Connecting talented graduates with the Government of Canada
Apply today to the 2023-2024 National Student Paper Competition!
The National Student Paper Competition (NSPC), an annual competition, offers a unique opportunity for talented graduate students to connect with senior public servants, expand their networks, nurture their leadership skills, and foster employment opportunities with the federal public service.
For more information about the competition or the submission process, contact the NSPC team at nspc‑cneu@csps‑efpc.gc.ca.
Launched in 2013, the NSPC is an annual competition organized by the Canada School of Public Service in partnership with the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. The competition is also supported by various Canadian higher-education institutions and associations, including the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies.
The aim of the competition is two-fold:
Learn more about the benefits of this initiative:
Video: National Student Paper Competition
Government executives and past winners highlight the benefits of the National Student Paper Competition.
The Grand Prize winner(s) of the competition will receive the following:
The winner and the top five finalists will:
Winner of the 10th National Student Paper Competition - Lydia Laflamme (2022‑2023)
Lydia Laflamme, one of two winners of the 10th National Student Paper Competition, is a master's student in political science at Université Laval in Québec. She is a member of the Research Chair on Democracy and Parliamentary Institutions, the Université Laval Research Group in Politics and Cognition, and the Leadership Chair in the Teaching of Digital Social Sciences. Her main areas of research are political psychology and electoral politics in Quebec and the rest of Canada. More specifically, she studies intergroup conflict, the impact of identity on political attitudes, and the connections between voter well-being and behaviour.
Visit the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA) to read the paper written by Lydia Laflamme.
Winner of the 10th National Student Paper Competition - David Jones (2022‑2023)
David Jones, one of two winners of the 10th National Student Paper Competition, is a policy analyst and advisor, specializing in economics, healthcare and public policy. Currently, David is midway through the Master of Public Policy degree at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. He also studied Economics at the University of Cambridge. David is passionate about providing high-quality research, analysis and advice that both supports efficient policymaking and improves the welfare of society.
Visit the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA) to read the paper written by David Jones.
Video: Winner of the 9th National Student Paper Competition - Aisha Barkhad (2021-2022)
Graduate student Aisha Barkhad, winner of the 9th National Student Paper Competition, answers a series of questions about her experience during and after the competition.
Video: Winner of the 8th National Student Paper Competition - Bhajan Gill (2020-2021)
Bhajan Gill, winner of the 8th National Student Paper Competition and currently a policy analyst with the Canada School of Public Service, answers a series of questions about her experience during and after the competition.
Visit the CAPPA website to learn more about the top papers from past editions of the NSPC.
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, consider applying to the NSPC. Apply now
The NSPC initiative is committed to contributing to a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive Canadian public service. We strongly encourage the participation of students from equity-seeking groups, including graduate students with disabilities, 2SLGBTQI+ students and BIPOC students.
If you are interested in participating in the NSPC, you should:
The NSPC is designed to allow graduate students to share inspiring and innovative ideas on topics related to governance and the Public Service of Canada. Papers should focus on the current priorities and concerns of the Government of Canada. All submissions on any other issue relevant to the federal public service are also welcome. To understand our current priorities, see in particular:
More information is available on the websites of the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
Each paper should be a forward-looking think piece that explores innovative ideas and approaches to help position Canada and Canadians for the coming decade through solutions delivered by the Government of Canada.
In determining the paper's topic, applicants may want to consider the following questions:
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
Submitted papers must meet the following technical requirements:
The submitted papers will be evaluated using the matrix below.
After all submissions have been evaluated and the scores for each essay have been tallied, the authors of the five highest-scoring essays will be selected.
To determine the winner, the top five finalists will be asked to present their research to a panel of senior government executives. The panel will evaluate and rank the presentations to determine the winner based on their:
This competition is designed to remove barriers, ensure a fair assessment, and allow all candidates to fully demonstrate their competencies. Accommodation measures are available to applicants upon request by email or voluntary indication on the online submissions.
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