Does your organization need help with its climate-related goals? Are you a student looking to use your climate skills and gain experience? Apply to the PICS Internship Program.

The PICS Climate Internship Program helps organizations in British Columbia reach their climate goals while giving students in climate-related fields a chance to use their skills and acquire relevant work experience. 

The program offers $12,000 or $15,000 to hire a student for eligible climate action projects in 2024. PICS is aiming to fund 20 projects through this intake.

Employer applications are now closed for Spring 2024. 

PICS has contacted successful employer applicants. 

Are you a student at UVic, UBC, UNBC or SFU? Check out your university student and co-op job boards for opportunities.

Important dates:

  • Monday, Nov. 6, 2023: Funding applications open for employers.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023: Employer applications close.
  • Early February 2024: PICS announces intern host (employer) funding decisions.
  • March to April 2024: Students can apply for internship jobs.
  • April to May 2024: Students hired.

B.C. organizations eligible for this program:

  • Non-governmental organizations (registered non-profits)

  • First Nations and Indigenous organizations
  • Provincial government agencies
  • Local governments
  • Private companies

  • Crown corporations

PICS is more likely to fund projects that aim to achieve two or more of the following:

  • provide direct value or benefit to communities (communities can include groups living in common areas and/or groups with common interests);
  • include and/or explore the connections between mitigation and adaptation;
  • are rooted in principles of climate justice and reconciliation; and/or
  • enhance integration of climate action in governance, policy, and/or professional practice.

As PICS chooses which projects to fund, we will try to balance and diversify geographic locations, types of host organizations, and project themes, in a portfolio approach. Not every project will be funded.

 
PICS thanks Coast Capital Savings for its generous support of this program.

FAQs

How can I get help with the application form or process?

We are here to help! Please email us at picsintern@uvic.ca. We’re happy to book a phone call or online meeting, too. If you require any additional assistance or time with completing your application, just reach out.

What kinds of projects are suitable for an intern?

PICS Climate Internship projects can address a wide range of climate action issues. Internship projects are more effective when they are well-defined and practical projects that will help your community or organization meet a climate action goal.

Some past projects have addressed:

  • local issues, such as investigating options for harvesting rainwater for park irrigation in a municipality; or
  • broader provincial-level concerns, such as developing or enhancing methods to integrate climate change assessments into protecting species at risk.

What kinds of things can an intern do?

Interns can help your organization with many activities, depending on their knowledge and skills. An intern could:

  • conduct reviews or scans of relevant literature, resources, research and/or policies;
  • conduct research or data collection (e.g., surveys, interviews, fieldwork);
  • support or coordinate meetings, events, and/or engagement activities;
  • develop new guidance or informational resources; and
  • prepare draft reports, plans, recommendations, and/or presentations.

What are some examples of successful past projects?

View the most recent 2023 intern projects and past PICS interns, and learn more about some historical PICS internship projects: Climate Change How to Guide and A Guide for Going Electric.

How long can an internship last?

Internships should be a minimum of 13 to 16 weeks for a full-time position (37 hours/week), or you can also propose an alternative arrangement that distributes an equivalent number of total hours.

How does payment work?

PICS will fund your organization $12,000 or $15,000 towards the cost of employing an intern. You may select the PICS grant that meets your project needs based on your internship duration and the level of student you require (e.g., undergraduate, graduate).

Recommended student hourly rates for student research assistants and for co-op salaries provide some guidance on determining your project needs.

Funds are available for intern salaries and employment-related costs only. Ineligible expenses include indirect cost recovery, overhead/administration, and capital purchases (computers, equipment, furniture). All funds must be used by Dec. 31, 2024.

How will PICS choose which applications to fund?

PICS is more likely to fund projects that aim to achieve two or more of the following:

  • provide direct value or benefit to communities (communities can include groups living in common areas and/or groups with common interests);
  • include and/or explore the connections between mitigation and adaptation;
  • are rooted in principles of climate justice and reconciliation (see below for resources on these concepts); and/or
  • enhance integration of climate action in governance, policy and/or professional practice.

PICS will also use the following criteria to evaluate applications:

  • What topic area or issue of focus will your project tackle?
  • What is your project’s purpose/objectives and intended impact?
  • Who will benefit from the project? Which organization or community will it serve?
  • What exactly will your intern be doing as part of their internship? What will be their distinct assignment or role within the project?
  • What do you expect the intern to deliver at the end of their internship? What deliverable/result/product do you expect?
  • What will the student be able to learn and what skills will they be able to develop through the internship?
  • How will you integrate equity, diversity, and inclusion in the project design, implementation, and/or deliverables?

Not every great project will be funded. As PICS chooses which projects to fund, we will try to balance and diversify geographic locations, types of host organizations, and project themes, in a portfolio approach.

What process does PICS use to make funding decisions?

PICS will conduct a two-phase evaluation:

Phase 1: PICS screening/ranking process

  • PICS staff will independently review and rank each application using the criteria above. The rankings will then be combined and shared — along with all the applications — with the external committee.

Phase 2: External committee review/decision

  • An external committee of three to four people will make the final funding decisions.

Can we submit more than one application?

Yes, but keep in mind PICS is looking to balance out and diversify the projects we fund based on geographic locations, types of host organizations, and project themes.

How and when will I receive a decision about my application?

PICS will announce funding decisions in early February 2024. You will be notified via email.

How will the student interns be selected?

You will choose and hire your intern. 

Eligible students must be enrolled — or accepted for enrolment — in a full-time undergraduate or graduate program at one of the four PICS partner institutions: the University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, or University of Northern British Columbia.

We ask you to post your job post to a minimum of two of the four PICS-partner-university student career centres and/or co-operative education offices. We recommend you post to all four universities as this will provide you with the broadest pool of potential applicants for your posting. PICS will also post all internship jobs on our website.

(Please see “How to hire a PICS Intern” for more details.)

What are my organization’s responsibilities to the intern?

Your host organization is responsible for hiring your intern, overseeing their work, and providing a safe and positive work experience. 

Resources for Employers

Looking for some resources on climate justice?

Looking for resources on reconciliation, Indigenous knowledges and leadership, and climate change?