Become a Partner

Would you like to host a Sustainability Scholar?

Sustainability Scholars connects University of Alberta graduate students with Edmonton-area institutions or corporations to work on applied research projects related to sustainability. Scholars work with a designated mentor from your organization and complete a project during the summer months from May to August. 

In return for hosting a scholar, your organization receives the deliverables you outlined in your project, which will help you make sustainable changes. Applications for hosts in 2024 are now closed. If you are interested in hosting a scholar in the summer of 2025, please contact Shannon Heaney at to be notified when applications open. 

Project Requirements

The Sustainability Scholars Program looks for projects that:

  • Relate to advancing the social, environmental or economic sustainability of society as a whole, or to advancing a sustainability mandate within your organization.
  • Have an emphasis on applied and innovative research.
  • Are tangible, with defined deliverables, that the scholar can complete in the course of the program.

Projects may vary in length, please see the cost section for further details.

Mentorship Requirements

Project mentors should expect:

  • To serve as the scholar's guide, project supervisor, and primary point of contact within your organization.
  • To conduct interviews with project applicants and provide the university a list of preferred candidates during the hiring process.
  • To ensure scholars have access to a workspace with a computer, telephone and any other tools necessary to complete the project.

Why participate in the Scholars program? 

There are numerous benefits to partnering with the Sustainability Council to employ a Sustainability Scholar.  Here are some of the things that we take on for you:

  • Posting your position, managing applications, and conducting a preliminary scan for eligibility.
  • Promoting your project to UAlberta graduate students.
  • Delivering a general orientation to successful candidates.
  • Delivering an orientation to mentors.
  • Providing ongoing administrative support throughout the placements.
  • Approving Scholars’ hours in the payroll system.
  • Disbursing Scholars’ paycheques.
  • Hosting a final event to share findings and celebrate completion.


The cost of the program covers the scholar’s wages and mandatory employment-related costs. Hosts may apply through Mitacs to receive matching funding, or they may apply without Mitacs. 

The cost for the program will depend on the number of hours per week, and the number of weeks your Scholar works. Mitacs provides two matching funding options, $10,000 and $15,000 ($5000 and $7500 from the host). For the $10,000 option, your scholar will work 25 hours per week for approximately 14 weeks. For the $15,000 option, your scholar will work 35 hours per week for approximately 15 weeks. For the self-funding option, we can tailor the length of your program. Although our preference is for projects between 14-17 weeks long. 

Please contact for more information.

Applying for Matching Funding through Mitacs

To apply to the program with matching funding through Mitacs, please see the “applying for Scholars with matching funding through Mitacs” section below. Applicants will complete a single application using the Mitacs template, and this application will be considered by Mitacs and the Sustainability Council separately.

Acceptance of your project into the Scholars program is not a guarantee of acceptance through Mitacs, and vice-versa. Mitacs provides matching funding in 10k and 15k increments for 4-month projects, which will cost hosts $5000 and $7500 respectively. In order to ensure cohort-wide requirements are met, Scholars in 10k projects will work 25 hours per week for approximately 14 weeks and Scholars in 15k projects will work 35 hours per week for approximately 15 weeks.

Applying without Matching Mitacs Funding.
To apply to the Scholars program without matching funding through Mitacs, please see the appropriate section below. The cost for the program will depend on the number of hours per week, and the number of weeks, your Scholar works. We expect our Scholars to work between 25 and 35 hours per week, for between 14-17 weeks. Please see the application package for a weekly cost breakdown. Once you complete your application package, we will confirm the number of hours requested and determine the cost of the program.

How to Apply

To apply to become a project partner, you must submit a research project and designate a mentor from your organization. When applications open, please download this application form below and follow the instructions for full details. If you are planning on applying, we recommend that you email Shannon Heaney at to indicate your interest in applying. 

Overview of Sustainability Scholar's host application information and instructions.
Applications for matching funding through Mitacs are now closed Applications to the program without Mitacs are now closed.
Application Information and instructions Mitacs BSI Sustainability Scholars company information and procedure

(For information only)

Please complete and submit the application package to when applications open for 2025
Application package Please see the application instructions above before completing the application. When applications open, complete all sections in the following form, which are highlighted in yellow. Please submit the application through the Mitacs RAP portal and to Shannon Heaney ( by the deadline. Sustainability Scholars Application Package 2023-24 (non-mitacs)
Application Deadline Applications open fall 2024. Applications open fall 2024.