On May 2, 2023, the Douglas hosted its first ever VIVA Awards. The VIVA Mental Health Science POP Awards competition is a competition for students and postdocs at the Douglas Research Centre to gain experience communicating their research topic to a wider audience. Since January, a dozen Douglas students have been preparing to participate in one of three challenges, and have received training and feedback from various stakeholders.

This competition was organized in partnership with the FRQS-IRCM SciencePop initiative – meaning that the finalists from this local VIVA Science POP competition will represent the Douglas at the grand finale of Science POP in Quebec on May 27 and 28, 2023.

The VIVA Award SciencePOP event

Over the course of two hours, the crowd of over 60 people heard:

  • Six presenters explain their research projects in the Popularization Challenge, a 5-minute presentation using accessible language and slides as support
  • Four presenters pitch their news-worthy stories in the Valorization Challenge, a 2-minute pitch of a researcch project along with its short- and long-term benefits
  • Two presenters give a TEDx-talk-style, 10-minute presentation on the ways in which their work support sustainable health, in the Mobilization Challenge

Choosing the finalists

All twelve talks were exceptional in their clarity and engagement of the audience, and the 3 juries had the unenviable task of selecting the five winners. The multi-disciplinary juries were composed of community members, CIUSSS-ODIM representatives and researchers from the Douglas Research Centre. In addition, the public voted for their favourite presentation.

Popularization Challenge

1st place (participation in the SciencePOP finals)

Sophie Simard – Can the adult human brain generate new neurons?


2nd place

Lyne Baaj – Cannabis: Could I get Addicted?


Valorization Challenge

1st place (participation in the SciencePOP finals):

Kristelle Alunni-Menichini – Un blogue informé sur la consommation de substances, ça existe?

2nd place:

Tyler Agyekum – How we can protect our minds from cognitive decline that may lead to Alzheimer’s Disease

Mobilization Challenge

1st place (participation in the SciencePOP finals):

Justine Fortin and Marjolaine Rivest-Beauregard – ART-SCI De la base de données à vos écrans


People’s Choice Award

Lyne Baaj – Cannabis: Could I get Addicted?

Congratulations again to all those who participated, and good luck to the finalists in their next competition!