What does the competition entail?

SSGSA competitors are encouraged to make teams of 2 or 3 members in order to lessen the workload and increase the number of perspectives; however, individual competitors are welcomed!

In-depth Knowledge:
Each year the case competition focuses on a field of STEM-related research as the theme of the competition. Teams will be informed on the topic of the competition in our comprehensive case package which provides teams additional information regarding the specified field of research. In addition to this, the case package will include three research techniques relating to either healthcare, engineering, or environmental research. Our aim is to help you develop your novel hypothesis and present this research to leading professors specializing in your research area of interest!

Competitors will be asked to identify a problem or global-related issue within the field of interest for the year's competition and develop a research proposal that does one of the following:
1. Proposes a methodology to understand the mechanisms and phenomena which underlie the global challenge at hand (e.g., disease, mechanical flaw, environmental complication, etc)
2. Proposes a solution to a global problem and investigates the efficacy of the solution using biosynthetic techniques

What happens during the             competition?

Step 1: Register

Register for the competition in teams of 2 or 3 or as an individual. Registration for the SSGSA STEM Sustainability Case Competition opens on October 13th.

Step 2: Round 1 – Written Round

You will be challenged to propose an original research proposal to tackle a real-world problem and support your idea with current scientific literature. The first round is a written round submitted online, to be completed in 4 weeks. The case will be released online on November 8. Team submissions will be due online on December 6 at midnight following Eastern Standard Time.

Step 3: Round 2 – Presentation Round

The top 15 scoring abstracts from Round 1 will advance to the next round and have the opportunity to present their novel research proposal to judges in a live poster presentation. The top 3 teams will be chosen as winners of the competition! This round will be held throughout January-March 2022. The poster presentation conference will take place on Friday, March 25, 2022. The exact format and logistics of the conference are being worked on, but the hope is (COVID-pending) the conference will take place in person in Peter Clark Hall. The conference will feature breakfast, full-service lunch, networking opportunities, and an awards ceremony.

The winners of the SSGSA STEM Sustainability Case Competition will:

Get the opportunity to publish their work in a scientific journal

Receive the largest monetary prizes of any science competition

We are thrilled to announce that the 2021-2022 STEM Sustainability Case Competition: Synthetic Biology Conference Abstract Book has been published by URNCST!
Here you can read the 15 incredible abstracts written by undergraduate students at the University of Guelph in Round 1 of the competition!

Click the link below to view abstract:


Resources available to all participants

Our goal at the SSGSA is to ensure that all of our competitors leave our competition with translatable skills that they can implement in the lab or future research projects. To maximize competitor success, we have spent countless hours developing a comprehensive support system to ensure that all participants, those with years of experience and those just entering the research industry, learn something new!

SSGSA Workshops

We will provide multiple workshops for all participants that will be geared towards enhancing scientific communication. It is of the utmost importance that students are readily prepared in order to compete; thus, our workshops will be informative, concise, and effective.

SSGSA Case Package

Participants will have access to an all- encompassing case package which will highlight the exact requirements and expectations of their work. The package will also provide information surrounding the selected topic of research and its intricacies.

SSGSA Mentors

All participants will be paired with experienced mentors who can mediate their inquiries throughout the competition. Whether your mentor is a graduate student or pursuing professional school, they will remain dedicated, attentive and committed to student success.


QR code for registration