Smith Engineering is proud to be part of a new cross-Ontario fellowship to improve inclusion of Indigenous and Black students pursuing doctoral degrees in engineering.

Announced in January 2021, the Indigenous and Black Engineering and Technology (IBET) PhD Project aims to address the urgent need to encourage and support the pursuit of graduate studies by under-represented groups in Canada that have been ignored as potential candidates for academia. This lack of representation has hindered the enrolment of Canadian Indigenous and Black graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. IBET recipients will receive funding support and a Momentum Fellowship which includes access to industry partnerships and additional networking opportunities.

The IBET PhD project is expected to change the academic landscape within the next five to 10 years by increasing the number of Indigenous and Black engineering professors teaching and researching in universities across Ontario. The program will create a pipeline of students who will also increase diversity in Canadian technology industries as they enter the workforce with graduate degrees from STEM programs.

The new fellowship program is designed as a step toward lowering systemic barriers faced by Indigenous and Black engineering students in Canada and to catalyze a change in the representation and diversity of our talent pool in STEM fields. It will provide financial support, industry mentorship and academic networking to foster a robust community for participating researchers and students.

Queen’s and the other IBET institutions have also signed an agreement with Mitacs which will make tools available through their Accelerate program.

Canadian recipients will receive $30,000 a year ($25,000 from faculty and $5,000 from faculty supervisor) for four years as they pursue doctorate degrees and specialized engineering research. Access to mentorship and community support will also be an integral component of the program. Interested Canadian Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Metis) and Black (Afro-Caribbean) students can apply for a Queen’s IBET Fellowship using the application form linked to this page. The deadline for September admissions is April 30 of that same year and August 31 for January admissions.  However, applications will continue to be reviewed until the two fellowships have been offered and accepted. Requirement is that applicants apply to the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies in parallel with, if not before, their IBET application.  Applicants are also strongly encouraged to contact potential supervisors as part of the application process.  If assistance is required to identify potential supervisors, or if there are any questions about the program, applicants are encouraged to contact FEAS.ResearchAdmin@queensu.ca.  This award is intended for new applicants and is not intended for PhD students who have already been accepted by the School of Graduate Studies.