Student - FAQ

1. General Information

  1. What is SIP?
  2. When can I join SIP?
  3. Which departments participate in SIP?
  4. I want to apply to multiple postings that cross multiple disciplines - do I apply to different departments?
  5. Where can I go for my internship: national / international?
  6. For how long can I go out on an internship?
  7. How often can I go out on an internship?
  8. Do I need previous work-experience to participate in SIP?
  9. What if I missed the information session for SIP?

 

2. Benefits of participating in SIP

  1. Why should I participate in SIP?

 

3. Requirements

  1. What GPA do I need to participate in SIP?
  2. How many credits do I need to have to join SIP?

 

4. Job postings and Applications

  1. When can I apply for internship positions?
  2. Can I apply to more than one job posting?
  3. Which documents do I need for my applications?
  4. Why are there different applications modes?
  5. Do I need to indicate on SciWorks when I intend to apply or have applied for a position?
  6. Can I get help with my cover letter and resume?
  7. Can I get help practising interviews?

 

5. Finding my own internship

  1. What do I have to consider when looking for my own internship?
  2. How can I find my own internship?
  3. What do I have to do once I found my own internship?

 

6. Receiving a job offer

  1. I got a job offer, what are my next steps?
  2. What if I don’t want to accept the offer?
  3. How many offers can I reject?

 

7. International students

  1. I’m an international student, am I allowed taking part in SIP?
  2. Do I need a work permit to participate in SIP?

 

8. Pay

  1. Are SIP internships paid?
  2. When a job posting does not include a salary, does that mean it is not a paid position?
  3. I found my own internship, but the company doesn’t have the budget to pay me a salary. Are there any funding opportunities?

 

9. INTD 400 Course

  1. What is the INTD 400 course?
  2. Do I have to take the INT D 400 course?
  3. I have already completed INTD400 course, can I go back out again on an internship?

 

10. Tuition fee

  1. Is there a fee attached to SIP?

 

11. Problems at the work place

  1. What if I don’t like my internship or have an issue with my supervisor or colleagues?
  2. What do I do when I get terminated from my internship?
  3. What do I do when I receive negative feedback from my internship supervisor?

 

12. Awards

  1. What is the Travel Award?
  2. What is the Excellence Award?
  3. NSERC Award

 

 

  1. General Information
    1. What is SIP?

      The Science Internship Program integrates undergraduate university studies and relevant work experiences through 4, 8, 12 or 16-month paid internships. 

       

    2. When can I join SIP?

      The Science Internship Program portal accepts applications each year in January, May and September. It remains open for 3 to 4 weeks. For the exact dates please visit the website. Each job posting has its own deadline. See the different job postings for the individual deadlines.

       

    3. Which departments participate in SIP?

      All departments within the Faculty of Science participate in SIP. If you have departmental specific questions, you can contact your departmental SIP coordinator.

      Department Coordinator
       Biological Sciences Neil Harris 
      neil.harris@ualberta.ca
      780-492-3577
      5-189 CCIS
       Chemistry Christie McDermott
      christie.mcdermott@ualberta.ca
      780-492-4969
      W4-30C Chemistry Centre
       
       Chemistry Alex Brown
      alex.brown@ualberta.ca
      780-492-1854
      W4-70D Chemistry Centre
       Computing Science Herb Yang
      herb.yang@ualberta.ca
      780-492-2285
      413 Athabasca Hall
       Computing Science Britta Nielsen
      bnielsen@ualberta.ca
      780-492-2849
      233 Athabasca Hall
       Earth & Atmospheric  Sciences Murray Gingras
      mgingras@ualberta.ca
      780-492-1963
      CCIS 3-011
       Earth & Atmospheric  Sciences Melissa Dhillon
      melissa.dhillon@ualberta.ca
      780-492-7988
      ESB 1-26
       Mathematical & Statistical Sciences Henry Van Roessel
      henry.vanroessel@ualberta.ca
      780-492-2617
      637 Central Academic Building 
       Physics Isaac Isaac
      iisaac@ualberta.ca
      780-492-1070
      CCIS 4-185
       Psychology Sandra Ziolkowski
      sziolkowski@ualberta.ca
      780-492-2530
      P247 Biological Science Building  
                                                                                             
    4. I want to apply to multiple postings that cross multiple disciplines - do I apply to different departments?

      NO!!! ONLY apply to one department when you sign up with SciWorks. You will be able to see all the job postings of all departments. If you apply to multiple departments, all profiles except for one will be deleted!

