Science Horizons Youth Internship Program

Thank you for your interest in the Science Horizons Youth Internship program. The application period for 2015-2016 is now closed.

Organizations will be notified of their proposal’s outcome once these have been made by Environment Canada officials. Science Horizons cannot reimburse any expenditure incurred before formal funding notifications are issued. If an organization chooses to incur project costs prior to receiving notification of funding, the organization will assume full responsibility for all expenditures related to that project.

Organizations wanting to apply for funding in 2016–2017 will be able to do so in the fall of 2015 when the Application for Science Horizons Funding link is activated. Employers are encouraged to watch this website for an announcement of application dates.

Science Horizons Overview

Environment Canada’s Science Horizons Youth Internship Program responds to the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) which the Government of Canada has been operating since 1997. The program aims to give recent post-secondary graduates opportunities to develop knowledge, skills and experience which will prepare them for sustainable employment in the field of environmental science. Through these opportunities, Environment Canada is also supporting organizations across Canada that advance environmental science.

Through collaborative partnerships with organizations which have been awarded Science Horizons funding, young, post-secondary graduates receive hands-on experience working on environmental projects in internships lasting a minimum of six months (24 work weeks). These internships must be completed by March 31, 2016. Up to a maximum of $12,000 in Science Horizons funding is available to organizations for each approved project internship.

Since 1997, Environment Canada's Science Horizons Program has helped over 1800 young men and women across Canada obtain practical work experience in environmental projects in areas of importance to the environment.

As Science Horizons funding is provided to recipients through a government grant and contribution program, Environment Canada cannot acquire any good or service from the funding recipient as a result of this funding.

Eligible Organizations

Environment Canada invites the following organizations to apply to the Science Horizons program by submitting project internship proposals. Organizations are to submit one application per project internship; however, they can submit more than one project for internship funding consideration.

  1. Post-secondary educational institutions;
  2. Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) including not-for-profit organizations such as charitable and volunteer organizations or professional associations;
  3. Aboriginal organizations or associations;
  4. Municipal and local governments;
  5. Provincial and territorial governments, institutions, agencies and Crown Corporations;
  6. For-profit organizations such as small businesses, corporations, and industry associations;
  7. Local organizations such as community associations and groups, seniors’ and youth groups, and service clubs.

Potential Interns

The Science Horizons application is aimed at employers. Interns do not apply to Science Horizons.  Interns are hired directly by organizations which have received Science Horizons funding. Graduates who are interested in an internship should contact organizations in their area or elsewhere which may be engaged in environmental science and might choose to apply for project internship funding assistance through the Science Horizons program.

During February and March, post-secondary graduates who are able to meet the intern eligibility criteria and requirements listed below can send a résumé to Résumés submitted to Science Horizons are being accepted until March 31, 2015. In a cover email, potential interns must identify in which Canadian geographic region they are interested in working and the area of environmental science that is supported by their education and experience. If requested by funded organizations, Environment Canada will make submitted résumés available to those which are seeking assistance in hiring interns for their projects.

Employers should note that potential interns must meet the following eligibility criteria in order to participate in a project which has been approved for Science Horizons funding:

  • Are aged 30 years or under at the commencement of the internship;
  • Have graduated from a university, college, post-secondary school of technology, post-secondary institution or CEGEP (collège d’enseignement général et professionnel, Quebec);
  • Are legally entitled to work in Canada and are a Canadian citizen, have permanent Canadian residency status, or have been granted refugee status in Canada;
  • Will not be in receipt of Employment Insurance during their internship; and
  • Will not be in school during their internship.

If a person has previously had an internship funded through the Career Focus stream of the YES, that person is not eligible for a Science Horizons funded internship. See below “Key Consideration for Hiring Interns” for clarification.

Interns will be required to:

  • Complete and submit the Participant Identification Form;
  • Sign the Employer/Intern Letter of Understanding;
  • Make available to Environment Canada any models developed and data gathered while undertaking the project internship;
  • Consent to participate in the assessment of the project internship; and
  • Submit a final Intern Report by the completion of the project internship.

Assessment of Proposed Project Internships

The same evaluation approach is applied to all proposed project internships. Each is first evaluated administratively to ensure the application is completed fully and that the proposed internship meets the basic requirements for consideration. Secondly, during the scientific evaluation, a departmental scientist applies a standard scoring methodology which measures the quality and soundness of the project elements against the scientific priorities and/or mandate of Environment Canada (please consult Environment Canada’s mandate and Report on Plans and Priorities) and the benefit the project will provide to the intern. Please note that greater value will be given to proposed projects on which the intern will work full-time throughout the duration of the project.

Key Environmental Science Goals

Following are Environment Canada’s science goals that will be given primary consideration in the assessment of proposed projects for 2015–2016. These goals are taken from Annex I of Environment Canada's Science Strategy 2014-2019.

