Science and Policy Exchange - STEM Working Group


Working Group


November 28, 2015


Douglas Hall at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 6875 LaSalle Boulevard H4H 1R3

Update: The strategies and solutions discussed at this event have been compiled in a white paper, which was released November 7th 2016 and presented at the 2016 Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) on November 8th 2016.

STEM Working Group

Have you craved for a more practical curriculum that brings academics to the real world? Have you wondered about the relationship between your degree and your employability?

A recent report by the Council of Canadian Academies suggests that STEM education is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for innovation and economic growth. Based on these findings, Science and Policy Exchange (SPE) is developing a white paper on how to translate training in Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) fields to improve employment options leading to an increase in economic growth for Canada. To do so, we are hosting the SPE Working Group on STEM Education to bring together students with experts in STEM fields across academic, government and industry sectors. The goal is to deliberate and devise guidelines for the federal government to radically improve the way STEM training is imparted. As such, we are looking for student representatives to take part in this full day event on Saturday November 28th, 2015.

What's In It For Me?
Selected students will be invited to interact and contribute to the white paper as co-authors, engage in a lively discussion with experts from various fields, and enjoy an exclusive networking session with an exclusive expert panelist.


Event Details
When: Saturday November 28th, 2015
Location: Montreal, QC (details TBA)
Foramt: This This event will involve small group discussions related to a specific aspect of the STEM ecosystem. Students will work together with experts in each sector to devise and collate guidelines for the white paper. If you are selected, more details will be given on the specific topic so that you can adequately prepare.


Application Instructions
Application Deadline: Wednesday November 10, 2015 at 17:00 EDT
Answer the following questions within the indicated word limit. Save completed applications as a Microsoft Word document with the file name: firstname_lastname_application and submit it along with a curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages) saved as firstname_lastname_CV to

1. Please describe the qualities that you possess that would make you the ideal candidate to voice the student perspective at the Science & Policy Exchange STEM Working Group on STEM Education (250 Max).

2. What are your long-term career goals and how will this experience contribute to meeting those goals (250 Max).

3. What do you believe is the biggest issue facing STEM fields today? What are the potential solutions to the challenges you identified? (500 Max)

If you are selected, you will be asked to join a discussion group on a specific topic. Please rank the following topics in order of preference (1 being the discussion group would you most like to take part in and 5 being the discussion you would least like to take part in).


________Government Policies
________Start-up Companies/Entrepreneurship
________Big Bussiness/Industries
________Natural Sciences(e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
________Applied Science(e.g. Technology, Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics

Rebecca Reich:

Project manager, Acoustics at WSP in Canada and former Director of Business Development, Team Lead Québec & Atlantic Canada at Mitacs Inc.

Sir Peter David Gluckman:

(Keynote Speaker) Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

Remi Quirion:

(Introductory Speaker) Chief Scientist of Quebec

Paul Dufour:

Principal, PaulicyWorks; Fellow, Adjunct Professor, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, University of Ottawa

Wendy Cukier:

Vice-President of Research and Innovation, Ryerson University

Pamela Shaver-Walker, M.Sc:

Senior Manager, National SR&ED and Business Tax Incentives Team.

Anila Asghar:

Associate Professor, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University

Robin Beech:

Associate Professor, Associate Dean, Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, Department of Parasitology at McGill University

Swathi Meenakshi:

co-Founder of Revolootion, winner of the McGill Dobson Cup, semi-finalist of the Forbes $1M to Change the World Competition

Anita Parmar:

Advisor, Innovative Collaboration (Student Life & Learning), Office of the Deputy Provost at McGill University

Valerie Walker:

Vice President, Innovation and Skills at Business Council of Canada and previously Director of Policy at Mitacs Inc.