This year, the 22nd edition of the BSGC is projected to host 200 participants from all over the Asia-Pacific, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, India, China, Taiwan and Japan. The Congress will be held in NUS’ newest facilities in UTown and features tours to the recently-opened Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum and Singapore’s World Heritage Botanic Gardens.


The logo of BSGC2017, as a whole, is the Tree of Life, symbolising our work as researchers in the Biological Sciences. The tree’s trunk is made of hands that exemplify the research that we do; its 4 branches represent our 4 Research Foci; and the stars in its boughs symbolise the ideas that we germinate in interacting with one another and bring to fruition through our research.

“In a Nutshell” – Research Theme and Foci

This year’s rather revolutionary research theme is “In a Nutshell”. The effective communication of research aims and results to others is an integral part of research. In general, successful researchers know more than just how to do good science; they also know how to share the importance of their work with an audience, no matter its composition. Unfortunately, a surfeit of jargon and “insider lingo” has often made scientific research obscure and inaccessible to the general public.

Consequently, the organising committee of this year’s Congress is putting the spotlight on making research easily understood by the layman. Every presentation in this year’s conference will be required to include an “In a Nutshell” element that explains the crux of their presentation simply and succinctly. This could be a slide, a diagram, a sentence, a picture, an object, a word or even a sound. So long as it puts the presenter’s point across in a manner that is easily-understood and interesting to an audience with minimal scientific background, what this element can be is limited only by the presenter’s creativity!

In addition, presentations will be categorised according to 4 Research Foci:

  1. Biochemistry and Biophysical Sciences: The study of the physico-chemical processes within living organisms
  2. Biodiversity, Ecology and Environmental Biology: The study of animals, plants, ecosystems and life at large.
  3. Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology: The structure and function of cells and the molecules which are essential to life.
  4. Biotechnology and Computational Biology: Bioinformatics and the application of science to industrial, commercial and other purposes.

Organising Committee

BSGC2017 is organized by a committee of graduate students led by Ian Chan, under the auspices of the Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Students’ Society, NUS. It is supported by the Department of Biological Sciences, NUS.

History of BSGC

Inaugurated in 1996, the Biological Sciences Graduate Congress (BSGC) is an international collaboration between 3 partner universities: the National University of Singapore, the University of Malaya (Malaysia) and Chulalongkorn University (Thailand). With the 3 partners hosting the Congress in turn, the vision was for BSGC to be a Congress of graduate students, organized by graduate students, for graduate students.

Originally designed to be a platform specifically for Masters and PhD students from the partner universities to gather, share their research and create new relationships; over the years, BSGC has grown into a truly international Congress, with participants from the ASEAN countries and beyond. In the 21st BSGC held in Kuala Lumpur last year, participants came from as far afield as India and Africa.

Memories from the 21st BSGC of yester-year…