Step One: Register
Register for the competition in teams of 2-4. Registration for USCC 2016-2017 will begin October 1st, 2016 and ends October 31st, 2016. Leave your email here to receive updates:
Step Two: Written Round
You will be challenged to propose an original research idea to tackle a real-world challenge, and support your idea with current scientific literature. The first round is a written round submitted online, to be completed in 3 weeks. The case will be released online on November 1st, 2016. Team submissions will be due online on November 20th, 2016. For more details regarding submissions, please see the case.
Step Three: Presentation Round
Top scoring teams from each campus and each division are invited to Western University (London ON) for the weekend of March 24th – 26th, 2017 (tentative date). This round takes the form of oral poster presentations. The weekend also includes a social, an awards ceremony, and a conference. The cost for the entire weekend (including poster printing, travel and accommodation) is covered for finalists.
Research Opportunities. Labs in hospitals and universities recognize the achievement of competition winners, and prioritize them for research opportunities.
Internship Opportunities. In addition to research institutions, our partnering corporations may provide internship or job opportunities to past competition winners.
Connect with capable and like-minded peers. Who knows? You may be talking to your future partner, collaborator, or colleague.
Learn from some of the most prestigious researchers. The competition brings together some of the brightest (and sometimes most quirky) minds across the province to engage in scientific dialogue.
Engage in scientific innovation. The greatest scientific discoveries begin with one idea, and you never know where yours might lead you.
Win a series of cash and book prizes provided by universities and educational companies. Each finalist who comes to Western for the provincial round will be awarded the Certificate of Merit, and the top teams of the provincial competition are awarded medallions signifying their achievement.
Who is eligible for the competition?
USCC is offered in 2 divisions. The Lower Division encompasses 1st and 2nd year students, while the Upper Division is for 3rd year undergraduate students and above. Each division is judged separately. Any student who already has or who is currently taking more than 3 third year courses as of Nov 1st, 2016 belongs to the Upper Division. Teams will be randomly checked to ensure eligibility in their own division. Those competing in the incorrect division will be removed from the competition and competitor fees will not be refunded.
Students from any background are encouraged to participate, as interdisciplinary ideas are considered an advantage in this competition.
What is the competition topic and challenge like?
The topic varies from year to year. Last year, participants were challenged to propose original research studying the global food crisis & nutrition, the year before tackled epilepsy. Do not be concerned if the case topic is not your “specialty”. The challenge is designed so that all participants have an equal opportunity of succeeding.
Who judges the competition?
Professors and graduate students from hospitals, universities and research institutes who are studying the area of interest.
Is there a competition fee?
$60 per team (2-4 members)
How are the top scoring teams “from each campus” determined?
The competition is supported in 8 campuses: Western University, University of Toronto St. George, University of Toronto Scarborough, McMaster’s University, Queen’s University, University of Ottawa, University of Guelph, and University of Waterloo. The top 10% scoring teams from each division at each campus are invited to the Provincial (Presentation) Round. Any students who are not from the 8 schools are grouped together and counted as one “school”, with the top 10% being selected from this collective group.
Who pays for the teams going to Western for the Provincial Round?
Accommodation is covered for all students who are not from Western. Poster printing and travel costs are also covered by each of the 8 campuses mentioned above. Please contact your local campus representative.
If you are not from one of the 8 campuses, you will have to arrange for your own poster printing (about $60) and travel costs. Most schools have student grants that you can apply for, so take the time to research early.
What happens to our submissions?
The submissions are your own intellectual property. Hence you are free to use it in labs, applications, and publications. We will ask for your explicit permission should your work be chosen for a publication by us or any of our affiliates.