Science Education Conference Awards (SECAs)
Attending a conference is a great way to stimulate thinking about teaching and learning, while meeting others who are passionate about science pedagogy.
As part of the Office of Science Education mandate to promote an evidence-based approach to teaching and learning in the Faculty of Science, we offer approximately 10 annual awards to students and staff within the Faculty of Science to attend conferences, workshops, and other professional development opportunities at the local, national or international levels. Note that for instructors, priority will be given to those whose teaching is associated with the Faculty of Science.
With a SECA award, successful applicants can share their own ideas and bring back fresh ones to impart to colleagues and peers, thereby further nourishing the process of learning within the Faculty of Science. Read about a recent SECA project that saw one student conduct research 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole on the McGill Reporter website.
Suitable conferences take place between May 15, 2023 and April 30, 2024 and have a focus on teaching and learning or have one stream devoted to education. Previous SECA recipients have attended conferences such as:
- American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting
- NARST 94TH Annual International Conference
- ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
- Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition
- International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
- American Association of Universities and Colleges: Transforming STEM Education
- American Society for Cell Biology
Amount: Up to $2,000
Deadline: Monday March 20, 2023
- Registration fees
- Meals not included in cost of the conference
- Materials required for conference (e.g., poster, handouts)
* Most eligible costs listed are for in-person conferences. If you are applying for a virtual conference, registration fees are likely the only cost to be considered eligible.
Expectations of recipients
- Be a Faculty of Science student, staff member or instructor at the time of the conference you are applying to attend.
- Before leaving for your conference visit the McGill Safety Abroad page to be updated on any necessary procedures and requirements.
- Participate fully in the conference by attending sessions. Presenting is welcome but not required.
- If presenting, provide final abstract for the OSE website.
- Upon return from the conference, share ideas and experience with the McGill community (could be a presentation to home department and/or at an OSE event).
- Participate in an evaluation of the SECA program (a follow-up survey and/or interview).
- Contact the OSE Administrative Coordinator who will submit the expense report for you at ose [at] mcgill.ca.
How to apply
- Please submit a signed copy of the SECA Application Form 2023 by March 20, 2023.
- Please include “SECA application” in the subject heading of your email.
- If you are interested in applying for more than one conference, please list all conferences in order of preference on the same application.
- To see an example of a well-written application click here
Applicants’ letters will be read by the SECA Selection Committee, which consists of a mix of students, faculty and staff from the Faculty of Science including the Director of the Office of Science Education. Candidates are selected based on three criteria: 1) degree of interest in evidence-based science education; 2) willingness to share experience upon return from the conference; and 3) representation of a variety of departments and units from the Faculty of Science.
Preference will be given to those who have not previously received a SECA.
For instructors, priority will be given to those whose teaching is associated with the Faculty of Science.
For students, preference will be given to those enrolled in a Faculty of Science department.
All applicants will be notified by mid-April.
As a SECA recipient do I have to submit an expense report?
Yes, but you can request that the OSE Administrative Coordinator Lina Mullings (ose [at] mcgill.ca) submit it for you. You will need all the receipts mentioned in the Eligible Costs section above. You are also requested to send a copy of your expense report to the OSE department if you are submitting it yourself: ose [at] mcgill.ca.
How many applications can I submit?
As many as you wish as long as they are all listed on ONE application form, in order of preference.
Can a Professor Emeritus apply for a SECA?
If I am registered in the Faculty of Arts can I apply for a SECA?
If you are taking a science course (i.e., Psychology), then yes you are encouraged to apply. Please note however that preference is given to Faculty of Science students.
Are there other Funding opportunities available if I have missed the SECA deadline?
How can I learn about past awardees?
Read about past awardees and learn more about their SECA-funded projects:
> Pursuing an Arctic research dream
> Storytelling by the points of a compass: how story maps can bring to life conference and course learning experiences
> New award to support participation in science education conferences