       

    5. Where can I go for my internship: national / international?

      For your internship you can go almost everywhere. There are numerous possibilities within Eastern and Western Canada as well as abroad. The SIP team is happy to help you find an internship abroad. Also UAI provides lots of opportunities for going abroad including scholarships. AISEC is another source to look for international internships.

       

    6. For how long can I go out on an internship?

      You can do an internship for 4, 8, 12 or 16 months. You also have the possibility to extend your internship duration, depending on the original duration. Please contact the SIP team if you wish to extend your internship.

       

    7. How often can I go out on an internship

      You can go out once or twice depending on the duration of your first internship. If your first internship was 4 months long, you are allowed to go out again for 4 -12 months.  If your first internship was 8 months or longer, you are NOT allowed to go out again on a placement.

       

    8. Do I need previous work-experience to participate in SIP?

      No, everyone with or without work experience is welcome to participate in the Science Internship Program (if you fulfill the necessary requirements). The goal of the internship program is to give you the chance to gain hands-on work experience to have an advantage when graduating.

       

    9. What if I missed the information session for SIP?

      It is important to attend the information for SIP, however if you did miss it you can always find the most important information on the website and contact the SIP team (sciiip@ualberta.ca), should you still have questions.  

       

  2. Benefits of participating in SIP
    1. Why should I participate in SIP?

      SIP provides you with the chance to gain work experience throughout your studies. It allows you to take time off from university for up to 16 months. In addition, a lot of internship/ co-op positions require you to be enrolled in an official internship / co-op program to be eligible. You will also have the chance to participate in numerous workshops on resume and cover letters, interview skills and employer information sessions. The SIP team offers drop-in consultation as well as appointments for mock interviews or resume help.

      For scheduling an appointment please contact sciiip@ualberta.ca and look up our drop-in schedule.

       

  3. Requirements
    1. What GPA do I need to participate in SIP?

      You need to have a minimum GPA of 2.3 in the previous  Fall/ Winter term to join SIP and to be eligible for going out on an internship. If your GPA falls below 2.3 your profile will be automatically removed from SciWorks.  

       

    2. How many credits do I need to have to join SIP?

      If you have completed a minimum of *24 credits, you can apply for SciWorks by the end of September each year. To go out on an internship you must have completed a minimum of *48 credits but no more than *105 credits.

       

  4. Job postings and Applications
    1. When can I apply for internship positions?

      Internship start date

      Postings available

      January

      End of August, September, October

      May

      End of December, January, February

      September

      End of April, May, June, July

      Most employers tend to post their internship positions 3 to 4 months in advance.

      Keep in mind, there are also companies that recruit well in advance, such as Blackberry, Communication Security Establishment (CSE), Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and some more. They start recruiting 9 – 12 months before the start of the internship. Smaller companies tend to post their jobs usually two month in advance.

       

    2. Can I apply to more than one job posting?

      We encourage you to apply to more than one job to enhance your chances of finding an internship. Try to apply for positions on SciWorks as well as for positions you can find on public job boards

       

    3. Which documents do I need for my applications?

      For most applications you need an updated resume, cover letter and recent unofficial transcripts. Your resume and cover letter must be tailored to each position. Don’t apply with a general resume or cover letter. Employers are interesting in learning more about you, your skills and why you are a fit for the particular position. Check out the blog for more information on cover letters and resumes.

       

    4. Why are there different applications modes? (Email, website, SciWorks)

      There are three different ways to send your application to the employers.

      1. You can upload it on SciWorks.

      2. You can email it directly to the hiring manager.

      3. You have to go through the application system on the company’s website.

      The posting will always indicate the employer’s preferred application mode, please adhere to it.

       

    5. Do I need to indicate on SciWorks when I intend to apply or have applied for a position?

      YES! For each position you apply to on SciWorks please indicate that you have or will apply by using the button “intend to apply”. This gives us a better insight into students’ interests and the popularity of a position/ employer.

