CSPC 2020 Call for Panel Proposals

New Panel submission deadline: May 15th

Due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and organizations across Canada and the world, and to accommodate the community, CSPC is extending the panel proposal deadline by an additional four weeks, to May 15th, 2020.

We invite you to submit proposals in a variety of presentation formats that revolve around any of the conference themes.

The conference themes can be found here:

Deadline for submitting panel proposals is May 15th, 2020.

The 12th Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC 2020), will be held in Gatineau Quebec on November 23-25, 2020 at Hilton Lac-Leamy. 

All organizations and individuals are invited to submit panel proposals under one of the CSPC 2020 themes and topics. Proponents will be notified in late May as to proposal acceptance.

General points:

  • For the year 2020, CSPC has adopted some new criteria for panel ranking. Please read all the criteria listed below carefully.
  • CSPC will not be responsible for the travel and accommodation costs of the selected speakers.
  • All panel organizers are encouraged to use technology which facilitates meaningful engagement with the audience, such as Poll Everywhere and similar applications.
  • CSPC is a national forum, a mosaic which aims to have a balanced representation of regional, sectoral, and topical diversity; as well as to provide under represented groups an opportunity to present their ideas. These criteria will also be factored in for the final selection of panels.

Proposals will be ranked based on the following criteria:

  1. Quality of the proposed session: proposal description and justification (25%)
  2. Choice of panel format and its interactivity (20%)
  3. Quality of the speakers and moderator (15%)
  4. Representation of a diverse range of panelists (15%)
  5. Alignment with the conference objectives and conference themes (10%)
  6. Ability to incorporate one or more of the following: (15%)
    1. Solution oriented nature of discussions as opposed to statement of status quo of an issue.
    2. Discussions focussed on the pressing issues of the coming decade (2020-30) and having a futuristic approach and analysis on an issue

Please read the full description of criteria below.

1. Quality of the proposed session: proposal description and justification (25%)

The quality of session is evaluated based on the description of the panel and the following criteria:

  • Deep comprehension and excellent description of the subject
  • The value of this panel to be discussed at CSPC, in terms of follow ups, calls to action, science policy research, etc.

2. Choice of panel format and interactivity (20%)

Previous conference attendees have expressed a desire for a variety of formats, topics, voices, and ideas. To achieve this, CSPC aims to balance expert discussions and interactive sessions; and to provide a variety of panel formats at the conference. Please note, the proposals in each format will compete with each other.

The descriptions of 80 min session types are provided here. Panelists’ presentations cannot exceed 50 minutes and 20-30 minutes must be allocated to Q&A or activities involving the audience.

3. Quality of the speakers and moderator (15%)

Panelists will be evaluated based on:

  • Knowledge, experience, and relevance to the panel topic
  • Ability to garner public attention
  • Inclusion of the younger generation and those who are new speakers at the CSPC
  • Please indicate in your application whether each speaker is a new or returning speaker at the CSPC

The choice of moderator is also very important and the quality of the moderator will be evaluated based on their experience. We highly recommend that you indicate why this moderator has been chosen and especially indicate:

  • Their experience in panel moderation and ability to keep panelists on time and on point
  • Their ability to engage all panelists in an interactive discussion and include the audience in the panel discussion
  • Their comprehension of and expertise in the topic

Panel readiness is also a consideration. Confirmation of the panelists is regarded positively. However, the CSPC reserves the right to request a panel to modify their speaker line-up if it does not meet quality or diversity requirements.

4. Representation of a diverse range of panelists (15%)

The CSPC is a multi-sectoral, transdisciplinary forum on science, technology, and innovation policy issues. Therefore, panelist diversity is a crucial criterion for ranking panels. The empowerment of women in the science, technology, and innovation enterprise is a core value of CSPC. It is a source of pride for us that at CSPC 2019, the percentage of female speakers was 55%. We hope that panel organizers recognize the benefits of presenting a well-rounded and diverse range of perspectives on their topic, which will consequently appeal to a larger audience among the attendees at the CSPC.

Panelist diversity will be evaluated based on, but not limited to, gender, sector, discipline, geography, ethnicity, and age. Panels must be gender-diverse, and lack thereof will exclude panels from consideration. In addition, the CSPC highly recommends the inclusion of both experienced and younger generation perspectives in panels.

Panels must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Panels must be gender-diverse; all male panels will not be accepted.
  • Panelists must represent at least two of the following sectors: Government, Academia, Private/ Business, Non-Profit, and the Media.
  • Panelists must represent at least two different provinces; more diverse geographical representation, including international panelists, will result in higher ranking.
  • Panels must NOT include more than 2 individuals (including both speakers and moderators) from the same organization.

*The CSPC is happy to recommend speakers with impressive track records to panels. We also recommend resources such as 500WomenScientists to aid in identifying the best speakers for your panels.

5. Alignment with the conference objectives and conference themes (10%)

Sessions should fall under one of the themes of the conference. Sessions should include experts who can provide detailed examples under the CSPC 2020  themes to support their arguments and translate those details into actions and best practices.

The conference themes are:

  • CSPC 2020 Special theme: Grand Challenges
  • Science and Policy
  • Science and Society
  • Science, Innovation, and Economic Development
  • Science, International Affairs and Security
  • Science and the Next Generation

6. Solution oriented and futuristic panels (15%)

Based on the survey feedback from 2019, CSPC participants overwhelmingly expressed a desire for panels  with a  focus on the solutions and; rather than just a presentation of the status quo. Therefore for CSPC 2020, we will also evaluate submissions based on how they address the two approaches: being solution-oriented and/or futuristic.


May 15th, 2020: Proposal submission deadline

Mid-Late June, 2020: Proponents notified as to proposal acceptance

June 30th, 2020: Session descriptions and panelists to be confirmed

July 15th, 2020: Session requirements from conference manager confirmed

July 30th, 2020: Final deadline for all panelists information, bios, pictures

August-October, 2020: Internal coordination and readiness for the panel

November 23rd-25th, 2020: Sessions delivered