Welcome to the Faculty of Science Strategic Planning Blog

Welcome to the Faculty of Science Strategic Planning Blog

Thank you for visiting our blog. The Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta is developing a new five-year strategic plan. We need your help in creating a vision for the future. What should we be doing today to set the Faculty up for further success five years from now? Ten years from now? Let's be bold. Let's be creative. Let's create a plan that is challenging but realistic to achieve. Together we can chart a course that will engage our talented students, staff, and faculty members as we work to advance the frontiers of knowledge to the benefit of our community, province, country, and the world.

Please contribute your ideas and feedback. I hope to have all the input needed for the plan by the end of June, and then write the document over the summer.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Science Internship Program

The Science Internship Program (SIP), formerly called the Industrial Internship Program (IIP), is an important part of the Strategic Plan for which we could not wait. I made the executive decision late last year that we must grow this program.

The internship program is critical for showing our relevance to industry. Most engineering students do internship(s) -- often four months in length -- and most do so with Alberta companies. This makes a compelling case to the Government of Alberta on the importance of Engineering to the province. And Science? Our internships are 8-16 months long and available to third-year Honours and Specialization students. This past year only 50 students participated. With a number like that, it's hard to argue that  that Science is industrially relevant in Alberta.

In 2013-14, we did a review of the Industrial Internship Program and consulted with the Departments. This led to a series of decisions to raise the profile of the program:

  • Rename it to be the Science Internship Program (SIP);
  • Expand the pool of eligible third-year students to include General Science students;
  • Make resources available to engage more companies to participate in the program; and
  • Launch an initiative to educate students on the value of the program.

With the above changes (and others), the Faculty of Science is investing to dramatically grow the Science Internship Program. Our BHAG? A five-fold increase in the number of participating students. It sounds impressive, but remember that represents only a few hundred students out of our current enrolment of 6,450 undergraduates. Clearly, even with an ambitious BHAG there is lots more work to be done.


  1. Hey Dr. Schaeffer,

    Is there a list of companies/partnerships that the IIP comprised of this year or last year? Releasing that list to students might be encouraging, and also provide students with some more information. I know our departments will be pushing for more internships in 2014-2015, but I think a list of previous opportunities would be helpful.

    In addition, will there be a specific SIP fair in 2014-2015?

  2. Thank you for the question. The list of companies is spread out over seven Departments. We are putting a software package in place that will be used to collect all this information into one place. This will be live for September -- then you will be able to see the list of all job positions available and companies that are participating in the Science Internship program. Positions from previous years will not be added to the database.