Ademola Adekunle, Bioresource Engineering
“I see it as the next step beyond what I did at McGill. We are working on actualizing that project beyond what you write on paper on the thesis; I applied it to the real world. So for me, the internship was the perfect complement.”
Mark Keboa, Dentistry
"The DIP is a well-conceived project that will come as a relief to many students. I am convinced that the experience will help future graduates align their skills and knowledge to the dream job. In my view, the DIP is a strategy that can allay the worries of the frequently asked question:what next?"
Vanessa Lopez, Experimental Medicine
"This program gave me the opportunity to make a bridge between academia and professional development. Basically, you apply what you learn in your PhD here."
Brenda Alvarez Chavez, Bioresource Engineering
"As an international student, I believe that the PhD Internship Program is essential in the transition from doctoral student to research professional. The experience gained during my internship at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), helped me enormously to reinforce various technical skills, increase my professional network and especially helped me in the field of professional and research experience in Canada.The project developed during the internship was in line with my PhD expertise, the use of agro-industrial and forestry residues to develop new bioproducts, bioplastics.
This experience contributed to my personal and professional growth by interacting with high-level researchers from the Canadian government. I learned how to manage several research projects, as well as how to plan applied research projects. As such, I highly recommend this internship program and strongly believe that everyone should pursue this opportunity that GPS has to offer."
Khashayar Teimoori, Mining and Materials Engineering
"Doctoral students must also improve their communication skills in order to collaborate effectively with other experts in their field of expertise, discuss novel findings and innovative solutions, and transfer knowledge to a more diverse audience. The McGill Doctoral Internship Program is therefore a great opportunity for a PhD student to acquire all these skills in a unique academic or industrial setting. More specifically, the program is designed to help students shape their desired career after graduation by engaging in a real-world R&D workplace (e.g., an industry)."
"My internship at Fricke und Mallah Microwave Technology GmbH, located in Germany, was full of interesting challenges in the world of microwave technology at the highest level. Working directly with the president of the company was a stimulating and deeply inspirational experience that made me feel very excited about my future. I was able to further advance my knowledge in microwave systems and their applications, improve my numerical modeling skills, develop a valuable network with renowned scientists, and learn more about the R&D departments and commercialization processes of novel ideas. "
Miroslaw Sadowski, Law
"The Doctoral Internship Program provides a unique opportunity for graduate students who are often tempted to try out a career outside of academia but, as the majority of internships are unpaid, do not have the possibility to devote that much time and energy for anything major outside of their thesis. The DIP is the answer to this: by providing funding, it allows our graduate students to take some time off from writing and explore other available avenues, all while providing them with support on how to manage the new situation. In my case, the DIP allowed me to see what would a career in a think-tank look like, one which I always found alluring but had no possibility of trying out myself. I am thankful to the GPS for that and encourage other doctoral students to apply and take part in thus wonderful opportunity."
Nathalie Popa, Integrated Studies in Education
"The Doctoral Internship Program enabled me to take part in exciting and important work at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). I was given the opportunity to contribute to a flagship publication in the field of education on the topic of technology-based distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through my internship, I applied and strengthened competences I learned during my doctoral program, and also developed new knowledge, acquired concrete experiences, and formed fresh perspectives. Furthermore, I gained insight into the world of governmental organizations and built connections with potential collaborators, mentors, colleagues, and employers. Without McGill’s support, this exciting and enriching opportunity would not have happened. I am sincerely grateful to the wonderful folks at GPS who made it possible."
Neera Sriskandarajah, Experimental Medicine
"On the verge of completing all of my exciting graduate work in fundamental research, I started to question how I could apply all my knowledge and soft skills I’ve developed to directly help patients in the clinic. Thanks to McGIll’s Doctoral Internship Program, I learned how to coordinate Breast Cancer Trials in Oncology at the Center for Innovative Medicine, MUHC Glen site. After multiple trainings, I began seeing patients, working with world renowned Medical Oncologists, and liaising with many pharmaceutical companies; all of which are nodes of clinical research I’ve yearned to be a part of for some time. Those enriching few months were guided by an excellent team of mentors without who I would not be continually learning and working with today.
