2016 Undergraduate Research Conference

On Thursday, October 20, 2016, students will present their research projects at the twelfth annual Faculty of Science Undergraduate Research Conference (URC). A panel of distinguished McGill judges will adjudicate the projects, and certificates and prizes will be awarded. Following the prize ceremony and keynote address, the day will culminate with a reception for the conference presenters and guests. The URC takes place in the lobby of McGill's historic Arts Building; see below for the schedule. Friends, family, lab mates, professors, other students: All are welcome!

Location and schedule

Undergraduate Research Conference mini-poster

  • Thursday, October 20, 2016
  • 11:00 AM - Poster competition - start of public viewing and adjudication
  • 4:00 PM - Prize ceremony, followed immediately by keynote address
  • After lecture - reception

All events take place in the Arts Building [map]. The poster presentations will take place in the Arts Building Lobby; the prize ceremony and the lecture will be given in adjoining Moyse Hall.

This poster competition, prize ceremony, and keynote address are open to the public. Come one, come all!


Keynote address

Frederic Bertley
Frederic Bertley
The Faculty of Science is honoured to welcome distinguished alumnus Dr Frederic Bertley (B.Sc. 1994, Ph.D. 2000; Senior Vice President of Science and Education, The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) to deliver the keynote address at the twelfth annual Undergraduate Research Conference. His talk is entitled:

"A Note to Our Future Scientists: Pay Attention to the Importance of Science in a Growing Clueless Society"

In this presentation, Dr Bertley will discuss the progress of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the impact of this scientific and technological revolution on our society. Building off of Moore’s Law, the presentation will showcase cutting edge innovations and discoveries from scientists and engineers around the world that can solve some of the world’s greatest challenges and provide hope for future generations. From nanotechnology and computer science, to genomics and bio-engineering, Bertley will take you through a tour-de-force of technological advances as well as discuss the myriad of career opportunities with a scientific background. Yet despite these incredible STEM resources, multitude of careers, and the ever-growing dependency on science and technology, society is becoming more and more science illiterate. Dr Bertley discusses this duality and challenges us as a society, especially this next generation of scientists, to care more about “citizen science” and science communication and engagement. Basic science literacy skills and a healthy appreciation by society-at-large for the scientific community are critical for a successful 21st century. Undergraduate science students, representing the future of the scientific landscape, are best positioned to respond to this call for science literacy, science communication, and science engagement.

Dr Frederic Bertley

Dr Frederic Bertley is the Senior Vice President of Science and Education at The Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), one of the oldest centres of science education and development in the United States. Dr Bertley directs both research-based projects as well as program development and implementation including: Gender & Family Learning; K-12 Professional Development; Learning Technologies; Community Outreach, Youth Programs and The Franklin Institute’s magnet high school, Science Leadership Academy. Additionally, he directs the prestigious Franklin Awards Program, the long-running Journal of The Franklin Institute and the Institute’s international efforts including shepherding a USAID supported effort to build 5 STEM platform high schools in Egypt. Dr. Bertley also founded and directs the lauded Color of Science™ program which highlights the contributions of women and persons of color to modern day science and engineering.

Dr Bertley holds a B.Sc. and Ph.D., both from McGill University. Prior to The Franklin Institute, he joined a Harvard Medical School HIV Vaccine Research Group, and managed multinational teams in Haiti and Sudan. In addition, Dr. Bertley has lectured or taught classes in several STEM disciplines at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

Dr Bertley has received numerous honors including the Harvard Medical School Dean’s Service Award, Merck Scholarship, The President’s Award (QBMA) and Philadelphia Business Journal 40 Under 40 Honoree and is a two-time Mid-Atlantic Emmy™ winner. Dr. Bertley has keynoted or been an invited speaker at numerous venues including The White House, the US Department of Interior and The United Nations.


Download the following slides to announce the Undergraduate Research Conference in your class or elsewhere:


victor.chisholm [at] mcgill.ca (Victor Chisholm), Student Affairs Administrator, 514-398-5964

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