Code for Canada Fellowship Program

Code for Canada

What is the Code for Canada Fellowship?

Code for Canada is a national nonprofit that enables governments and communities across the country to use technology and design to make life better for residents. We work across sectors to build empathy, enable collaboration, and foster knowledge exchange.

The Code for Canada fellowship supports digital professionals for 10-month placements with hosting government teams. We match developers, designers, and product managers with government teams to rapidly deploy technology that is easy to use, grounded in user research, and refined through iterative prototyping.

What do fellows do?

Over the course of the project, fellows immerse themselves in the challenge, researching user needs, meeting with stakeholders, proposing solutions, and collaborating with their government partners to build technology using an iterative approach, centred around the needs of users.

  • Fellowship teams will work closely with project owners in the hosting department to research, prototype, and test solutions to public interest challenges. For more information about our government partners for this cohort, and the challenges fellows will work on, please visit

  • Fellows work in the open, sharing their progress through blogs, and on GitHub.

  • Fellows work shoulder to shoulder with their government partners, spending about 80% of their time in government offices.

  • Fellows have the ongoing support of Code for Canada staff and coaches.

Why become a fellow?

Being a Code for Canada fellow is a big job—and highly rewarding. Here’s what a successful applicant will look forward to:

  • Work that matters: Use your skills to make a positive change in people’s lives. From helping veterans to access benefits, to making it easier for shelters to support people experiencing homelessness, Code for Canada fellows are making an impact in government departments across Canada. We work closely with our government partners to frame challenges that will enable you prototype solutions based on your own user research. The next cohort of fellows will help solve the following challenges:

  • Work with the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group and build digital tools to support outgoing service members as they transition to civilian life (Ottawa).

  • Work with Employment and Social Development Canada to explore how new and emerging technologies can transform, and improve, the way social benefits are delivered to residents (Ottawa).

  • Work with the Canada Energy Regulator to prototype digital engagement tools that improve the diversity and quality of data obtained through public consultations (Calgary).

  • Connections and leadership: As part of Code for Canada’s fellowship, you will be at the leading edge of learning and showing what’s possible. You’ll make connections with leaders in the civic tech sector in Canada and abroad.

  • Learn how technology is built in government: You will spend one month at the beginning of your fellowship onboarding in Toronto with your entire cohort, learning from leaders in digital government from Canada and abroad. Past guests have included David Eaves (Harvard Kennedy School of Government), Sha Hwang (Co-founder Nava), Lena Trudeau (CEO, UGroup), and Hillary Hartley (Ontario’s Chief Digital Officer).

  • Ongoing support: You will have the option to have regular mentoring sessions with a senior developer, designer, or product manager within Code for Canada’s network. You will also receive regular support from Code for Canada staff, including two all-fellow retreats.


Code for Canada values an environment that is not only free of discrimination, but that also respects difference and allows employees to bring their whole selves to work. We encourage individuals from under-represented groups to apply.

The details

  • This is a 10-month, full-time, paid fellowship starting in November 2020
  • Fellows will earn a salary equivalent to $75,000 per year
  • Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada for the duration of the fellowship. Positions with certain government partners may be restricted to Canadian citizens.

The application process

  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until July 17 at 1:00 p.m EDT.
  • Applicants will be assessed with a series of technical assessments, interviews, and group tasks.
  • Successful applicants will receive offer letters in early September.

Tags: product management, product launch, user research, government services, team management, presentation, coding, GitHub, communication, user experience design, flowchart, wireframe, storyboard, design, usability, civic-tech, technology, government, Agile, digital product, leadership, research, prototype, public sector, calgary, ottawa, teamwork

How to apply:

Who are we looking for?

Code for Canada fellows come from many professional backgrounds, and follow many different paths after the fellowship. In the past, fellows have come from startups, large private sector corporations, their own independent consulting practices, research institutions, and even inside government.

If you are considering requesting leave from your current place of employment to become a fellow, we can support you in those conversations.

Successful fellowship applicants are:

  • Highly collaborative: You are able to actively work with teammates as a partner, motivator and teacher. You openly and directly provide and ask for feedback, and you want to work with governments as partners.
  • Comfortable wearing many hats:In small teams, it’s vital that teammates are able to jump in and out of roles and tasks to push their product forward. You are a scrappy, resourceful and creative problem solver.
  • Adaptable: There is no real “typical day” as a fellow. While teams will define some sprint plans and decision making processes, things can change on the fly. The Fellowship requires occasional evening or weekend work, and may include travel.
  • Able to work independently: You are self-motivated and know to ask for help when you need it.
  • Skilled communicators: Our fellows are highly skilled at communicating about their work to non-experts, with empathy and clarity.

Fellowship teams are composed of three people: one developer, one user experience design researcher, and one product manager. Additional experience in GIS, data science, community organizing, non-profit, government, and policy work is highly desired.

Professional fluency in French is not required, but is an asset on most teams.

We recognize that many applicants have multidisciplinary skillsets. We ask applicants to apply once, in the stream that reflects their strongest skillset. We’ll provide opportunities to showcase additional experience throughout the application processes.

Product Manager

  • Ability to lead a collaborative team through agile and/or iterative processes
  • Extremely strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Proven effectiveness managing projects and relationships in complex multi-stakeholder environments
  • Proven ability to set, track, and share product success metrics
  • Experience in developing and implementing product strategies and roadmaps
  • Experience in content creation is highly valuable

UX Design Researcher

  • Confident leading your team and external stakeholders through design processes
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, gain buy-in for, and execute both generative and usability design research.
  • Proven ability to generate design materials, including: user requirements, storyboards, flowcharts, high fidelity design prototypes, and wireframes
  • Demonstrated knowledge about inclusive and accessible design, and ability to design experiences that work for everyone from the start
  • Ability to work closely with product managers to ensure that design research insights are translated to product strategy.

Full-stack developer

  • Highly proficient full-stack developer
  • Experience applying industry web and security standards and best practices to your work that can be adopted by others
  • Proficient understanding of and experience with agile and iterative development processes
  • Ability to work closely with designers to ensure applications are user friendly
  • Able to effectively identify and communicate a reasonable development structure with designers, product managers, and nontechnical stakeholders
  • Flexibility in trying new approaches and languages

Apply today

To apply, please visit