TalentEdge Internship Program

A. Program Overview
B. Program Objectives
C. How Funding Works
D. Eligibility
E. Evaluation and Assessment
F. Reporting Requirements
G. How to Apply
H. FAQ
I. Downloads


A. Program Overview

Ontario’s TalentEdge Internship Program (TIP) provides support for current college and university students (specifically current graduate students and final year undergraduate students), and recent Masters graduates (within three years of graduation), to work on industry-driven research and development projects. Companies can tap into world-class talent coming out of Ontario's publicly-funded post-secondary institutions and strengthen their capacity to develop new products, services, and processes.  

TalentEdge internships are intended to provide interns with an experiential learning opportunity and hands-on industry experience. All internships must be project-based with clearly defined activities, milestones and outcomes. Projects must have a clearly-defined R&D component, where R&D is defined by the discipline and is inclusive of all areas of specialization and disciplines. 

Each four-month internship is valued at $20,000 as follows:

  • $10,000 contribution from OCE
  • $5,000  company cash contribution
  • $5,000 company in-kind contribution

The TalentEdge Internship Program is open to students and recent graduates from across all disciplines, and all areas of specialization. The TalentEdge Internship Program is also accepting applications under the following sector-specific streams:

  • Data Analytics Internships. These internships are provided for current college and university students (specifically final-year undergraduate students and current graduate students), and recent undergraduates and master graduates (within three years of graduation) to support the application of advanced analytic and smart computing technologies and techniques to large and/or diverse data sets to allow a company to analyze data to address important business questions, uncover patterns and pursue breakthrough ideas. Data Analytics Internships must be company-based at a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) (with less than 500 employees) and aim to support the broader adoption of smart computing technologies. Preference will be given to projects in the following areas: healthcare, finance, cybersecurity, smart cities, water conservation and management, energy monitoring and management, mining, advanced manufacturing and digital media. 
  • Cybersecurity Fintech TalentEdge Internships: These internships are provided for current college and university students (specifically final-year undergraduate students  and current graduate students), and recent undergraduates and master graduates (within three years of graduation) with cybersecurity or financial technology ("fintech") experience, or building those skills while working with cybersecurity solution adopters and providers. Internships must be company-based at a start-up/scale-up company with 500 or fewer employees, or a start-up/scale-up in partnership with a financial institution. Find detailed information on the Cybersecurity Fintech Innovation Pilot Program page, including TalentEdge Internships and Fellowships, and Technology Development and Demonstration Projects
  • Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network Internships: These internships are provided to current college and university students (specifically final-year undergraduate students  and current graduate students), and recent undergraduates and master graduates (within three years of graduation) with real-world industry experience, by applying their expertise, leading-edge knowledge and tools to solve industry problems related to Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (C/AV) technologies. Interns will work at Ontario-based companies or academic institutions and receive on-the-job training in areas such as software and hardware development, artificial intelligence, and data analytics.
    Visit the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network page for detailed information on TalentEdge Internships and Fellowships, Research and Development (AV R&D Partnership Fund)Demonstration Zone and Regional Technology Development Sites

​PhD graduates and post-doctoral fellows must apply through the TalentEdge Fellowship Program.

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B. Program Objectives

The objectives of the TalentEdge Internship Program are as follows:

  • Help students and recent graduates bridge the gap between Ontario’s publicly-funded post-secondary institutions and industry by providing hands-on experience with companies 
  • Build receptor capacity in industry for highly skilled R&D personnel
  • Provide research and development capabilities to companies
  • Improve companies’ competitiveness by attracting top talent and tapping into world-class R&D to strengthen capacity to develop new products, services, and processes
  • Develop and retain top talent in Ontario
  • Facilitate the transfer of knowledge and emerging technologies from publicly-funded post-secondary institutions to industry

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C. How Funding Works

  • Length of internship: Internships can be between 4-24 months in length. The maximum length is based on the educational status of the intern (refer to Eligibility section below). Each four-month internship is equal to one unit (4-month internship = 1 internship unit).
  • Primary location of the internship: Internships can either be company-based or institution-based (university, college, or research hospital). The amount of time spent with the company, as well as the most appropriate location for the placement, should be mutually determined and depend on the nature and needs of the project. If internships are based at a publicly funded post-secondary institution, interns are required to spend a significant portion of their time on-site or in the field with the company. If an internship is company-based, then the Applicant Organization will be the company. If the internship is institution-based, then the Applicant Organization will be the publicly funded post-secondary institution and the company will be the Contributing Partner. See Flow of Funds section for more details. NOTE: All Data Analytics and Cybersecurity Fintech Internships must be company-based at an SME.
  • Intern compensation (per four-month internship unit):
    • Institution-based interns must receive a minimum compensation of $10,000 per four-month internship unit. Of the $20,000 value of the four-month internship unit, up to $10,000 may be used for direct costs of the project (this includes a part of the cash and all in-kind contribution to the internship).
    • Company-based interns must receive a minimum compensation of $15,000 per four-month internship unit. Of the $20,000 value of the four-month internship unit, up to $5,000 (company in-kind contribution only) may be applied towards direct cost of the project.
  • Overhead: Overhead is not an eligible expense for this OCE program.

