Canadian research organization Mitacs and GSI formalize partnership


A new agreement strengthens international research collaborations by creating exchange opportunities for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows: The nonprofit Canadian research organization Mitacs and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung are delighted to launch a formal partnership to support German and Canadian doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows at host-country research institutions. GSI becomes the third Helmholtz center after Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to partner with Mitacs.

The Mitacs-GSI exchange mobility program will boost existing partnerships and help build future scientists and leaders for the operation of science facilities like the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research FAIR, which is currently being built at the GSI. GSI has been cooperating with and benefiting from scientific and technical collaboration with Canadian institutions for years in several research projects. The organization also has a special relation with the Canadian accelerator facility TRIUMF. The new partnership is remarkable also because it is formalized in the year of the 50th anniversary of the German-Canadian science and technology cooperation. Valuable in assisting in the recruitment of high-caliber qualified PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, the initiative aims to strengthen research collaborations between both countries.

Participants will receive a grant of $6,000 through the Globalink Research Award program to advance projects for 12 to 24 weeks under the supervision of a faculty member in the host institute. Mitacs and GSI’s three-year agreement will support a total of up to 36 researchers — six Canadian students and fellows per year going to GSI Germany and six coming to Canada from Germany.

 Professor Dr. Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing director of GSI and FAIR said: “It brings me great satisfaction to see Mitacs and GSI team up to promote and support early-stage researchers to gain access to world-class facilities and cooperate in collaborative research in basic science, frontend technologies, and applications. GSI is eager to support young PhD students and postdoctoral fellows in Canada and Germany collaborate on research projects. International partnerships are essential to us because they enhance research quality and promote additional knowledge networks. The partnership with Mitacs is now a great example of our successful and productive collaboration with Canadian institutions.”

Dr. John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs, said: “I am delighted to sign Mitacs’s first agreement with the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research — an important step to expand our already strong connections with the German research and innovation ecosystem. We are proud to offer opportunities for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to develop skills and expand their professional networks, while deepening collaborations that will drive outcomes for Canada and Germany.”

Further information

The details about the application process for researchers interested in the Mitacs-GSI collaboration will be released in the near future. More information about the Globalink Research Award can be found on the program’s pages on the Mitacs and GSI/FAIR websites. For immediate questions can be contacted Étienne Pineault, Director, International Business Development, Mitacs at  epineault(at) or Dr. Pradeep Ghosh, Programme Manager, GSI at Pr.Ghosh(at)

About Mitacs

Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions. Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada along with the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon.


GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt operates a worldwide leading accelerator facility for research purposes. About 1,520 employees are working at GSI. In addition, every year approximately 1,000 researchers from universities and other research institutes around the world come to GSI. They use the facility for experiments to gain new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe. They also develop new applications in medicine and technology. GSI is a limited liability company (GmbH). Shareholders are the German Federal Government with 90 %, the State of Hesse with 8 %, the State of Rhineland-Palatinate and the Free State of Thuringia with 1 % each. GSI is a member of the Helmholtz Association, Germany's largest research organization. At GSI, FAIR is currently being built, an international accelerator facility for the research with antiprotons and ions which is being developed and constructed in cooperation with international partners. It is one of the world’s largest construction projects for international cutting-edge research. The FAIR project was initiated by the scientific community and researchers of GSI. The GSI accelerators will become part of the future FAIR facility and serve as the first acceleration stage.