How ISSP works
Industry Sponsored Student Project (ISSP) program is a three-way partnership between the sponsoring organizations, the students and the institution.
Here is a typical timeline and role description in an ISSP project:
Prior to a Project Term:
- Sponsors submit project proposals online
- BCIT reviews the proposals and puts suitable projects in the selection pool
First week of the Project Term:
- Students select projects and contact sponsors to start the process
- Sponsors provide the students detailed project information, confirm objectives, scope and performance criteria, as well as make available the necessary resources/access to work on the project
- BCIT assigns a faculty supervisor to each project to help students with project management
During the Project Term
- Sponsors and students work closely and meet regularly (in-person or online)
- Sponsors and supervisors provide feedback and guidance
End of the Project Term
- Students deliver/install final project for the sponsors
- Sponsors join in evaluation and grading (often includes a project presentation on campus)
Expectations for Sponsors working with the students
Commitment of time and resources from sponsoring organizations is essential for a successful project. A dedicated contact person from the sponsoring organization is expected to provide direction and feedback to the students throughout the project term. This contact person should meet with the students initially at term start, and subsequently at least once a week, in person or online*. While this contact person does not need to have technical knowledge, s/he should have well-defined project business objectives and performance criteria.
During the project term, students work at BCIT and are not required to co-locate with their clients. The sponsors do not need to find work space for the students.
* For the intensive 5-week project term in April/May, sponsors are expected to work and communicate with the students on a daily basis – for up to an hour a day.
Project areas and types of projects
- Web Development
- Mobile Development
- Machine Learning/Algorithms/Research
Types of suitable computing projects can include problem-solving, proof-of-concept, engineering, or research and development. Projects from any industry are welcome for consideration.
Hints for suitable project proposals
The most appropriate project proposals are those that:
- Are well defined with appropriate scope and achievable goals (See “How do I know if my project is appropriately scoped?” in frequently asked questions)
- Offer enough challenge to be rewarding and opportunity to apply knowledge already acquired from studies. For student skills and knowledge, see the following program matrixes:
Computer Systems Technology (CST) Diploma
Computer Information Technology (CIT) Diploma
Computer Systems Technology Bachelor of Technology Degree
- Demonstrate your interest and ability to provide sufficient technical knowledge (or technical support) to work with the students
Since there is NO GUARANTEE on the success or when/if a project is selected, mission critical or time sensitive projects are usually not suitable.
Duration and timing
There are a variety of project durations and timing options depending on the programs the students are in.
Final year diploma students work in teams of four or five over a 13-week period starting in September and January terms. Students carry out the project on a part-time basis parallel with ongoing coursework.
There are also teams of final-term diploma students who undertake four-week, full-time projects in April-May each year.
Individual students at the degree level undertake ISSP projects as a part of their capstone practicum. Each student is required to dedicate 405 hours of work to the project. Degree level students usually are flexible in terms of workload and scheduling and have up to one year to complete their projects.
For more information, please review the ISSP Options table.
While the students do not get paid for the execution of the projects, there is a $500 (+tax) Participation Fee for each selected project. An invoice will be sent to the sponsor of each of the selected projects for this fee. In the event multiple projects by the same sponsor are selected, or a project is worked on in multiple terms, $500 will be charged per project, per term.
Fees will be waived for projects done for charity or not-for-profit organizations (Charity organization registration number or official NPO status will be required).
Is your project idea research & development (R&D)?
You may be able to partner with BCIT to get research and development grants.
Companies with R&D projects may be eligible to receive 66% of the total project costs from the NSERC Alliance Grants.
- Minimum project size: $20,000 annually
- Maximum project size: $1,000,000 annually
- Project duration: 1-5 years
- Funding decision: 4-8 weeks
Industry student projects are part of the learning process. Although it is in the students’ best interest to succeed, and many student projects have been completed successfully, there is no guarantee that all projects undertaken will be successful. In the event that a sponsor is not satisfied with the deliverables, the project can be re-submitted for the next term.
Also, as the ISSP program is usually oversubscribed, there is NO guarantee a project will be selected. Non-selected projects will be kept in the pool for future terms.
Intellectual Property (IP) and Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
According to BCIT’s Intellectual Property Policy, creators (i.e. students in an ISSP project) are owners of the Intellectual Property. BCIT does not require students to enter/sign any Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), or sign away the IP in the ISSP program. However, if the sponsors require so, they should indicate it in the project submission form, and during the first meeting with the students. BCIT provides a standard Student Practicum Confidentiality Intellectual Property Agreement [WORD]. If students do not agree with the Agreement, they have the option to select another project.
In general, the Confidentiality Intellectual Property Agreement should:
- Allow the students to present their work to faculty, sponsor and other students in a final presentation
- Allow the students to include their work in their portfolio
- Not exclude the students from employment in any industry
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“We’ve had nothing but great experiences working with teams from BCIT. We’ve worked with student teams for two semesters, and both times the teams have been eager to contribute and passionate and engaged about what we’re doing. The students are also very smart and capable, diving in to new technology fearlessly and very intent on problem-solving. They also have provided tangible outcomes that were of real value for our business, which as a lean startup is incredibly valuable. Thank you, BCIT!”
-Angela L. Hamilton, CEO, Co-founder, Instigator at quupe