This coming March, McGill will be the first university in Canada to partner with Moderna on its mRNA Access program. Researchers at the university will have access to Moderna’s antigen design platform, which allows for the rapid prototyping and development of new vaccines. And trainees at every level of study, from undergraduates to medical students, will have the opportunity to participate in the research. The program will put McGill in a starring role when it comes to tackling new and emerging threats to global health, and is one of many exciting developments that helps contribute to the school’s perennial spot at the top of the Medical Doctoral ranking.
World-class research is McGill’s lifeblood. In June, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada invested $26.5 million in 143 McGill projects like earthquake risk research and cosmic radio waves. In September, the Royal Society of Canada recognized 15 faculty members as RSC fellows, joining 238 other McGill researchers who have received this honour in the arts and sciences over the years. Three researchers in the faculty of medicine are among the new cohort of fellows, adding to the medical school’s many accolades.
Big plans are afoot on campus to invest in new research facilities while refurbishing one of its oldest, in what is among the most significant infrastructure developments in the university’s history. Having secured $620 million in funding from the Quebec government earlier this year, McGill plans to transform a portion of the iconic Royal Victoria Hospital building into a research and teaching hub focused on sustainability and public policy. The “New Vic Project,” slated to begin construction in 2023, aims to bring together students, public policy experts and top-tier researchers from numerous disciplines to tackle the climate emergency and other global challenges.
Other major infrastructure developments under way include the renovation of McGill’s main library complex, which will introduce sun-filled workspaces, themed reading rooms and high-tech learning environments. And in an exciting development for McGill’s department of kinesiology and physical education, a $29-million gift from Quebec entrepreneur Sylvan Adams will establish a new sports science institute with teaching and laboratory space dedicated to researching human athletic performance.
McGill has also made strides in its equity, diversity and inclusion strategy, increasing representation of designated groups—such as women and people with disabilities—in its tenure-track faculty. This year, the university appointed Ojibwe scholar and artist Celeste Pedri-Spade as its first associate provost of Indigenous initiatives and established a dedicated Office for Mediation and Reporting, which will oversee investigations of sexual violence, harassment and discrimination on campus.
McGill’s global cachet draws students from around the world; international students comprise nearly 30 per cent of the undergraduate body. And of course, on top of academic excellence, McGill offers students the chance to study in the heart of one of Canada’s most vibrant cities.