This event is tailored for students and recent graduates looking for a unique platform to present their research, create professional connections, and hone their skills for the future.

The Graduate Student Conference provides students with a unique platform to present their research, create professional connections, and hone their skills for the future. The 2021 virtual edition will feature a series of themed sessions, where participants will be given the opportunity to present their research and receive constructive feedback from a panel of high-profile judges who are active decision makers in industry, government, academia, and think tanks across Canada. Our judges and audience will be taking note of who you are and the quality of your work. This is your chance to get your name out there, showcase your research to senior level practitioners and have it shared broadly within the Canadian defence and security community.   

Who’s Coming?

Global Affairs Canada / Department of National Defence / Industry / Academia

 We will award over $10,000 in prizes for the best presentations, including an employment contract worth $7,500. You will also be featured on our newsletter to over 9000 subscribers. 

  • First Place/The Peter Hunter Award by the Royal Canadian Military Institute: $1000*/Feature on social media to the CDA Institute’s 8000+ followers 
  • Second Place: $750 
  • Third Place: $500
  • Best Public Speaking / Presentation: $250
  • A work contract (value $7,500$) will be awarded to a presenter who not only offered an outstanding presentation, but also focused on a timely and important aspect of national security on which the Institute is seeking in-house expertise. This bursary is offered by our Strategic Partner Metro Supply Chain Group, and will be presented by its CEO HCol Chiko Nanji. 

*To be eligible for the Peter Hunter Award your presentation must propose a Canadian security & defence policy response to the topic at hand.

The Graduate Student Conference will occur over a three-day period with one general theme per day. Applicants must submit abstracts that relate to one of the following three general themes. Suggested topics are listed, however, abstracts on a wide variety of topics will be accepted.  To submit an abstract, you must be a doctoral (PhD), or master’s level student, or recent graduate (up to 2 years) from an accredited university.

Day 1 (May 25th): Climate Security 

Suggested topics include but are not limited to: Climate justice, the Arctic, food & water security, greening defence, desertification, poverty & radicalization 

Day 2 (May 26th): Force Development & Capabilities  

Suggested topics include but are not limited to: Emerging technologies, emerging threats, recruitment & retention in the Canadian Armed Forces (including operational culture & gender), procurement.

Day 3 (May 27th): Alliances & Posture

Suggested topics include but are not limited to: NATO 2030, the Indo-Pacific, a Canadian role with the QUAD, Five Eyes & intelligence sharing

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