Investing in Tomorrow's Leaders: The Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute's Ongoing Graduate Recruitment Efforts Amid Tuition Hikes

The future of cancer research hinges on cultivating the next generation of leaders, many of whom are out-of-province students excelling in some of the world’s top universities, notably McGill, UofT, and UBC. Despite the tuition hikes proposed by the Quebec government, through its annual graduate recruitment event, the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute (GCI) remains steadfast in its commitment to recruiting tomorrow's leaders, though new challenges are beginning to emerge. 

In numbers:

24 recruits from 9 different universities

18 out-of-province, 5 of which studied at McGill

3.9 Avg CGPA

$1.1 million dollars in funding

 To date, The GCI’s Annual Graduate Recruitment Events have attracted hundreds of applicants from across Canada, all showcasing highly competitive GPAs, extensive laboratory experience, and notable leadership and community engagement. Over the past five years, select students recruited through our annual event have secured over $1.1 million in competitive provincial and/or federal funding, thereby emphasizing the value of their research projects to our society. The GCI’s Student Advisor, Leigh Dickson, shared with us: “We are privileged to welcome such energetic and enthusiastic candidates. It is always a great pleasure to see students from diverse backgrounds come together to explore the world of cancer research and experience the wealth of opportunities available at the GCI”.

A significant portion of our recruits are out-of-province students, some of whom pursued their undergraduate studies at McGill. While we anticipate that increasing our investment towards the recruitment of out-of-province students will offset some of the emerging recruitment challenges, we recognize that the pool of highly qualified out-of-province students registered in undergraduate programs at McGill will decline. It is this potential decline, which may exacerbate the breadth and quality of students recruited to pursue graduate studies in cancer sciences.

In the midst of a tuition hike policy that will affect graduate recruitment, also lies the challenge of decreased federal investment in research and development. While we are committed to recruiting the best and brightest, we are facing rising costs and a notable decline in investment towards research. Now more than ever, it is vital to recruit leaders that will not only be successful at the bench and demonstrate scientific excellence but also be capable and motivated to advocate for science policy that highlights the importance of increasing investment in research and development—an investment required to boost our economy and continue to discover cures that save lives.

Scientific discoveries that have a positive impact on society are rarely the fruit of one single person’s labor—they are the result of collaborative efforts, often between individuals with different experiences and perspectives on the world. Recruiting students from diverse parts of the country—and of the world—further allows us to reach a diversity that strengthens the creativity and innovation required to develop the knowledge to cure.

More about our 2023-24 Annual Graduate Recruitment Event

On February 1st-2nd, 2024, the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute (GCI) hosted its Annual Graduate Recruitment Event, welcoming ten enthusiastic students from across Canada. This two-day event provided them with a glimpse into the world of cancer research at the GCI, where they had the opportunity to explore various research avenues, engage with our researchers, and tour our state-of-the-art laboratories and core facilities.

Joshua Hung, currently pursuing his MSc at the University of Toronto, shared his experience as a newcomer to the GCI's Recruitment Event this year: "Everyone at the GCI was incredibly welcoming. The active promotion of the event helped me, as an out-of-province student, feel reassured about the favorable tuition situation for graduate studies and the vibrant bilingual community in Montreal."

Similarly, Katharine Bridge from the University of Guelph expressed her enthusiasm for this year's event: "Connecting with other recruits, current students, and professors was amazing. Exploring the city and university where I might continue my studies helped me make an informed decision and feel more at ease about taking the next step."

Several GCI PIs had the chance to connect with the recruits, including Prof. Katie Cockburn: “It was a pleasure to welcome top students from across Canada to learn about the cutting-edge research, facilities, and training opportunities available at the GCI.”

As the GCI continues to welcome aspiring cancer researchers, the Annual Graduate Recruitment Event remains pivotal in attracting top talent. Despite external challenges, the institute's commitment to recruiting the best Canadian trainees underscores its leadership in cancer research.

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