Flow of Funds: 

OCE funds flow directly to the Applicant Organization, either the publicly funded post-secondary institution or the company depending on the primary location of the internship:

  1. Institution-based internship: OCE funds will flow directly to the publicly funded post-secondary institution. Intern must have student status for the duration of the internship.
    • Upon approval of the application, an invoice for industry cash contribution plus HST* will be sent by OCE to the company. The company has 30 days to provide their cash contribution to the project. 
    • Upon receipt of the company cash contribution, OCE will release a payment to the publicly funded post-secondary institution equal to the award amount minus a $1,500 holdback per internship unit.
  2. Company-based internship: OCE funds will flow directly to the company. Intern must be eligible to work in Ontario and have employee status at the company for the duration of the internship. 
    • Upon approval of the application, OCE will release a payment equal to the OCE cash contribution amount minus a $1,500 holdback per internship unit.

The holdback will be released upon project completion and receipt of the following: progress and final reports, proof of payroll for the intern (must include the intern’s name, company/institution name, payment periods and amounts e.g., intern pay stub, payroll print out, T4/T4A), and attestation from the financial officer/signing officer of the Applicant Organization regarding the use of funds.

* The Canada Revenue Agency requires OCE to collect HST on company contributions. Please note that HST is 100% recoverable by the company as an HST rebate. More information about HST rebate and recovery.

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D. Eligibility

I. Intern Eligibility
II. Company Eligibility
III. Project Eligibility
IV. Eligible Expenses

I. TalentEdge Intern Eligibility

The TalentEdge Internship Program is eligible to the following types of interns:

  1. Undergraduate level: Undergraduate students in their final year of study at a college or university in Ontario during the internship period.
  2. Graduate level: Current Masters and PhD students, and recent Masters graduates within three years of graduation during the internship period.
    • Masters students and recent Masters graduates (within three years of graduation) may hold a maximum of two internship units (per student).
    • Current PhD and Masters students must be registered at an accredited Ontario university.
    • Recent Masters graduates are eligible for company-based internships only.
    • PhD students may hold a maximum of six internship units (per student).
  • The intern must be eligible to work at the Applicant Organization. For company-based internships, the intern must be eligible to work in Ontario. For institution-based internships, the intern must have student status at the publicly-funded post-secondary institution for the duration of the internship.
  • Interns may not apply with a company where there is any conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, a company where the intern or relatives have any control as a major creditor or shareholder or governing board..
  • Interns may not apply if they are currently enrolled in a co-op program or other equivalent job placement/employment program.
  • Interns may not apply if at the time of application submission they are a current or past employee of the company (including consultants, contract position, part-time, etc.).

PhD graduates and postdoctoral fellows must apply through the TalentEdge Fellowship Program.

II. Company Eligibility

  • Projects must include at least one for-profit company with operations in Ontario that meets the required cash and in-kind contribution.
  • The company must provide a Business Number (BN) issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). More information on BN.
  • Company must use the results for the economic, environmental, or social benefit of Ontario.  

III. Project Eligibility 

  • All internships must be project-based with clearly defined activities, milestones and outcomes.
  • Projects must have an R&D component, where R&D is defined by the discipline and is inclusive of all disciplines.
  • Proposed projects must be commensurate with intern’s experience and expertise.
  • Internships are not intended to be “first job”-type placements; all internships must be based on a defined project that is executed within the time frame of the internship.
  • Applications must not exceed a maximum of six units per application /company in a year (i.e. maximum of $60,000 in OCE contribution per application). Pre-approval from OCE is required to apply for more than six units. Please discuss with the Program Manager before starting your application.
  • Intellectual property arising from the project will be managed by the project participants. For institution-based internships, the parties are bound by the intellectual property terms of the university or college where the intern is enrolled; except where intellectual property is covered by separate agreements to which the institution and the company are parties and the agreement is valid for the duration of the internship.  For company-based internships, the parties are bound by the intellectual property terms of company where the intern is an employee for the duration of the internship. OCE does not claim or manage IP rights.
  • For institution-based internships, the academic partner (applicant) must be a principal investigator at an Ontario-accredited, publicly-funded post-secondary institution (college, university, research hospital). The applicant must have an arms-length relationship with the industry partner as defined on NSERC’s website (refer to the section Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Partner Organizations).
  • Participants must enter into an agreement with OCE and co-operate in providing project reports (please refer to OCE Project Reporting Requirements).
  • Applicants and their partners must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE.