This internship also validated my interest in applying my research experience in a clinical setting to positively affect the course of patient treatment more directly. I recommend this program to all students who either have a career path in mind already, or simply would like to try and see if they like a given position before applying. This program truly helps to determine if your interests and skillsets after all the growth you’ve undergone during your studies, match up with both the day-in-the-life of a job description and your current work-life balance preferences. Acting as a bridge between your studies and a career this program did just that, as it helped me integrate into my first job right after I defended my thesis. For all these reasons, I am so thankful, and I encourage all students who are writing up their thesis to take the time to apply to this program."
Ricarda Haeger, Kinesiology and Physical Education
"The Doctoral Internship Program (DIP) was a great way to learn how to apply skill I gained over the course of my PhD in projects that go beyond the lab. I learned so much during the three months that I spent with a Neuro-Tech company and would highly recommend the DIP program to anyone that is considering a career outside of academia. It was very rewarding to see how applicable many of the skills are that you pick up during a graduate degree."
Tuhin Das, Mining and Materials Engineering
“The Doctoral Internship Program created a unique opportunity to extend my knowledge and skills from my PhD research. Through this virtual internship program, I was able to further improve my problem solving, as well as time management skills. The internship acted as a medium for knowledge transfer, that helped me to better understand how academic research can be utilized to fit into real life applications. I also gained a better vision of effectively utilizing my research, and skills, in a more suitable direction. Despite the travel restrictions and other limitations during these COVID days, this internship experience has satisfactorily helped me to prepare for a transition to work as a professional in an academic, or an industrial research I gratefully acknowledge GPS McGill for creating this excellent opportunity!”
Ahmed Dalaq, Mechanical Engineering
“The Doctoral Internship Program is a valuable opportunity for graduating doctoral candidates. This program is equally attractive for both the hosting institutions and the candidate, which facilitate the process of finding internship(s) of interest. Doctoral students therefore have the liberty of experimenting with relevant research fields or continue pursuing his/her line of work both in academic or industrial settings. Through this program I was able to extend my research activities into the field of biomaterials, a field I was keen to explore as it complements my current interests in bioinspired material. This internship opportunity was instrumental in facilitating the transition into the field of biomaterials and in expanding my academic and industrial network.”
Kiev Renaud, Langue et littérature françaises
"Quelle chance que cette opportunité offerte par McGill à ses doctorants, je me sens privilégiée d’avoir pu en profiter — alors que la fin de la thèse peut être une période de deuil, ces mois de stage ont plutôt pour moi été le début de nouveaux projets. Le programme permet de se créer un stage « sur mesure » et d’ainsi travailler auprès des petites organisations qui n’auraient pas nécessairement eu les moyens d’avoir un stagiaire ou un employé supplémentaire.
J’ai pour ma part eu la chance d’être très bien intégrée au sein de la petite équipe de la maison d’édition Le Cheval d’août. L’éditrice m’a permis de toucher un peu à tout et j’ai ainsi pu expérimenter toutes les facettes du métier : de la sélection des manuscrits et la production de rapports jusqu’au suivi éditorial avec les écrivains, à la révision et à la correction, en passant par le choix du matériel promotionnel ou la question des droits en cas d’adaptation. J’ai amorcé un travail avec les auteurs que j’ai la chance de poursuivre encore aujourd’hui, un an après la fin de mon stage qui s’est transformé en contrat régulier. Le travail éditorial demande un tout autre rapport à la lecture que la recherche universitaire : il ne s’agit pas d’analyser un aspect précis du texte, mais bien de comprendre le projet de l’auteur et de s’y adapter afin qu’il puisse atteindre sa pleine expression. Le stage en édition a été pour moi un parfait complément de formation en m’ouvrant à ce nouveau regard sur la littérature et en me permettant de mettre les mains à la pâte et de travailler la langue comme un matériau."
Michael Lipset , Integrated Studies in Education
"This past summer, 2020, the Doctoral Internship Program enabled me to engage in an internship with the K12 Lab at the d.school at Stanford University. In this experience I and a team of designers and educators explored prototypes for asynchronous, screen-free remote learning. The result was Sound Practice, a series of audio toolkits for designers and educators who root their work in equity and social justice. Since its release in October, 2020, Sound Practice has been used over 5,000 times in 50 different countries across the world. These important products would not exist without the support of McGill's Doctoral Internship Program. Test out Sound Practice HERE."
