Student guidelines for Undergraduate Research Conference

This page is intended for McGill Science undergraduates who are interested in participating in the 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference (URC).

To present your poster at the URC, you must be nominated (details below), then you must register, and finally your supervisor must approve your abstract.

Even if you are not presenting, everyone is invited to attend the conference and keynote lecture. Friends, family, lab mates, professors, other students: Please refer to the main / public page for the 2018 URC.

Deadlines and important dates

When What Who How
Thursday, September 20, 2018 Nominations (details below) From the departments/schools/programs listed below on this page victor.chisholm [at] (By email).
Monday, September 24, 2018 Registrations including abstracts From the students who have been nominated to present by these departments/schools/program By webform.
Thursday, September 27, 2018 Approval of abstracts From the supervisors of the students who will be presenting victor.chisholm [at] (By email).
Thursday, October 4, 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference    

Schedule for Thursday, October 4, 2018

  • 1:00pm — poster setup (Arts Building, Lobby)
  • 2:00pm — start of judging (Arts Building, Lobby)
  • 5:00pm — Keynote address and prize ceremony (Arts Building, Moyse Hall)
  • 6:15pm — Approximate start of networking reception (Arts Building, Lobby)

Please plan to be available for the full event: ideally 1:00-7:00; minimally 1:30-5:00. If you cannot be present for the entire judging period (2:00-5:00), please indicate this on the registration form, so we can ensure that you have a chance to present to the judges.

Refreshments will be provided to presenting students.

Student eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the 2018 Faculty of Science Undergraduate Research Conference, students must meet all of the five following criteria:

  1. Be enrolled in a Bachelor's degree program at McGill during the Fall 2018 term; and
  2. Be (or have been) involved in a research project under the supervision of a McGill faculty member, or at an external institution approved by one of the units listed in #5, at any time during the 16-month period of May 2017—August 2018; and
  3. Obtain the consent of their research supervisor(s) to present a research poster based on the research undertaken under his/her/their supervision; and
  4. Not have started a program of graduate studies in science or engineering; and
  5. Be nominated (details below) by one of the following departments, schools, or programs:
    • Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
    • Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
    • Department of Biochemistry
    • Department of Biology
    • Department of Chemistry
    • School of Computer Science
    • Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
    • McGill School of Environment
    • Department of Geography
    • Department of Mathematics and Statistics
    • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
    • Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
    • Department of Physics
    • Department of Physiology
    • Department of Psychology
    • Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education (Faculty of Education)
    • Cognitive Science (multi-department undergraduate program)
    • Neuroscience (multi-department undergraduate program)

Please note that it is NOT necessary to be registered in a program (major, minor, etc.) offered by the nominating unit. In particular, undergraduates in Earth System Science, and Sustainability, Science and Society, are also welcome to participate; nominations are accepted from the units listed above.

How to be nominated to present your research at the URC

If you want to present your poster, you should talk with both your research project supervisor and departmental staff (department chair, or program director, or undergraduate advisor).

  • To present your poster at the URC, you must be nominated by one of the departments, schools, or programs (units) above.
  • The Office for Undergraduate Research in Science invites each of these units to nominate up to five students per unit to participate.
  • The call for nominations is sent to the Chair of each Department, or the Director of each School (MSE and SOCS), or the Program Director (Cognitive Science and Neuroscience).
  • Chairs and Directors often delegate the nomination process to a professor or administrator, such as an undergraduate advisor.
  • If you are not sure whom to contact, please refer to "Questions?" below.

What does the registration process require?

  • First, you must be nominated (see above) by Thursday, September 20, 2018.
  • Then, you must complete the 2018 URC registration webform.
  • Your registration will be due by Monday, September 24, 2018. It must include your abstract.
  • Your supervisor will receive a copy your abstract when you submit the registration webform.
  • Your supervisor must approve your abstract (particularly the list of contributors) by email to the Office for Undergraduate Research in Science by Thursday, September 27, 2018.

Conference categories

When you register for the 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference, you will be invited to select at least one of the following preliminary categories:

  1. Biological Sciences (research in fundamental biological processes; non-human)
  2. Computational Sciences
  3. Earth Sciences
  4. Environmental Sciences
  5. Health Sciences (if biomedical research, choose the Medical Sciences category instead)
  6. Social Science
  7. Mathematical Sciences
  8. Medical Sciences (research with clear implications for human health)
  9. Neuroscience
  10. Physical Sciences
  11. Psychology

The Faculty of Science reserves the right to combine, divide, reassign, rename, or completely change categories if the number of entries requires this.

Typically, there are six final categories.

Abstract information

Maximum length 120 words; required as part of your registration; your supervisor will have to approve your abstract, particularly the list of author(s). [More information]

Poster information

Maximum poster size is 3.5 feet wide by 4 feet tall. [More information]

Hints for your presentation

Be prepared to:

  • Treat this as a professional encounter.
  • Adapt to your judge or visitor, who may want you to explain your project in 3-5 minutes, or just "give the bottom line".
  • Explain your substantial contributions to this project. Did others also contribute? If so, what was your role? What was their role?
  • Answer questions.
  • Use non-technical language. Judging teams will be mixed, and some judges will not be experts in your field. As well, students from other fields and members of the public may be interested in your project too!


Please contact:

  • your supervisor,
  • your department, or
  • victor.chisholm [at] (Victor Chisholm), Undergraduate Research Officer, Office for Undergraduate Research in Science, tel.: 514-398-5964.