B21 Scholar

Pursue your idea with our space, mentorship, and community
ApplyApplications open in Fall 2024

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What is a B21 Scholar?

B21 Scholars are unfunded scholars who pursue their idea within our space and community. Our mission has always been to support scholars in pursuing bold and original ideas. We believe there are vast amounts of knowledge that rest beyond what is conventionally recognized. We want to facilitate scholars of all levels and disciplines to discover that knowledge with the support they need.

Access our dedicated collaboration space at 651 Sherbrooke W. on the Downtown campus

Original ideas can be hard to develop. We offer tailored mentorship for every B21 scholar with 1:1 office hours.

Join a group of curious scholars pursuing ideas across disciplines throughout our programs, as well as other student communities hosted within Building 21.


Application Deadline

Position type
Unfunded Scholar

Cohort size
8-15 scholars

Start of program
February 2024

End of program
April 2024

Building 21, 651 Sherbrooke St. West

Pursue your project with the space, mentorship, and community of B21.

This is not for credit.

Past projects

Here are some projects we loved. Projects can be entirely domain-specific, or an interdisciplinary mix.

  • Streamlining data provenance in machine learning models
  • Investigating the psychological effects of digital labor in the age of AI
  • Exploring fungi's capabilities in waste management and bioremediation
  • How can emergence be formalized quantitatively?
  • Can there be a slow social media?

What it means

Eligibility and requirements

Open to all McGill students of all levels who are in good academic standing and to students who have graduated from McGill in the past 12 months.

How to submit a successful application

Applicants will be asked to ‘wow’ the selection committee in the manner they prefer. This means choosing whatever platform they feel will best highlight both their ideas and personal strengths (video, text, music, filmed performance, unusual and original research work, etc.).

The application should highlight the originality, boldness, and creativity of the idea submitted. We are looking for students who are passionate, engaged, autonomous, and are obsessed with knowledge, learning, and discovery.

Important: articulate the unknown that you're trying to uncover as clearly as you can!

In your application, think about the question or the unknown that you are trying to get at, and articulate it in your application.

Due to the expected large volume of applications, please aim for maximum impact and clarity as opposed to detail. We strongly recommend keeping videos and similar applications to be viewed within 3-5 minutes.

If you are shortlisted, we may call you for an interview where you are expected to explain your rationale for applying, and your overall goals.

More information

Anita Parmar
Co-director, Building 21

Book a meeting


Ollivier Dyens
Co-director, Building 21