       

    6. Can I get help with my cover letter and resume?

      Yes absolutely. The SIP team is offering various workshops on resume and cover letter as well as on interviewing skills. They are usually offered in the beginning of the Fall and Winter term. In addition to that you can always schedule an appointment with Nadine Buchanan or Janine Wedemeier.  (sciiip@ualberta.ca). Also, have a look at the drop-in schedule for quick resume and cover letter consultations. Log in to SciWorks to see the drop-in schedule. In addition, you can make an appointment with the Career Centre to get help with your application. Please keep in mind, they will charge you a small fee. 

       

    7. Can I get help practising interviews?

      First of all, it is strongly recommended to participate in one of the interview skills workshops. In addition, you can schedule an appointment with Nadine or Janine for a mock interview. The Career Centre also offers mock interviews, you have to schedule an appointment directly with a member of the Career Centre.

       

  5. Finding my own internship
    1. What do I have to consider when looking for my own internship?

      The following aspects are important to keep in mind when looking for your own internship:

      • 32 hours per week
      • Paid position (minimum wage at least)
      • Company must provide a supervisor
      • Science related tasks

    2. How can I find my own internship?

      There are numerous helpful job boards you can use such as:

    3. What do I have to do once I found my own internship?
      Congratulations. You will have to check that the position meets the requirements of a SIP internship and you need to get it approved by the SIP team. See question 6a to learn how to go about it.

     

  6. Receiving a job offer
    1. I got a job offer, what are my next steps?

      Congratulations. You will have to create your work-term records on SciWorks for the internship, fill in all the information, upload your offer letter and email sciiip@ualberta.ca that you got an internship and completed the above mentioned steps on SciWorks. We will then contact you on the next steps. It is important to notify us about your internship, so we can enrol you in the work experience course as you cannot enroll yourself.

       

    2. What if I don’t want to accept the offer?

      Please make sure you have clearly understood the terms and conditions when you first got accepted into SciWorks. In case you have received an offer, yet don’t think it is the right internship for you, you have to contact the SIP team sciiip@ualberta.ca and explain your reasons for declining the position.

       

    3. How many offers can I reject?

    Again, please make sure you have clearly understood the terms and conditions when you first got accepted into SciWorks. If offered a position you have to accept or decline this position within 24 hours. You will have to speak with your department coordinator if you have multiple pending offers and a 24 hour deadline is not possible to maintain. You may not decline more than one position obtained through SIP in a term. If you decline a second position without a justifiable reason, you might not be eligible to apply to postings on the SciWorks Internship Portal and would need to locate your own internship placement.


  7. International students
    1. I’m an international student, am I allowed to participate in SIP?

      Of course! International students are eligible to participate in the Science Internship Program; however, it is possible that some internship positions may require students to be Canadian Citizens.

       

    2. Do I need a work permit to go out on an internship?

      Yes, definitely. International Students are required to obtain a coop/intern work permit in order to be able to work in Canada as an internship student.  In order to obtain such a coop/work permit international students who are accepted into SIP will receive a letter of support to include with their work permit application. This letter will be sent via email within two weeks of receiving notice of your acceptance to the program.

      It is strongly suggested that you allow a minimum of 4 months of processing time to obtain your work permit. Note that coop/intern work permit is the ONLY type of permit that can be used for a coop/intern placement.

      If your internship placement is physically located on a UAlberta campus, you do not need to apply for a coop/intern work permit.

      International students seeking clarification about their specific situations can contact International Student Services for all coop/intern work permit information and advising. Email info@international.ualberta.ca to ask a question or make an appointment.

       

  8. Pay
    1. Are SIP internships paid?

      Yes, all internships posted on SciWorks are paid position. It is one of the requirements for employers to participate in the Science Internship Program.  

       

    2. When a job posting does not include a salary, does that mean it is not a paid position?

      ABSOLUTELY NOT!! These are all paid positions! It just means that at the time of posting the employer might have a reason for keeping the salary off. Could be certain funding that needs to be confirmed or it may be negotiated during the interview and the employer has chosen not to show the amount.

      All SIP positions are PAID positions. If you find your own internship without pay, SIP will not support the internship. You cannot solely use scholarship money or bursaries to pay for the internship.

    3. I found my own internship, but the company doesn’t have the budget to pay me a salary. Are there any funding opportunities?

