Terms of Reference | Annex I | Annex II

CPSA Poster Prize - Terms of Reference

  1. The CPSA Programme Committee (the Committee) will normally award the CPSA Poster Prize (the prize) every year. However, the Committee may decide not to award a prize in any given year.
  2. In the implementation of these Terms of Reference, the Committee shall act through and be represented by the Posters Section Head.
  3. Posters are selected by the Posters Section Head for the Posters Session(s) of the CPSA Annual Conference.
  4. Posters disseminate work that relies heavily on tables, graphs or figures; non-dissertation and dissertation work by graduate students; and work that has only preliminary results. 
  5. The Posters Session(s) is/are only open to students who are currently registered in a graduate program. Instructions on "Deadlines," "Who Can Submit," "Submissions from Student Members," "Number of Proposals," "Submission to a Specific Section," "Official Languages," and "Types of Proposals," are included in the CPSA Annual Call for Proposals.
  6. Eligible posters may be single-authored or multi-authored.
  7. In the case of a single-authored poster, the presenter must be a member of the CPSA in the year the poster is considered for the prize. In the case of a multi-authored poster, at least one of the presenters must be a member of the CPSA in the year the poster is considered for the prize. The membership fee must be received at the CPSA Secretariat by the early registration deadline, which usually falls on March 31.
  8. The Posters Section Head shall be responsible for the administration and granting of the prize. This responsibility includes ensuring the regular granting of the prize, the integrity of the adjudication process, and publicity surrounding the granting of the prize.
  9. The selection of the recipient of the prize will be the responsibility of the Posters Section Head. In making the award, the Posters Section Head will seek the recommendation of the Prize Jury (jury), which will be advised by at least two discussants.
  10. The Posters Section Head may also appoint discussants for each day. Discussants are not members of the jury, but instead are responsible for asking questions to the poster presenters at the conclusion of the presentation. Ideally there should be three discussants per day.
  11. The jury and the discussants will be appointed by the Posters Section Head, with due regard for the characteristics of the CPSA membership – including, but not necessarily restricted to, gender, region and linguistic community.
  12. The jury will be responsible for nominating the recipient of the prize.
  13. The jury should feel free to recommend that no prize be given if in their view no presentation worthy of the prize is made.
  14. The jury will consist of:
    1. A single team of three judges, including the chair; or
    2. Multiple teams of three judges supervised by one chair.
  15. The Posters Section Head decides how many teams are required based on the number of poster presentations to be assessed.
  16. At least one jury member per team should be able to read and to interact both in English and French.
  17. Jury members can sit on the jury for up to two consecutive years.
  18. In the case of a single team:
    1. The jury assesses the posters in a one round process;
    2. The poster presenter with the highest score wins the prize;
    3. If at all possible, the jury should choose the winning poster by consensus;
    4. If the jury is unable to reach a consensus, a majority vote will determine the winning poster;
    5. One jury member is responsible for the initial tabulation of the scores, and a second jury member confirms the tabulation is correct.
  19. In the case of multiple teams:
    1. The teams assess the posters in a two-round process;
    2. Presenters are divided between a number of clusters equal to the number of judging teams;
    3. Each team assesses all posters within a given cluster;
    4. The Posters Section Head decides how many finalists (one or more) from each cluster are selected for the second round;
    5. Finalists are asked to attend the second round and to be ready to answer a few questions from judges;
    6. At least three jury members, including the chair, assess the poster presentations during the second round;
    7. The poster presenter(s) with the highest score(s) is/are selected for the second round, following the number decided by the Posters Section Head;
    8. Jury members involved in the second round deliberate to select the winning poster;
    9. Sections 18 ii, iii, iv and v apply.
  20. The Posters Section Head is responsible to announce the finalists and to organize both rounds in a convenient way given the constraints of the conference.
  21. See "ANNEX I" for presenters' instructions and details about the competition during the Annual Conference; and "ANNEX II" for the judging criteria.
  22. A jury member shall not judge / a discussant shall not comment on a poster if he/she:
    1. Is in any way related to the author of the poster;
    2. Is the author's thesis supervisor.
  23. At any time during the jury deliberations, a judge or discussant who considers that he or she has a conflict of interest (for example, judging the work of a student in his or her department, a co-author or a former student) shall remove himself or herself, and a substitute shall be appointed.
  24. The award presentation takes place at the President's Dinner. The Posters Section Head can select an alternative but equally prominent time and venue.
  25. The winner(s) will receive a three-year CPSA membership (including a three-year subscription to the Canadian Journal of Political Science).
  26. The Posters Section Head, in consultation with the CPSA Secretariat, will oversee the implementation of the prize process.


