Research Affiliate Program

This program is specifically designed to give post-secondary students experience in applied research (design, execution, evaluation) when they must attain such knowledge and skills in order to graduate. It is also designed to help the Government of Canada conduct research, retain possession of intellectual property and patents, control the use of information, and promote the transfer of scientific findings.

Students are normally placed with ongoing research operations in federal government facilities. The research projects must be related to the student’s current degree program and must help the student develop specific knowledge and research skills.


Full-time post-secondary school students enrolled in academic programs that require supervised laboratory or field research who meet the following criteria:

  • Students must always be registered as a full-time student at an accredited academic institution. This includes students with a visible or invisible disability deemed to have full-time status by their academic institution and those participating in adult education and retraining programs at the secondary level;
  • Be returning to full-time studies in the next academic term; and,
  • Students must meet the minimum age requirement to be employed in the province or territory of work.

Managers will determine the minimum level of academic achievement that applicants need to do each job.

International students, with valid visas permitting work in Canada, may be considered for student employment programs when no eligible, qualified Canadian citizens are available for the position.

Duration of assignment and work schedule

Full and part-time positions are available under the Research Affiliate Program throughout the year. Students may work full or part-time schedules during the summer (or other non-academic terms) and part-time during the academic year. Jobs may be extended for as long as the student continues to meet the student employment eligibility criteria.


Students may search for jobs that match their research interests and apply through the Public Service Commission.


Rates of Pay for students hired under the Research Affiliate Program are approved by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students can be found in the Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students.

All Research Affiliate Program placements in the Public Service of Canada are paid. In limited cases, students in receipt of grants or fellowships from third parties may hold student positions without payment from the hiring department.

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