Call For Proposals - Fellowship And Grants

The MacPherson Institute has opened a call for proposals for three teaching and learning funding opportunities:

MacPherson Institute logoLeadership in Teaching & Learning Fellowship: Anyone in an educational role and continuously employed by McMaster for the two-year duration of the Fellowship can apply to receive up to $15,000 over two years to implement a pedagogical project in either evaluating course impact or implementing program change. Past Fellowship recipients in the Faculty of Science include Sajeni Mahalingam, Rosa da Silva, Ayesha Khan, Kim Deg and Sarah Symons.

Teaching & Learning Grant - Priority Areas for Learning and Teaching: Anyone in an educational role at McMaster can submit a proposal to receive up to $4,000 in funding to explore issues in one or more of MacPherson's priority research areas related to teaching and learning and/or student experience at the undergraduate or graduate level. Previous grant recipients from the Faculty of Science include Kim Deg, Nikol Piskuric, Katie Moisse and Veronica Rodriguez Moncalvo.

Teaching & Learning Grant - Small Teaching and Learning Exploration Grant: Anyone in an educational role at McMaster can submit a proposal to receive up to $2,000 in seed funding to promote scholarly investigation, development or implementation of a project that enhances student educational experience.

The deadline for proposals is Friday, March 13. The MacPherson Institute is hosting informal drop-in consultation sessions on Friday, Jan. 31 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 13 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to noon.

For more information, contact Melec Zeadin

Grad Days A Confidence And Morale Booster

Lauren Smail Michael Galang Matthew Berry Christie MacLeod and Portia KalunGraduate Day organizers (from left) Lauren Smail, Michael Galang, Matthew Berry, Christie MacLeod, and Portia Kalun

By Ryan Trepanier, Graduate Support Officer

The reality of studying at the graduate level is you don’t have the time or opportunity to get out much, even beyond your own lab or office. A dozen Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior graduate students brought their colleagues together last month to work around this challenge.

Aimee Battcock, Christie MacLeod, David Prete, Hossein Mehdi, Jiali Song, Julie Bannon, Lauren Smail, Mike Galang, Matthew Berry, Portia Kalun, Smruthi Venkateshan, Victoria Foglia organized the third annual Graduate Day for their department. Graduate students came together to share their work and learn from one another.

Graduate Days are becoming increasingly common across the Faculty of Science. Mike says these events offer graduate students a safe, controlled environment to practice presentations before heading off to international conferences. While Graduate Days are academic in nature, it’s also good for morale and self-esteem says Matthew, who was the 2018 provincial winner of the 3-Minute Thesis competition.

One of the hardest things to deal with as a graduate student can be the loneliness and the imposter syndrome you may feel when research hits a wall or a problem remains unresolved. The great thing about Graduate Days, Portia says, is that “you may feel like you’re alone, but by coming to this event you see everyone is doing something different, and at different stages of their research, and that’s okay.”

For students who are nervous or unsure of participating in an event like this, Matthew says "take a risk and give it a try. Try next year. Practice your presentation. Practice makes perfect. We’re a big tight-knit family all here to encourage each other. Every grad student is standing on the shoulder of giants.”

The Stars Of Astrobiology Lecture

Four young scientists in the Astrobiology program run by McMaster's Origins Institute will showcase their research at a public lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at the David Braley Health Sciences Centre in downtown Hamilton.

Renee Sian Ben and AndrewThe lecture will feature (from left) Biophysics undergraduate student Renee-Claude Bider together with Ph.D. students Sian Ford from Earth Sciences, Ben Pearce in Astrophysics and Andrew Tupper from Biochemistry. Renee-Claude is working on the prebiotic chemistry of RNA and lipid membranes using the institute's planet simulator. Sian is exploring microorganisms in extreme environments and how they might survive on other planets. Ben is studying the formation of organic molecules on Earth and in Titan's atmosphere while Ben is working on computer simulations of replicating RNA sequences and the origin of life.

The lecture will be moderated by Origins Institute Director and Physics and Astronomy professor Paul Higgs.

Dean On A Faculty-wide Research Roadshow

Paul Ayers Maureen and studentsPaul Ayers (centre), Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Chemistry, invited Dean Maureen MacDonald to join a lab meeting with his graduate and undergraduate students earlier this month.

Last semester, Maureen attended lab meetings hosted by professors Mike Waddington, Matheus Grasselli, Jim Lyons and Jonathan Stone.

Maureen is dropping in on lab meetings to learn more about the research happening across the Faculty of Science and to ask faculty and students if there are additional resources and supports they could use to carry out their work.

To invite Maureen to an upcoming lab meeting, please contact Executive Assistant Jacob Brodka at
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