Shining the SCWIST spotlight on the anonymous heroes of science!

Calling all post-secondary science students!

Young scientists are key figures in completing research projects, but many remain anonymous. SCWIST wants to help you share and receive recognition for your work through our newly launched, nationwide science symposium.

We will provide a platform for you, young scientists, to present your work, receive recognition and even win prizes for your remarkable contributions to science! Learn more about the origins of the Science Symposium.

SCWIST Symposium for Young Scientists

Our Mini-Symposium for STEM students launches this summer, under the vision and leadership of Dr. Noeen Malik, Director of Communications & Events at SCWIST and chair of the symposium and Ashley van der Pouw Kraan, symposium vice-chair. There will be 15 sessions, held on YouTube Live, every Wednesday at 12 pm PST from June to September.

The symposium provides a fantastic opportunity for young scientists to get exposure for their research and expand their academic network.

Applications for the 2021 Science Symposium are now closed.

Symposium Board Committee

Dr. Thomas J Ruth
Emeritus Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC
Emeritus Scientist, TRIUMF & BC Cancer Research Center
Fellow of Royal Society of Canada

Category: Drug Discovery — Oncology & Neuroscience
Dr. Isabel Trigger
Senior Scientist, TRIUMF
Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria

Category: Physical Science — Particle Physics
Dr. Bethany Edmunds
Board Member, Women in Machine Learning,
Director of Computer Science, Northeastern University

Category: Machine Learning — Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Monica Granados
Policy Advisor
Environment and Climate Change, Canada
Scientific Data Scientist (Federal & Municipal Dept.)

Category: Global Warming — Earth and Environmental Science
Dr. Sara Mahshid
Assistant Professor
Bioengineering, McGill University

Category: Bioengineering/technology — Biosensing

Symposium Judges (Live Sessions Round)

Category: Drug Discovery — Oncology & Neuroscience
Dr. Aashima Khosla
Research Scientist, QuadroCore, Canda
Former Postdoc
University of California, USA
Maria Strifas Athanassiou, PhDc
Biomedical Science
University of Montreal, Canada
Former Medical Science Liaison
MPH Public Health, UK
Category: Physical Science — Particle Physics
Dr. Otilia Ducu
Sr. Research Fellow
CERN, Switzerland
Former Postdoc
University of Montreal, Canada
Dr. Nedaa-Alexandra Asbah
Postdoc Fellow
Harvard University, USA
Category: Machine Learning — Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Nidhi Rastogi
Research Scientist
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
Incoming Assist. Professor
Rochester Institute of Technology, USA
Dr. Gabriella Pizzuto
Postdoc Research Associate
University of Liverpool, UK
Category: Global Warming — Earth and Environmental Science
Claris Canta
Internal Systems Coordinator
Student Energy, Canada
MSc, University of Melbourne
Cecilia Sierra-Heredia
Faculty of Health Sciences
Simon Fraser University
MSc, MA, UBC, Canada
Category: Bioengineering/technology — Biosensing
Dr. Brittany Pequegnat
Expert, Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine manufacturing
Sanofi Pasteur, Canada
Dr. Anjana Govindarajan
Director and Strategic Business consultant
ANRS Consulting Inc., Canada