Mohammad Tavallaeinejad, Mechanical Engineering
"My internship at Aeroacoustics and Structural Dynamics department of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) made my experience in the PhD program a more challenging and enjoyable one. The internship advanced my critical thinking skill in real-world industrial problems and provided me with an excellent opportunity to gain an in-depth analytical understanding of modelling wind turbines. This program was indeed a bridge between academia and workplace as the main objectives of my internship lied down perfectly with the main scientific question at the core of my PhD research.
I feel that I grew personally and professionally by gaining new skills and experience during my internship. I think the best aspect of my internship was being surrounded by like-minded peers in a very professional environment and having a very motivated mentor. I established a network of great researchers and individuals at NRC, who are active in my professional field. I managed to extend my contract with NRC and started several collaborations. Additionally, as a result of my collaboration at NRC, I have prepared a draft of a scientific paper to be submitted in a prestigious international journal. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the Doctoral Internship Program for the generous financial support, as well as Aeroacoustics and Structural Dynamics Group at National Research Council Canada for hosting me. I really hope this program expands and continues so that more PhD students can benefit from it."
Paolo Saporito, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
"My internship consisted in working as Project Event Coordinator for the Festival International du Film sur l'Art (FIFA).This experience had a wonderful and rewarding impact on my personal and professional growth. Working within academic settings for four and a half years, I developed expectations and work practices that are not always effective in a commercial setting. The collaboration with the Executive Director and the FIFA Team taught me the difference between, among other things, the goals of an academic event and those of a non-academic and profit-driven one. Conversely, and even more now that I face an increasingly challenging job market, I understood that the skills I acquired as doctoral student are valuable outside academia. My interpersonal, time management and communication skills were essential for liaising with representatives of private companies and institutions such as the National Bank of Canada, the Paris National Opera and the Canadian Art Council.
Moreover, from a personal standpoint, this was my first work experience outside McGill in a French setting. This meant dealing with linguistic and cultural differences that ultimately enriched my experience at the FIFA. I learned a lot about Quebec and French language and culture. This will improve the quality of my life in this city and beyond. I am infinitely grateful to McGill and GPS for giving me this opportunity."
Sacha Cavelier, Mechanical Engineering
"I started the doctoral internship program in December 2019. I chose to spend these three months in the Centre for Orthopedic and Trauma Research, at the University of Adelaide, that is a cutting edge laboratory in my field of research. I discovered a different mindset and method of research that beautifully completed those learned during my almost 5 years of PhD at McGill. This incredible research experience made me a better scientist as I feel now much more confident in my skills and knowledge, and I have a better idea of what is expected by the other labs worldwide from a postdoctoral researcher. This experience was also a unique opportunity to develop my network with scientists and professors and significantly increased my chances to find a postdoctoral position after my defense."
Jacob Ziegler, Natural Resource Sciences
"This experience has helped me tremendously professionally. I have further developed my network with Canadian government scientists and managers working within my field. I will be continuing on with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and have now started several collaborations with government and academic partners. This program has really helped to bridge the academic government divide that often occurs in ecology."
"I am incredibly grateful for this program and the opportunity it has given me. I really hope this program continues, it is essential that universities adapt to the job market. Unfortunately, jobs for graduates with advanced degrees seem increasingly difficult to come by and programs like these are so helpful for getting in the door."
Kedar Mate, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy
"I strongly believe this internship program will benefit graduates like myself to connect and work with experts and researchers outside their current academic environment. This internship offers the required flexibility that works perfectly with the host supervisor who has other commitments and graduates who are towards the end of their program."
"This was amazing learning and networking opportunity, thanks to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office to support my internship. I gained valuable insights into working of other labs and learn various projects that would not have been possible without this generous support. My internship will lead to future collaborations necessary for successful academic career."
Martin Rupp, Experimental Medicine
"Collaboration with my colleagues and feedback that I received during my internship helped me to improve my scientific writing skills, interpersonal skills and communication skills."
"My internship at Pfizer in Medical Information was a great and exciting experience. I had the chance to learn a lot about the roles and processes associated with Medical Information and other departments at Pfizer. It was also a great opportunity to expand my professional network by meeting with colleagues from different departments at Pfizer Canada and globally. The strong collaboration between team members and the feedback that I received, helped me improve my skills. Moreover, I was given a lot of opportunities to work on important projects (2 product launches, global content development, etc.). This experience also helped me in my decision making process for my future career."
