What is a Project Partner?


Each summer between May and August, MFRE students undertake a Graduating Project in which they work with an organization, hereby referred to as Project Partners, towards a predefined goal. Graduating projects can take many forms, ranging from consultancy to academic research to formal internships in the Vancouver area, across Canada or anywhere in the world.


The MFRE is unique in its approach to projects by providing all the support students need for success. From the moment they start developing their proposal to the end of the project, students receive ongoing direct coaching and advice from a UBC Faculty Supervisor, a peer-reviewed working group led by a mentor, and from the Project Partner through a Site Supervisor.


At the end of the project, students typically submit a set of deliverables to the Project Partner. Depending on the nature of the project, these deliverables can take the form of a formal report, guide, or manual.

UBC MFRE Granola graduating project


Why become a Project Partner?

MFRE Graduating Projects are symbiotic relationship, in which Project Partners benefit from the work of students, while students obtain valuable professional experience. Among the main benefits for Project Partners are the following:

  • Win-win outcomes: Receive high quality deliverables, and provide an opportunity for students to obtain valuable real-world professional experience.
  • Targeted expertise: Access to students and UBC faculty with practical skills specific to the food, agri-food, resources or environment sectors.
  • Innovative thinking: A fresh perspective to help you address an existing problem or research a new opportunity.
  • Mentorship: Opportunity to mentor or train young talent in your field of work.
  • Valuable network: Potential year-to-year project collaboration, or referrals for potential employees through the growing number of highly trained alumni.

Steps to develop a project


ubc mfre project partnership steps


Project Partnership Quick Facts


student at economics project UBC MFRE
  • Location: Canada or abroad (Remote or at the worksite)
  • Full/Part time: Full-time (Part-time also possible)
  • Period: Early May to late August
  • Advisory: Each project is overseen by a Site Supervisor (Project Partner) and a Faculty Supervisor (UBC).
  • Approach: We strive for win-win outcomes and ensure proper alignment of student and Project Partner goals.
  • Confidentiality: Faculty Supervisors and students are generally agreeable to signing standard non-disclosure agreements to protect the Project Partner’s confidentiality.
  • Compensation: Compensation for the student is encouraged but not mandatory and can be negotiated. Every year students work on a mixture of paid or unpaid projects. However, projects that offer compensation tend to be the most sought after and are typically better fitted.



A Word From Our Project Partners...


"We can't express enough how incredibly grateful we are for the exceptional work that MFRE students did. They went above and beyond with their effort, professionalism and consistent management of this project and the results show. The findings will provide such benefit to the association on so many levels."

Alisa Hutton


BC Food and Beverage



“Our MFRE student really took my expectations to another level. Her dedication and interest to the subject matter came through, producing an excellent forecast of the potential macro changes that policy is likely to drive in Ag labor in California.”

Jason Fung

Vice President


“The MFRE students delivered the full scope of our project and provided additional research that are useful for decision-making. Both students adapted readily to the COVID impacts to our project and ensured the process was smooth.”

Lyndsay Scott

CEO and Founder

Kindred Cultures Inc.

“This has been a really valuable experience for me and my business. The information and models that the MFRE student provided will be very useful in helping to ensure growth of Lita's will go in the best direction.”

Jackie Thomas

Co-founder and CEO

Lita’s Mexican Foods


“We were able to access a student with both the interest and great training in a field where we need more expertise.”

Barbara Best


Fisheries and Oceans Canada

“We have hired three candidates from the program so far, and each time it has been a great experience. We have had competent, motivated, creative and committed employees.”

Patrice Martineau

Assistant Director

Statistics Canada

“Very thoughtful approach in seeking to meet the needs of the partners. Excellent match regarding expertise on the project question.”

Ileana Costrut

Sr. Program Coordinator

CityStudio Vancouver


Role of the Project Partner

Even though students receive most of the support they need from UBC Faculty Supervisors and mentors, Project Partners are required to undertake the following via a Site Supervisor:

  • Assist in Project Proposal Development: Site Supervisors are asked to provide feedback on the project proposal developed by the student and Faculty Supervisor, to ensure goals alignment.
  • Meet Regularly with the Student: Site Supervisors are asked to schedule regular meetings throughout the duration of the project to provide feedback on its quality and progress.
  • Support Student Professional Development: Students are supported by MFRE through workshops that aid in the efficient completion of their project. Students will require flexibility to attend these mandatory events.
  • Communicate with MFRE program: Site Supervisors are asked to communicate with the Faculty Supervisor regarding the student’s project/performance at the beginning and end of the project.



How to become a Project Partner

The MFRE program staff & faculty are happy to chat with you to develop a project idea that fits your needs.

For inquiries please contact Janelle Tan: janelle.tan [at] ubc.ca




logos proejct partners


Looking for Graduating Project examples?

Explore our Grad Project Showcase for exciting examples and ideas.

Go to Showcase


Graduating Projects FAQ