Top 15 Finalists

Category: Drug Discovery — Oncology & Neuroscience
Jaime Korner
University of Victoria
Artificial cells-on-a-chip for drug permeability prediction
Tanya Saxena
University of British Columbia
Investigation of Excipients for Oral delivery of Sensitive drugs
Melissa D’Amaral
Ryerson University 
Silane-Mediated Direct Amide Bond Formation
Category: Physical Science — Particle Physics
Robin Hayes
TRIUMF/University of British Columbia
Measurements of Higgs Boson Cross-Sections at the Large Hadron Collider
Danika MacDonell
University of Victoria
Reproducible data analysis workflows in experimental high-energy physics
Shahrzad Taherizadegan
University of Calgary
Demonstration of a model for cavity AFC quantum memory
Category: Machine Learning — Artificial Intelligence
Jueqi Wang
St. Francis Xavier University
Multichannel input pixelwise regres. 3D U-Nets for applications in neuroMRI
Banafshe Felfeliyan
University of Calgary
Toward accurate MRI bone/cartilage segmentation via an Improved-Mask-R-CNN
Veena Logithasan
University of Alberta
Using Machine Learning to Automatically Measure AVR on Radiographs
Category: Global Warming — Earth and Environmental Science
Amy Heim
Saint Mary’s University
Variation in environmental stress and heterogeneity
Kristen Hayward
Queen’s University
New genomics for non-invasively monitoring Canada’s polar bear populations
Dilrukshi Kombala Liyanage
University of Alberta
Investigating drought resistant soy bean cultivars
Category: Bioengineering/technology — Biosensing
Gagan Gill
Wilfrid Laurier University
Application of RNA-Cleaving DNAzymes for Bioavailable Metal Sensing
Tofa Begum
INRS-Institut Armand Frappier Health Biotechnology
Microbicidal effectiveness of irradiation from Gamma and X-ray sources
Anat Usatinsky
Ryerson University
Engineering protein reagents to detect SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies


All prizes and honoraria are proudly sponsored by Northeastern University, AbCellera, adMare Bioinnovations, Microsoft, Acuitas Therapeutics Inc., Kruger Inc., Sixsense Strategy Group, MOLLI Surgical Inc., and SOPHOS.

  • First prize: $1500
  • Second prize: $1000
  • Third prize: $750
  • All other finalists: $150
  • All participants will receive a $20 Starbucks Gift Card

All prizes are in Canadian dollars.

SCWIST Science Symposium Catalogue, 2021

Selection Criteria

  • The top three abstracts from each category will be selected for presentation (for a total of 15 abstracts from all five categories), based on the quality of the research, NOT on the seniority of the students. This selection will be done after reviewing all submitted abstracts by our symposium board committee members.
  • Selection will be based on:
    • Novelty: idea, design (10 point-scale)
    • Methodology: approach, scientific design, percentage of student’s input (15 points-scale, out of which 10 points will go according to percentage contribution of the student)
    • Applications: current applications, benefits to society (10 points scale, how this project may benefit society)
    • Future scope: the growth within next five years (5 point-scale)
  • Winners will be selected based on a 30 point-scale criteria:
    • Presentation: how comprehensive and precise the presentation material is (10 points)
    • Knowledge: how well-informed the presenter is (5 points)
    • Interaction: how well the student delivered their presentation, how easy/complex the delivery was for the audience to follow along with, how well the presenter answered questions (15 points)
    • Content: points earned from the first round (the abstracts reviewing process) will be added to the points earned in the live session.

Sessions Layout

  • Introduction: Welcome from SCWIST, introducing the speaker and the senior faculty member (10 minutes)
  • Presentation by Speaker: (12-15 minutes)
  • Panel Discussion: (15 minutes)
  • Q&A: (15 minutes)
  • Closing Remarks: (5 minutes)

Have questions? Email us!

SCWIST Membership Gifts by SCWIST Members

Senior SCWIST Members would like to gift SCWIST membership (1 Year) by acknowledging the efforts of our young scientists in research and development. We’ll soon send emails (with instructions) to the students who showed interest in this gift. Our prestigious SCWIST members who are keen to bring students to the SCWIST platform are:

Juanita DeSouza-Huletey
Member of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba
Instructor (Project Management and Business), University of Winnipeg
Fariba Pacheleh
Director, Corporate Strategic Projects at BCLDB 
Chair of PAC (Program Advisory Committee) at BCIT
Past SCWIST President
Lino Coria, PhD
Associate Teaching Professor, Northeastern University – Vancouver
Khristine Carino, DMD, PhD
President of SCWIST

Symposium Sponsors:

The SCWIST Science Symposium is sponsored by: