Graduate Student Symposium

Call for Papers
(and Corporate Sponsorship Opportunity)
CDA Institute 20th Annual Graduate Student Symposium

Canada’s Security and Defence Interests

The Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDA Institute) will hold its 20th Annual Graduate Student Symposium on 12-13 October, 2017 at the Royal Canadian Military College of Canada, in Kingston, Ontario. For this significant anniversary year, we will be pleased to welcome several of our pioneer student presenters back to the Symposium.

This impressive and well-attended Symposium draws together Canadian and international MA and PhD students; members of the Department of National Defence; members of the Regular and Reserve components of the Canadian Armed Forces including Officer Cadets; as well as scholars, defence industry stakeholders, government officials and leaders, for two days of presentations, discussions, professional development, and networking.

The overarching theme of the Symposium is “Canada’s Security and Defence Interests”, and suggested (but by no means exhaustive) presentation/panel topics may include: Canadian Defence Policy Review – Where are we now?; Canada and Alliances; Peace Operations in an Unstable and Dangerous World – back to the future or a new approach?; The Institution of Defence – Defence Industry and Procurement; Defence Personnel – Policies for the millennials and beyond; Emerging Operational Environments – Cyber, Space, and Terrorism/Radicalization; Canadian Military Campaigns and Operations – Past and Present.

Cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250 will be presented to the top three presenters. The top three presenters will also be given the opportunity to work with the CDA Institute Research Manager and Senior Editor to develop their work for publication as Vimy Papers. If the papers are accepted for publication, they will receive an additional honorarium of $1,500 each. A further prize of $750, the Colonel Peter Hunter Award, will be presented by the Royal Canadian Military Institute (RCMI). The recipient of the Colonel Peter Hunter Award will also be offered the opportunity to develop the paper into an RCMI publication.

In addition, this year’s Symposium will host the inaugural Captain Nichola Goddard “Game Changer” Award, which will be presented annually to recognize and honour a young Canadian who has made a difference in the Canadian security and defence community.

Abstracts of proposed presentations (200-400 words) from Masters and Doctoral students in the realm of security and defence are being accepted in two rounds, which deadlines for submission of 17 May (first round) and 6 September (second round). Between 15 and 20 presenters will be accepted. Please send all presentation abstracts with your institutional affiliation and contact information by email to

Applications will be notified of the result of their submission within 10 business days of the deadline they submit against. The final draft of complete presentation papers (maximum 4,000 words) must be submitted by no later than 27 September, 2017. Applications are strongly encouraged to submit their abstracts against the earlier of the two deadlines, as they may qualify for one of 6 limited travel grants (maximum of $500 each) on a first-come, first-serve basis to successful applicants. Applicants are asked to indicate, as part of the abstract submission, whether they wish to apply for travel assistance and from where they will be travelling from. Consequently, ‘the early bird has a better change of getting the worm’.

Presenters are responsible for their own travel and accommodations; however, block booking will be made available at a Kingston hotel at a later date. More information will soon be made available.

The CDA Institute is a charitable status organization and is also looking for Corporate Sponsorships for this prestigious event in support of Canada’s emerging young leaders in the realm of Security and Defence.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact

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