Summer Research Program

The Ontario/Rhône-Alpes Student Exchange Program offers students the opportunity to spend 3 months in the summer at a university in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes engaged in research projects relevant to their studies in Ontario.

  • Students must be nominated by a professor at their home university.
  • Students are responsible for finding a host professor or a lab director in a partner university in France who will accept them as research assistants and will pay them a stipend for their work. The best way to find a mentor is to consult the list of laboratories and research groups below and the websites of the participating universities. You could also seek advice from the Ontario professor who is nominating you.

List of laboratories in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

  • Appropriate academic credit may be granted for this work at the discretion of the student’s home university.
  • Knowledge of French is not required for participation, as long as the receiving professor is aware of the level of the nominee’s language skills and agrees to host the student. Some knowledge of French would of course enhance the student’s experience. Unfortunately, the timing and structure of the research program makes it unlikely that you can take a French course while conducting research.
  • Students are responsible for finding their own accommodation. However, they may seek the advice and assistance of the International Office and of the host professor / lab director at the host university. 
  • Students may not participate more than once at a given level of their studies (undergraduate, master’s, doctoral). Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously participated.

To be eligible, you must be

  • a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or international student
  • a graduate or an undergraduate student at an Ontario university participating in the ORA Exchange
  • nominated by a professor at your home university or by that university’s International Office with support from a professor

If you do not meet all of the above criteria but believe that special circumstances may apply, please contact the ORA Program Coordinator.

Financial Aid

In addition to the ORA scholarship of $1500, students will receive a stipend of approximately 600 Euros (around $850 depending on the exchange rate) a month paid to the student by the French Lab. You may try and augment this with funding from your home or host universities and/or third-party sources.

It is important to note that when getting acceptance from the French Lab, you MUST get confirmation in writing that you will receive a stipend for the duration of your internship.

Nomination process

Complete applications should be submitted to the International Office of the student’s home university.

 The nomination should consist of the following documents:

  • Completed York University Students Application or Ontario Students Application
  • Letter of nomination from a professor in your home academic program outlining the relevance of your proposed project to your program of study, the reasons for nominating you, and if applicable, the kind of credit you are likely to receive for work done as part of the SRP.
  • Letter (or print-out of an e-mail) from the mentor professor in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes stating that she/he is willing to host you. This letter should indicate the precise duration of the research program, the activities in which you will be engaged and the stipend that you will be paid.
  • A personal statement (maximum one page) outlining your reasons (academic and personal) for wishing to participate in the SRP.
  • Copies of academic transcripts of all post-secondary institutions you have attended.
Next Steps

The Program Office, will consider all applications and establish a rank-listing based on the following criteria:

1. Academic record and potential of the applicant

2. Feasibility and “fit” of the proposed project (including having found a mentor at the host institution willing to receive you)

3. Distribution among Ontario and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes universities and across specializations.

You can then take up correspondence with the International Office of your host university and with the host institute and your mentor and make any arrangements needed.

We will do our best to inform you whether you have been accepted by early March.

Once you take up residence in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes please let the ORA Program Office know how to reach you.

After you return from your research stay, you should submit a report to the ORA Program Office in Ontario on your activities and experiences by September 30.

What Is My Status in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes?

You must register as a student at your host university in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. That university’s International Office, with which you will be in contact before leaving Canada, will help you with this process. Your student status allows you to live in residence and gives you access to student discounts for everything from travel to entertainment.

Visa requirements

If you hold an EU, Canadian, or American passport, you do not need a visa to enter France. For all other passports, please consult the French Consulate.

  • However, a Visa is required if you are staying for more than 3 months (90 days). The internship (stage) in France usually lasts 3 months (May to July).

Your passport has to be valid 3 months after your departure.

You are responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary documentation and permits/visas.


You must arrange for additional insurance (for both health insurance and liability insurance) in France; OHIP may not be adequate.

Your host university’s International Office can advise you on what kinds of insurance are needed and where you can obtain coverage at a reasonable cost.

You may also wish to consider baggage or flight cancellation insurance.


The International Office of your host university will do its best to help you find accommodation in a student residence, but we cannot guarantee that this will be successful. Once you have been notified of your acceptance into the SRP, you should also ask your host unit and mentor whether they can assist you in finding a good place to live.

One important thing to consider is that you should arrange the beginning and end of your stay to coincide with a complete month. If you arrive (or leave) in the middle of a month, you may well have to pay the entire month’s rent.


You need to pay for your transportation from Ontario to France plus monthly expenses between $1,000 to $1,500, including accommodation, food, insurance, student service fee, entertainment, travel and other incidentals.

Academic Credit

Students who wish to obtain academic credit for their research work in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes must arrange this through their home university, at whose sole discretion credit can be granted.

Can I Participate More than Once?

Students may participate a maximum of once at a given level of their studies. Students applying for the first time will receive priority.

Which Conditions Apply to my Participating in the SRP?

Once you are accepted into the SRP and have confirmed your participation, you must keep the Program Office in Ontario aware of any change in your circumstances and contact information.

Students must sign a legal statement accepting responsibility, legal and financial, for all aspects of their program.

SRP participants are representatives of their home university, the ORA Exchange, Ontario, and Canada. Under extreme circumstances that endanger the reputations of these entities, the Program reserves the right to abrogate a student’s participation.

Upon completion of your research stay, you must provide the Program Office with a report on all relevant aspects of your SRP. We reserve the right to make this report public or anonymized if you wish.