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BRITE Internships

2022 student application deadline to apply to the partner advertisements will be March 1, 2022. The deadline for the partners and students to submit the full application/agreement to the committee will be March 15, 2022.

UPDATE: Effective February 25, 2021 the funding available for a BRITE Internship has been increased from $6,000.00 to $6,660.00 for full-time employement. 

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.

About the Program

“See link to OTHER FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES for information about additional ways to fund research partnerships.”

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All UBC 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. Graduate students who have finished their program of study are eligible to participate in the BRITE Internship program for the semester immediately following their program completion. International students who have completed their programs should immediately apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) when they receive their certificate of completion. A PGWP is required in order to work and participate in the program. 

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 (please view the form in the Forms section below).


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 (please view the form included in the Forms section below).


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 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.


We expect interns to be paid for their work (not volunteer), either from UBC as a graduate research assistant or through the partner agency, as needed. The salary target is $4,440 per month for full time employment or an equivalent. Up to $6,660 of that funding is available from the BRITE program per intern (for a total contribution from BRITE over all interns of $39,960 each year); the remainder is to be provided by the sponsoring organization (the $6,660 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 $6,660 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.

Potential Internship Opportunities & Organizations

The following organizations have expressed interest in partnering with the BRITE program (pending availability of an internship):

Private Sector

  • Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency
  • The David Suzuki Foundation
  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • West Coast Aquatics
  • Wildlife Infometrics
  • World Wildlife Fund Canada
  • World Wildlife Fund US Conservation Science Program
  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - BC Chapter
  • Hemmera

Public Sector

  • BC Ministry of Environment
  • Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Parks Canada


  • Canadian Institute for Ecology and Evolution
  • Living Oceans Society
  • Rainforest Solutions Project

Depending on the partner organization, a MITACS Internship may be an additional funding opportunity that you may want to consider.


Sally Otto, BRITE Internship Coordinator

Sally will provide guidance to partner organizations and prospective interns. Internship Report and Evaluation, Internship Agreement, and Performance Evaluations must be returned to Sally.

Katie Beall, BRC Administrator

Katie will help with administrative and financial questions.
Tel: 604-822-0862
#115 - 2212 Main Mall University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4

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

Within four months of the end of the internship, the student makes a presentation to the Biodiversity Research Centre about their internship experience. Presentations can be one of the following: a BLISS presentation (10-15 minutes), a 3 minute YouTube video, a Twitter thread with photos (and maybe video), or a Blog post about the internship.

The student completes an Internship Report and Evaluation, and the agency supervisor completes a Performance Evaluation (please view the form in the Forms section below).


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How to Apply

BRITE application process UBC

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).



The annual application timelines is listed below. If funding remains after this application season then the program will accept additional applications at any time; funding would be allocated to the suitable applications on a first-come first-served basis.

January 15 - Deadline for BRITE partner organizations to submit internship advertisements

March 1 - Student deadline to apply to partner's internship advertisements

March 15 - Completed Internship Application/Agreement deadline

For Partners: Advertisements 

Advertisments should include the following. To apply, please complete the Internship Advertisement Form in the next section.

  • Funding contributed by partner (in addition to up to $6,660 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.

Partner Advertisement Form

Purpose: To advertise your internship to our BRITE students.

Word PDF

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 

Word PDF

International Internship Agreement   

Word PDF

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 - online form

Word PDF

Internship Report and Evaluation - 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.

Student Report - online form

Word PDF