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How ISCP works

The Industry Sponsored Capstone Project (ISCP) program is a three-way partnership between an industry sponsor, students and faculty. A project typically progresses through the following steps:

Prior to the start of a term (terms start in September and January):

  • A sponsor submits a project proposal by filling in the project submission form.
  • A faculty member reviews and may help the sponsor to refine the proposal.
  • Proposals are added to the project catalog.

In the first one or two weeks of the term:

  • Each team of students selects a project from the catalog and contacts the sponsor.
  • Sponsors provide additional details, confirm scope and requirements, and make available any necessary resources.
  • BCIT assigns a faculty mentor to each project.

During the term:

  • Sponsors meet with students as necessary, in person or online, to monitor progress and answer questions.

At the end of the term:

  • Students demonstrate their solution to the sponsors.
  • Sponsors may join in evaluating and grading the results.

Expectations for sponsors working with the students

Before you submit a project, please read the following information and the FAQ.

The sponsor is expected to commit time and resources to the project as necessary to ensure that students have a reasonable opportunity to succeed.

Typically, a knowledgeable individual from the sponsoring organization should be available to answer questions throughout the duration of the project.

This person should meet with the students at the start of the project and then as required.  Meetings may be in person or on-line.

Students work at BCIT with facilities and materials provided by the Institute. Sponsors do not need to provide materials, find work space or provide access for the students unless required by the project.

Types of projects

Suitable projects may be at any stage but typically result in a proof-of-concept or prototype. Projects from any industry are welcome for consideration but should require that students apply what they’ve learned in their program.

It may help to look at examples of previous projects.

Hints for suitable project proposals

The most attractive proposals:

  • Clearly specify the problem.
  • Have achievable goals while offering enough of a challenge to be rewarding (see “How do I know if my project is appropriately scoped?” in the FAQ).
  • Provide students an opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired in their studies (see “What kind of skills should I expect the students to have?” in the FAQ).

As there is no guarantee of success, sponsors should not propose projects that are critical to the success of their organization.

Duration and timing

The department has both diploma and degree programs. They have different schedules:

  • Diploma students select their projects in September or January and complete their projects in about 4 months. Each group of 2 to 4 students devotes approximately 200 person-hours to their project.
  • Degree students select their projects in September and complete their projects in about 8 months. Each group of 2 to 4 students devotes approximately 500 person-hours to their project.
This is summarized in the ISCP Term Options table.

The number of students in a team may vary depending on scope.

Participation fee

Students are not paid for working on the project. Instead, they receive academic credit for their work.

However, we charge sponsors a $200 participation fee to ensure that the project is of value to them.

The fee can be waived for non-profits, public bodies, and worthwhile projects if the sponsoring organization cannot afford the fee.

No guarantees

There is no guarantee that a project’s outcomes will meet the sponsor’s expectations. ISCP projects are part of the learning process. Although students generally try hard to succeed, not all projects are completed successfully. If a sponsor is not satisfied with the deliverables, the project can be re-submitted for the next term where subsequent teams can build upon previous results.

There is no guarantee that a particular project proposal will be selected. Faculty will encourage students to select those projects that appear to provide the best opportunities for learning. In addition, students select projects according to their interests. Projects that are not selected will be kept in the pool for future terms.

Confidentiality agreements and IP ownership

Sponsors should indicate in the project submission form if they require students to enter into a confidentiality agreement (NDA) or assign ownership of Intellectual Property (IP) resulting from their work on the project.
BCIT cannot require that students enter into these agreements. Students may choose not to participate in projects with these requirements.

Any such agreement(s) must allow students to present and publish a final report containing enough detail for the students’ work to be evaluated.

For more information see “Who owns the students’ work?” in the FAQ.

Information requirements and project submission

The submission form lists the information required for a project proposal.