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CSPC | CSPC 2020 Call for Panel Proposals

CSPC 2020 Call for Panel Proposals

New Panel submission deadline: June 12th

Bring your insights from around the globe to CSPC 2020!

Due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and organizations across Canada and the world, CSPC 2020 will be held virtually through the week of November 16th - 20th, 2020, and the deadline for panel submission is extended for an additional four weeks, until June 12th, 2020.

CSPC encourages organizations from across Canada and around the world to submit their proposals as they can now participate at CSPC 2020 from their offices and homes!

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 June 12th, 2020.

The 12th Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC 2020), will be held virtually on November 16-20th, 2020.  

General points:

  • CSPC 2020 will be held virtually over five days (Nov. 16th -20th) and will feature plenaries, concurrent panel sessions and networking sessions.
  • For 2020, CSPC has adopted modified criteria for panel ranking. Please read the full criteria listed below carefully.
  • There will be no fees for panel proposal submission or for presenting a panel at CSPC 2020, should your proposal be selected.
  • All panel organizers are encouraged to use tools such as audience polls and similar tools and formats, which facilitate meaningful engagement with the audience. While the platform of delivery for CSPC 2020 is still being finalized, opportunities for interactive discussion remains one of the prominent goals of panel discussions.
  • 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. Diversity criteria (including gender, sector, region, etc.) will also be factored for the final selection of panels.
  • While submissions on analyzing the new realities in a post pandemic world are expected, we continue to encourage solution oriented and futuristic discussions.

Proposals will be ranked based on the following criteria:

  1. Quality of the proposed session: proposal description and justification (30%)
  2. Representation of a diverse range of panelists (20%)
  3. Quality of the speakers and moderator (15%)
  4. Novelty and significance of the topic: (15%)
  5. Choice of panel format and its interactivity (10%)
  6. Alignment with the conference objectives and conference themes (10%)

Please read the full description of criteria below.

1. Quality of the proposed session: proposal description and justification (30%)

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

  • A clear justification of the importance of the panel discussion and demonstration of comprehension of the issue to be presented by the panel.
  • The value of this panel to be discussed at CSPC 2020, in terms of follow ups, calls to action, influencing a change, presenting new insights.

2. Representation of a diverse range of panelists (20%)

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 should strive for equal representation of genders, 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.

Geographical diversity: As CSPC 2020 will be a virtual conference, geographical diversity is an important criteria and having more diversity of regions among panelists is positively regarded.

Panels must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Panels must be gender-diverse; single gender panels will not be accepted.
  • Panelists must represent at least two different provinces; more diverse geographical representation, including international panelists, will result in higher ranking.
  • 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.

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

As the choice of the moderator is also very important, 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 diversity or quality requirements.

4. Novelty and significance of the topic: (15%)

The world has significantly changed as a result of the pandemic. Submissions must reflect the issues that have significant impacts on our lives, or present novel topics, ideas and approaches in-line with new realities of our world. In particular, we encourage futuristic and solution oriented discussions and analyses.

5. Choice of panel format and interactivity (10%)

Previous conference attendees have expressed a desire for more discussion and interaction amongst conference attendees to showcase different 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 category will be evaluated against each other.

The descriptions of 90 minute 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.

Given the virtual nature of this year’s conference, we encourage panels to be creative in finding new ways to engage with attendees through the online format.

6. 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 overarching theme for this year’s conference is, CSPC 2020: New Decade, New Realities: Hindsight, Insight, Foresight.

The conference themes are outlined below and details can be found here:

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


June 12th, 2020: Proposal submission deadline

Mid-late July, 2020: Proponents notified as to proposal acceptance

August 7th, 2020: Submission of 100 words abstract and panelists information (confirmation, biographies, headshots)

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

November 16th - 20th, 2020: Sessions delivered online