  1. Posters should contain the following information:
    • the title and author(s);
    • the current degree program or last degree of the author;
    • the abstract (in large font);
    • an introduction to the research question, methods (as appropriate), results, and a short bibliography; and
    • any tables or figures that communicate the results of the research.
  2. Posters are to be 3' x 4' in size.  Beyond size, there is no specific format for either the visual display of the poster or the three-minute presentations (see sections 4, 5, and 6 below).  The judges encourage creativity, clarity and communication of scholarly contributions and will be looking for these during the adjudication process.
  3. A poster board surface, 4' high and 8' wide, will be provided for poster presenters. It is expected that each board will hold four (4) posters (2 on each side).  Fastening pins will be available at the conference but presenters are permitted to bring their own fastening materials.
  4. Poster presenters:
    • should note that visual representations of results will be more effective than text (Click HERE to see winning and runner-up posters in previous competitions);
    • should send a .pdf version of the poster to the CPSA Secretariat for uploading to the CPSA Web site one week prior to the conference start date;
    • must prepare their poster for display and be present at their poster session if they wish to be considered for the prize; 
    • are expected to prepare a three-minute presentation of the poster for the jury.
  5. Presentations must NOT exceed three minutes. There will be a deduction of points to any presenter who exceeds the three-minute limit AND he/she will be cut off from continuing his/her oratory past that three-minute window. 
  6. Presenters are permitted to pre-record these presentations and to display them for the judges. If this option is chosen, presenters must provide whatever technology they desire to facilitate the playback of the pre-recorded presentation.
  7. The jury and discussants will visit each poster. The jury will use a judging rubric sheet to score each poster applying the following criteria, approved at the CPSA Board of Directors meeting of December 3, 2005: visual impact, clarity and scholarly contribution (see ANNEX II). 
  8. The Posters Section Head will email:
    • the name of the poster winner to the CPSA Secretariat by noon, on the day of the President's Dinner;
    • a separate message to the CPSA Secretariat and the finalists (the winner and up to two runner ups - three students, in total), by noon, on the day of the President's Dinner, inviting them to attend the dinner; the message will inform them that they are the finalists; no mention will be made regarding the identity of the winner; there shall be an embargo on any communication regarding the name of the winner until the announcement is made at the CPSA dinner;
    • a 100-word citation to be posted as the "Excerpt from jury report" on the CPSA Web site (click HERE to see previous prize citations) to the CPSA Secretariat one week after the conference at the latest.
  9. A ticket is reserved for the finalists in case they have not already purchased a ticket. The finalists are asked to settle the ticket with the CPSA Secretariat at their earliest convenience. 
  10. The e-mail addresses listed on the on-line programme will be used to contact presenters.  If poster presenters will not have access to their e-mails at the conference, they are asked to submit a telephone number to the CPSA Secretariat one week before the conference. 
  11. If the winner is unable to attend the dinner, the prize will be available for pick-up at the CPSA Information Table until the last day of the conference. If the winner is unable to pick-up the prize, it will be mailed after the conference by the CPSA Secretariat
  12. If desired, the winning poster may be displayed at the CPSA Information Table until the last day of the conference.


NAME OF POSTER PRESENTER _______________________________________

TITLE OF POSTER/PAPER ____________________________________________

CURRENT OR LAST DEGREE OF PRESENTER _______________________________

DATE _______________________________

Judging will be based on the following criteria
(50-point maximum)

Oral Comments (1-10)
Is the presenter engaging, concise clear and logical in three-minute overview?


Visual Impact (1-15)
Does the poster have aesthetic appeal, good graphics and visuals of high quality?
Does it appear professional, and is it easy to read including from a reasonable distance?


Contribution (1-10)
Is there a compelling contribution to the discipline/scholarly debate and/or policy/society?                                                                        


Creativity (1-10)
Is there originality in scholarly substance, and/or presentation style and/or visual appeal?


Overall Impression (1-5)
Summative of all criteria above.                                               




 Time Deduction*


*NOTE: 5 points will be automatically deducted if the oral comments exceed the three-minute time allotted.