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Last update: September 2nd 2009

McGill-Montreal Sigma XI Chapter

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, is a non-profit organization founded in 1886. The Greek letters "sigma" and "xi" come from the Society's motto: "Spoudon Xynones," which translates as "Companions in Zealous Research." Sigma Xi‘s mission is to honour excellence in scientific investigation and to encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among researchers in all fields of physical sciences, social sciences and engineering. It provides a supportive environment for interdisciplinary research at colleges and universities, industry research centers and government laboratories. Sigma Xi's headquarters are located in North Carolina, US. There are over 500 Chapters worldwide with nearly 60 000 members, over 200 of which are Nobel Prize winners. The Society is one of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world. The McGill-Montreal Chapter of Sigma Xi was founded in 1922. For more information visit: Sigma Xi Membership is by nomination only. Full Membership is conferred upon individuals who have shown noteworthy achievement as an original investigator.  Associate Membership is offered to encourage young investigators (typically graduate students or advanced undergraduate students) with promise to continue careers in research.  If you know someone who has merits to belong to The Society, please let us know.


Chapter Activities and Awards: The Chapter holds a series of noteworthy lectures from a diverse set of disciplines throughout the academic year, as well as a Christmas Party, an Annual Field Trip and a Banquet. Two main activities to promote interdisciplinary research are the sponsoring and participation with judges and awards in the annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Research Symposium (IGSRS) and the Bell Research Fair. One important activity of the Chapter is the organization of the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award (EURA) in which Departments select the undergraduate students presenting the best research project of the year and the Chapter gives the Awards in a special ceremony following each end of the year Convocation.

Society Activities and Awards: Delegates from Chapters hold an Annual General Meeting to decide governance questions and attend sessions on leadership, chapter management and major issues facing the research enterprise. Students from around the world present their research, attend career-focused workshops and network with Sigma Xi Members. Monetary awards are presented for outstanding research. John P. McGovern Science and Society Award: Presented at the Annual Sigma Xi Meeting to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to science and society. The award consists of a medal and a $5,000 honorarium. The recipient presents the annual John P. McGovern Science and Society Lecture at Sigma Xi's Annual Meeting. Recent recipients include Dr. Robert Boily (2008) of Laval, Quebec and David Suzuki (2004). Young Investigator Award: Includes a certificate of recognition and $5,000 honorarium. The recipient is invited to present a lecture at the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting. Any active (dues-paying) member of Sigma Xi within 10 years of his or her highest earned degree at the time of nomination is eligible. The Young Investigator Award will alternate between the physical sciences and engineering, including mathematics, and the life and social sciences. Grants in Aid of Research (GIAR): The program awards grants of up to $1,000 to students from all areas of the sciences and engineering. Designated funds from the National Academy of Sciences allow for grants of up to $5,000 for astronomy research and $2,500 for vision related research. Students use the funding to pay for travel expenses to and from a research site, or for purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project. While membership in Sigma Xi is not a requirement for applying for funding from the GIAR program, approximately 75% of funds are restricted for use by dues paying student members of Sigma Xi or students whose project advisor is a dues paying member of Sigma Xi.

Charter Members of the McGill Chapter All further enquiries should be addressed to:
Dr. M.A.Whitehead, Honorary Life President
McGill University Department of Chemistry,
801 Sherbrooke Street West,
Montreal, QC, H3A 2K6, CANADA.
tel (514) 398-6239 (fax -3797)

Publications: American Scientist, The Journal of Sigma Xi

Publications: American Scientist, Le Journal de Sigma Xi