IV. Eligible Expenses

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E. Evaluation and Assessment

Applications are internally reviewed for completeness, eligibility and use of funds prior to evaluation by an external review panel with domain expertise. Following an internal review, the applicant and partner(s) (if applicable) will be provided OCE’s standard funding agreement, to which a copy of the submitted application will be embedded, for execution. A copy of OCE’s standard funding agreement for company-based internships and institution-based internships is available for your review. The funding agreement must be signed, via our online electronic signature function, by all parties in the agreement, and returned to OCE via our online application management system, prior to the application being considered for external review.

TalentEdge is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding.  All eligible projects are assessed on their merit and undergo an external review process whereby the proposals are assessed against program objectives and assessment criteria. The final funding decision is made by OCE. Due to the high volume of applications, results will be announced within 8-10 weeks. 

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F. OCE Reporting Requirements

Final Reports:

1.   Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, the project participants (Applicant Organization/Company/Intern) will receive a notification of the project end date from AccessOCE, with a link to the Final Project Report If an extension is required, the Applicant must request it using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file.

2.     On the scheduled project completion date, the Applicant / Company / Intern will receive notification and a link to complete a Final Project Report (including progress, financials and metrics) from OCE’s AccessOCE system. The Applicant / Company / Intern reports must be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of project completion.

3.      An attestation on the use of funds will be requested to close the project (if applicable).

4.      All required final reports by all partners must be submitted within 30 days of project completion in order to release the holdback, and maintain good financial standing with OCE.


Project Metrics:

5.      If the project continues past a fiscal year end (March 31), the Applicant / Company / Intern will be required to complete an annual Metrics survey each April, for the part of the project that has been completed since the previous March 31. This annual report is mandatory for OCE to fulfill its contract with the Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Science. Required metrics reports from all partners must be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.


Retrospective Survey:

 6. At one, two, and three years, after project completion, the Company will be sent a link to complete a retrospective survey to collect data on commercial outcomes from the project. This information is required by OCE for reporting purposes to the Ministry and assessment of program impact and continuous improvement.

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G. How to Apply

After you complete your eligibility questionnaire using the link below and begin to develop your AccessOCE online application, please note the following:

  • Applications must not exceed a maximum of six units per application (i.e. maximum of $60,000 in OCE contribution per application).
  • Results will be announced in 4-6 weeks after receiving the signed agreement. OCE shares the results with the Applicant Organization/company lead(s) in addition to the intern(s) listed in the proposal.
  • The Applicant Organization is either a publicly-funded post-secondary institution or the company, and is based on the primary location of the internship and how funding will be administered.
    • For institution-based internships, where the intern will spend a majority of their time at the university or college, the supervisor from the institution is the Applicant.
    • For company-based internships, where the intern will spend a majority of their time at a company, the project lead at the company is the Applicant. NOTE: Company-based internships do not require an academic partner. In your online application, for the ‘academic institution’ field, enter ‘Not Applicable’.

Application Initiation: Step-by-step Guide

  1. Eligibility Questionnaire completed and submitted by Applicant Organization lead (see link to Eligibility Questionnaire below)
  2. Eligibility Questionnaire reviewed by OCE (within 1-2 business days)
  3. If the applicant meets program eligibility criteria, OCE will initiate an online application in the online application system,  AccessOCE. If you do not receive an email notification from AccessOCE or OCE Application Support within 2 business days, please contact application-support@oce.zendesk.com.
  4. Applicant logs in to AccessOCE account and completes TalentEdge Internship application. A complete submission will require the following, therefore please prepare and request these documents well in advance::
    • Official transcript and curriculum vitae/resume of the intern
    • Curriculum vitae/resume for the academic supervisor or NSERC100 form (for institution-based placements only)
    • Information about the company, including but not limited to:
      • Business number issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). More information on BN.
      • Incorporation date
      • Number of employees (globally and in Ontario)
  5. Note: Please note that following the internal review for completeness, eligibility and use of funds, applicants will only have two chances to make all required changes to their applications. If an application continues to have outstanding issues after the second revision, it will not move forward.

Submission Timelines and Eligibility Questionnaire

Internship

Submission Timeline

Eligibility Questionnaire

Internships (Final year undergraduates, current Masters and PhD students, and recent Masters graduates) including sector-specific Data Analytics and Cybersecurity Internships
  • Applications may be submitted at any time and will be reviewed throughout the year.

If you are a PhD graduate or post-doctoral fellow, please refer to the TalentEdge Fellowship Program.

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H. FAQ

Please review OCE's Program FAQ

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I. Downloads

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For application initiation or general inquiries, including budget, please contact:  

Application Support Team
Tel: 416-861-1092 x2400
Email: application-support@oce.zendesk.com

For technical inquiries, please contact:

Management Information Systems
Tel: (416) 861-1092 x1005
Email: accessoce@oce.zendesk.com

For eligibility inquiries, please contact:

Binny Arora
Program Manager 
Tel: (416) 861-1092 x5001
Email: binny.arora@oce-ontario.org