      Depending on the budget of the company there are different funding opportunities. In any case the company always has to pay a certain percentage of the salary in order to qualify for funding opportunities.  A combination of funding from wage subsidy programs such as the NSERC award or the Canada Summer Job and the budget of the employer is acceptable. 

       

  9. INTD 400 course
    1. What is the INTD 400 course?

      The INTD 400 course is the capstone course for SIP. It is an interdisciplinary course for all who have just completed the on-site work experience portion of the Science Internship Program (8 months or longer). The course focuses on professional development, including skills in written and verbal communication and the ability to make contributions in a team environment. Students will be assigned both individual and team-based projects. Grades will be determined by performance on written assignments and oral presentations given in class. Taught in conjunction with INTD 401. Prerequisites: WKEXP 956

       

    2. Do I have to take the INTD 400 course?

      If you have completed an internship for 8 months or longer it is required to take the INTD 400 course. After completion of the course your participation in the Science Internship Program will be mentioned on your parchment.

       

    3. I have already completed INTD400 course, can I go back out again on an internship?

      NO! Our goal is to give as many students as possible the chance to go out on an internship; therefore you are not allowed to go out again.

       

  10. Tuition fee
    1. Is there a fee attached to SIP?

      Participating in the Science Internship Program has associated costs:

      Mandatory Non-instructional fees for each 4-month term. The course carries a fee index of 9

      WKEXP course fees for each four month term (WKEXP 955, 956, 957 & 958)

      Please refer to the Registrar's office for fees.

      Note: it is possible to opt-in to the Athletics and Recreation fee.

      UPass Exemption

      All students are automatically assessed the UPass fee when registered in a WKEXP course. Students working outside of the serviceable transit area for Edmonton, Strathcona or St Albert Transit may request a UPass fee waiver.

      This form will be available approximately 2 weeks before the start of the work term. Qualifying students will have their name forwarded to the Registrar’s Office and, if approved, the fee will be removed from the student’s fee assessment the add/drop deadline for the term.

      Students also registered in an on campus academic credit course may not have their UPass fee waived, regardless of work location.

      See more on UPass Exemptions.

       

  11. Problems at the work place
    1. What if I don’t like my internship or have an issue with my supervisor or colleagues?

      In case your internship is not going the way you expected it, or you have issues with your supervisor or colleagues, it is strongly recommended that you contact your SIP coordinator. The SIP team will try to help you solve the issue and find a solution. Do not simply quit your internship. In any case, first consult with your SIP coordinator.

       

    2. What do I do when I get terminated from my internship?

      Should you get terminated from your internship you must contact your SIP coordinator. Best would be to discuss reasons of concern with your supervisor when they arise.  You will have to discuss the details with your SIP coordinator, who will decide if you get a pass or no-pass for your internship.

       

    3. What do I do when I receive negative feedback from my internship supervisor?
      First of all, it is important to analyse whether the negative feedback is justified. Have you been spending lots of time on social media platforms while working? Did you often come late to the office or meetings? Are you not completing your tasks satisfactorily or in time? Have there been any other negative events? Listen to the concerns of your supervisor and make an effort to act upon them. It also helps to involve your SIP coordinator. If you are unable to improve the situation definitely involve your SIP coordinator. 


  12. Awards
    1. What is the Travel Award?

      Taking an internship outside of Alberta can involve higher costs. To facilitate this step we have introduced a travel award. The amount depends on the internship’s destination. You have to be in good academic standing to apply. It is based on a first come first serve basis and the number of awards depends on each year’s budget. For more information, please click here.

       

    2. What is the Excellence Award?

      This award will recognize outstanding achievement during the internship combined with excellence in the internship capstone course, INTD400. The awards are valued at $500 each. Eligible students are those that have complete INTD400 and are in satisfactory academic standing in the Faculty of Science.

      Students must be nominated to be considered for an award. Nominations can be made by the employer, a SIP representative, or by self-nomination.

      Use this link to be nominated or to nominate yourself for the award. 

       

    3. NSERC Award

      A lot of companies require students to apply for an NSERC Experience Award to fund your internship. For this award, your cumulative GPA has to be 3.0 or above. Employers will indicate in their posting if you require an NSERC Award. For more information please look here.