Graduate Student Symposium
Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) 
Kingston, Ontario

The Graduate Student Symposium (GSS) is the CDA Institute’s annual graduate student-focused event for students who are working toward their master’s or doctoral degrees in the fields of security and defence. This year, 2018, will be its 22nd edition. It is acknowledged as a significant conference that provides an interdisciplinary platform for emerging scholars to develop and share new knowledge and innovations with respect to Canadian security and defence issues, as well as an opportunity to network with their peers and established leaders of the security, defence and academic sectors, broadly interpreted.

The GSS is the signature component of the CDA Institute’s Student Engagement Programme, contributing in various ways to the cultivation of the next generation of Canadian security and defence scholars, as well as future public service leaders. Its purpose is to engage with them on their topic to raise the calibre of their thesis and develop their confidence in working as a part of the expert community, as well as building their presentation and communication skills.

In 2018, the GSS will consist of a two-and-a-half day conference held at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, over the course of which approximately 20 graduate students and emerging security and defence experts will be given the opportunity to present their research centred on Canada’s security and defence interests during a series of panels. Presenters will then be questioned by the audience and an expert moderator, and also receive feedback from both the moderator and a panel of esteemed judges drawn from the defence and academic communities. The event will feature two keynote speakers chosen for their expertise in security and defence, one from the Canadian Armed Forces and one from the Department of National Defence; they will address issues relevant to Canada today and into the future.

The Captain Nichola Goddard “Gamer Changer” Award

The 2018 GSS will also afford the CDA Institute the opportunity to present for the second time the Captain Nichola Goddard “Game Changer” Award, a newly-created award that recognizes a young Canadian that has already made a significant contribution to discussions of Canadian security and defence and who possesses the potential for a long, productive and remarkable career.


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