Mon Projet Nordique / My Northern Project – Competition for PhD Students
By Brigitte Bigué, Director, Institut nordique du Québec and Hélène Munger, Partnership Program Manager, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies
The Mon Projet Nordique / My Northern Project competition is a unique opportunity for the leaders of tomorrow to connect with their peers, network with potential career mentors and join in the international dialogue on key issues affecting the future of the Arctic.
The purpose of the competition is to offer twelve PhD students the opportunity to present their research results in a snappy and exciting fashion to an international audience at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland. This session, now known as Lightning Talks, has become an attendee favourite, thanks to the vision of the young scientists who are exploring a range of topics that will help in understanding Arctic development.
For the second edition of Mon Projet Nordique, UArctic teamed up with Institut nordique du Québec (INQ) and Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT). A unique aspect was that six of the participating PhD candidates were selected in Québec by INQ and FRQNT, and six from elsewhere by members of UArctic. The twelve finalists were invited to attend the Arctic Circle Assembly and challenged to present a five-minute summary of their research in layperson's terms to a large international audience, using a maximum of ten slides. The public was then invited to vote for the “People's Choice” award, i.e. the presentation they found the most eloquent and impactful.
The 2018 finalists hailed from Canada (Québec and Newfoundland), Finland, Sweden and Norway. These remarkable students presented their research projects that target a critical issue currently facing northern environments and may result in innovative solutions to solve them. Their topics included the impact of climate change on melting ice and thawing permafrost; the potential for geothermal energy in the North; human security; and sociocultural adaptation of communities in response to the rapidly changing Arctic.
This new generation of scientists addressed the hot-button issues in a sensitive and intelligent manner. The “People's Choice” award went to Kirill Gurvich, a PhD student in social sciences at Nord University, Norway for his presentation “The Sociocultural Adaptation of Refugees in the Circumpolar Region: A Comparative Study of Social Work Practices in Norway and Canada”.