukon University President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Mike DeGagné

This is an incredible opportunity for students to gain hands-on research experience addressing the unique challenges and opportunities facing northern organizations and communities as they navigate new social, environmental and economic realities. UAlberta North is honoured to be a partner in this initiative, and offers its full support to all involved. 

University of Alberta North Director Dr. Fiona Schmiegelow

Quick facts 

  • There are 25 four-to-six-month internship units are available. Host organizations can apply for multiple students or multiple units per student.

  • Full-time post-secondary college, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as post-doctoral fellows, are eligible for these internships. Eligible host organizations include businesses, non-profit organizations, hospitals, foundations and municipalities. To be eligible, either the student, the host organization or the associated academic institution must be based in Yukon. 

  • Students will receive a $15,000 award per internship unit, with a minimum $10,000 stipend and up to $5,000 for research support costs. Host organizations are responsible for 25 per cent of that, with the remainder coming from the Government of Yukon, YukonU and Mitacs.

  • Organizations that are interested in this opportunity but are unable to contribute 25 per cent may be eligible for support from the Yukon Department of Education Staffing UP or Building UP programs. Please contact the Department of Education to discuss options.

  • Students or host organizations that would like more information can contact Mitacs at cloring@mitacs.ca or twiltzen@mitacs.ca. For information about the research priorities for this initiative, contact Yukon’s Office of the Science Advisor at osa@gov.yk.ca.

  • Mitacs fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions. It is a not-for-profit organization funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Yukon.


Stewart Burnett
Cabinet Communications

Jordan Jackle
Executive Council Office

Heather Young
Director, Communications, Mitacs

Jacqueline Bedard
YukonU Communications

Fiona Schmiegelow
UAlberta North