By Laura B. Stephenson

Each spring, as the semester comes to an end, political scientists across the country ratchet up their productivity to finish their papers, posters and presentations for CPSA.  CPSA is the premiere opportunity for Canadian political scientists to get feedback from experts and peers.  It is also a great venue for networking, learning new things, and getting involved in the profession. Here are some tips for making the most of your time in Toronto this year:

  1. Do a little research! We’re all researchers, so this part should be a piece of cake.  Take a look at the online program and see if there are presentations on topics you’re interested in.  This is really easy to do, either by section or keyword.  Many people restrict themselves to the events happening in their particular section (Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, etc.) but don’t limit yourself!  Often proposals submitted to one section end up in another so that a more coherent panel can be put together on a topic.  You should also take a look at the events planned in the Teaching and Research Skills section.  These sessions give us tips for how to be the best teachers and researchers we can.
  2. Make sure to check out the special events that have been planned by the programme committee. These are listed separately in the programme and usually appeal to almost everyone.  Keynote speakers, roundtables, receptions – these will all be listed.  Prominent political scientists from around the world will be at CPSA so you don’t want to miss your chance to see what they have to say.
  3. Take advantage of your Congress registration! Outside of CPSA events, the Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences organizes many different sessions that might be of interest.  Especially if you enjoy thinking across disciplinary lines, there is a lot to do.  Congress also organizes big name speakers over the lunch period.
  4. Get involved! If you’re a faculty member, consider attending the Annual General Meeting of the CPSA.  Find out about the workings of the CJPS and the issues that CPSA is dealing with.  CPSA is your association so take advantage of what it has to offer!  If you’re a graduate student, make sure to take note of the Graduate Student Caucus lunch and activities planned by Ryerson’s department.
  5. Everyone likes a free drink – so don’t miss out on yours! Two opportunities exist:  the reception hosted by Ryerson University after the Presidential Address on May 30 and the President’s reception hosted by Congress (May 31).


Laura B. Stephenson
Associate Professor
Western University