Vanessa Sung, Biochemistry
"My internship was in the office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada. While my work during the internship was not directly related to my formal training as a biochemist, it required many of the critical (“soft”) skills I have developed throughout my degree – predominantly communication, collaborative, and analytical skills. I was, however, also frequently consulted on topics in which I had expertise, namely basic/health research, skills development for today's science trainee, as well as equity, diversity, and inclusion in science. This experience was a fantastic exercise in using scientific training in a different way and transferring knowledge to diverse audiences. This internship has also opened up opportunities for me to pursue a career in science policy, which I intend to do in the near future. I highly recommend the Doctoral Internship Program to other students at McGill and I believe that this is the type of program that should be available to doctoral students at all institutions."
Gabrielle Simard, Physics
"I would recommend the Individual Development Plan: I think this tool provides a good opportunity to re-evaluate goals after the PhD and to identify strengths and weaknesses. I would also recommend the Microfiches nonprofit organization for open-minded candidates, who would be willing to work in an environment that is very different from a lab setting and who are interested by project management, knowledge mobilization and arts and science collaborations."
Jeremie Abitbol, Experimental Medicine
"A dominant feature of McGill’s coat of arms is that regal red martlet, a mythical bird lacking feet, impeding its ability to land and necessitating it to keep flying. McGill’s doctoral internship program is a testament to that symbol, encouraging us to apply the tools acquired in the university to a different enterprise and keep flying with it.
"I chose to do my internship with the healthcare team at OurCrowd, a venture capital firm that invests in startups via a novel equity crowdfunding platform geared towards accredited investors worldwide. My doctoral program was undoubtedly an invaluable training ground for my work there.
"In my case, the doctoral internship program was a bridge between evaluating innovation in practice to assessing it at a more upstream stage in the R&D and commercialization processes. I am fortunate to have had this unique opportunity and I owe a debt of gratitude to the warm and welcoming team at OurCrowd, my incredible team at the Jewish General Hospital, the McGill GPS office, and the Doctoral Internship Program. A sincere thank you."
Nazem El Husseini, Pharmacology
"The Doctoral Internship Program is an excellent initiative that made it possible for me to pursue a career that I am passionate about.
"Through the program, I managed to secure a three-month internship in Health Canada, working as a risk assessor of the potential hazardous effects of environmental chemicals in Canada. This position perfectly complemented the theoretical knowledge I've gained through the pharmacology and toxicology courses I took at McGill, and allowed me to put it into practice for the benefit of all Canadians. As a result of my academic background and my work during the internship, I was offered a permanent position at Health Canada soon after I graduated."
"I strongly recommend doctoral students at McGill to apply for the program and seize this unique opportunity to gain valuable job skills, apply their academic knowledge and kickstart their career."
Saviz Moghtadernejad, Civil Engineering
"The goal of the research was to perform real-time structural health monitoring … (Champlain Bridge in this case)…
"This was a good opportunity for me to communicate with other professionals from various disciplines and build my management skills and be more confident in an industrial work place. Moreover, through this experience I was introduced to several other companies and professionals and built professional connections, along with making new friends at the company."
Vanja Polic, Chemistry
"I was further able to hone my presentation skills and work on my professionalism and communication. Moreover, I put effort into interacting with as many of my colleagues as possible to improve my networking skills.
"Personally, this experience instilled more confidence in me regarding my preparedness for entering the professional industry after my PhD. Professionally, I feel I developed a strong professional network in an industry and geographic area in which I did not have one before. I also gained insight into the structure and dynamics of the company and am more aware of how I can contribute in any future job position."
Yasmin Schuermann, Animal Science
“Valacta is a major player in advancing research in the Quebec dairy industry and is thus, well known at the Macdonald Campus. I approached them about possibilities to assist with ongoing projects, and I was fortunate to [have been] given the opportunity to work on a project focused on the current status of ketosis on Quebec dairy farms… This internship allowed me to enhance my knowledge of the current Quebec dairy industry and the challenges it faces… Working with the research and development team at Valacta, I had the chance to meet a number of people all working towards improving the Quebec dairy industry focusing on different areas of research…
“Overall, it was wonderful to be involved in the behind the scene action and also contribute my ideas to the development of projects. Not only did I learn more about the dairy industry, I also gained more confidence in my ability to contribute to a team effort.”