  • Understand and track the origin, fate and impact of critical contaminants in the environment (air, water, wildlife) and on Canadians to support policy, regulatory and guideline development, evaluation and enforcement
  • Understand and track the cumulative effects of environmental stressors, including climate change, on wildlife and ecosystems of national interest
  • Inform and advance the integrated management of Canada's aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
  • Provide the science understanding necessary to conserve Canada’s habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem functions
  • Apply a systems approach to avoid transferring problems from one medium to another
  • Develop and use models for predictive capacity
  • Support the development and operation of monitoring and modelling systems and tools in order to improve prediction and forecasting of weather, climate and other environmental systems, and to provide high quality, science-based tools and services to Canadians, policy-makers and targeted economic sectors
  • Provide the foundational science to understand anticipated climate change to help Canadians plan and adapt to future change
  • Understand and track and predict the emissions and atmospheric processes that affect climate change to support the development and implementation of regulations, policies and enforcement
  • Understand and track and predict impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems to support adaptation and management
  • Proactively understand, track and provide information on the environmental impacts (primary and cumulative) of selected resource development in order to minimize disturbance of ecosystems and wildlife, inform landscape and habitat management, and support environmental restoration where needed

Administrative Requirements for Proposed Project Internships

Proposed projects must meet the following administrative requirements:

  • Proposed project internship information, including financial detail, is fully explained on the application form;
  • The internship is a minimum of 6 months (24 work weeks) and will end by March 31, 2016;
  • A mentor for the intern is identified; and
  • The organization is providing a minimum 30% of the total cost of the internship.

This 30% excludes funding the organization may receive from the Science Horizons program. It includes cash and in-kind contributions from the organization making the application as well as from any funding partners it may have for the proposed project. This could include funding from sources such as private or public sector organizations and other Government of Canada funding programs including those with Environment Canada. The total federal government contribution cannot exceed 70% of the total cost of the internship or $30,000 per internship. A proposed project internship will not be considered if the project is receiving funding from any other Government of Canada funding program connected to the Youth Employment Strategy.

As Science Horizons is a wage subsidy program, organizations are required to use the majority of Science Horizons funding toward the total amount paid to the intern as salary or wages as well as for expenditures directly related to the cost of the intern’s involvement in the project. Eligible expenditures include:

  • Intern salaries, wages and related expenses such as mandatory wage related costs, i.e. Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan, etc.; and
  • Operating expenses for the intern such as travel, training, materials and supplies, rental of premises, utility costs related to rented premises, and disbursement for research and technical studies.

Note: Central administrative or overhead costs for organizational staff are not eligible expenditures and are not to be included in the breakdown of project internship costs.

Obligations of Organizations Receiving Science Horizons Funding

  • Recruit and hire interns who can meet both the project requirements and the intern obligations shown in the Potential Interns section of this website. Recruitment can be either from the organization’s own sources or from résumés submitted to the Science Horizons National Coordination Office. These can be provided at the request of the organization.
  • Negotiate the salary; pay the wages and any other approved costs subject to the contribution agreement with Environment Canada.
  • Match the intern with a mentor (experienced scientist or program manager in either the private or public sectors).
  • Obtain a signed Letter of Understanding between the organization and the intern (template provided by Environment Canada).
  • Obtain the consent of the intern to participate in the project’s evaluation and assessment (templates provided by Environment Canada).
  • Achieve project internship objectives identified in the contribution agreement between Environment Canada and the organization and comply with the financial and other non-financial requirements of the project as outlined in the contribution agreement.
  • Submit an employer final project report to Environment Canada (template provided by Environment Canada).
  • Make available to Environment Canada all technical information, inventions, designs, methods and processes and other intellectual property rights related to the project that are conceived, developed or first reduced to practice in the carrying out of the project (collectively, the "Intellectual Property"). All Intellectual Property shall be the property of the employer or the intern as appropriate. Environment Canada shall have a non-exclusive, unconditional, irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free right to use the Intellectual Property.

Organizations receiving Science Horizons funding may be visited by an Environment Canada Science Horizons representative. The purpose of such visits is to ensure that Environment Canada, the organization, and the intern are achieving valuable results and that the funding provided through Science Horizons is being used appropriately in accordance with the Treasury Board of Canada Policy on Transfer Payments (Directive on Transfer Payments).

Key Considerations for Hiring Interns

Organizations will carry out their own selection process to hire an intern who both meets the project requirements and who will receive real value from their involvement that will move the intern forward in obtaining experience and employment in their field of study.

Organizations are encouraged to consider offering employment to the intern upon completion of the project if the organization finds the intern a suitable candidate. An Intern Hiring Guide will be provided to organizations which receive internship funding.

In the interest of making opportunities which are supported through Science Horizons available to as many young graduates as possible, those hired by organizations must not have previously participated in Science Horizons or any other federal YES program unless:

  • the work experience was terminated early due to employer business failure;
  • the intern became ill and was unable to complete the internship;
  • there was incompatibility between the employer and intern; or
  • the intern’s involvement in a YES program was through the summer employment component of the YES program. 

Environment Canada encourages organizations to commit to having a skilled, diversified workforce reflective of Canadian society, reflecting the linguistic composition of the Canadian population as much as possible as well as the equitable representation of women, aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability and members of a visible minority group.

Application for Science Horizons Funding

During the application period, a link to the Employer Application will be provided below. All applications to Science Horizons funding are submitted electronically. Employers are encouraged to watch this website for an announcement of application dates.

Application Guide

This guide is a tool to help familiarize applicants with the requirements of the program.

Additional Information

Requests for additional information about the Science Horizons program can be submitted to