The National Student and Thought Leadership Awards in Public Administration

About the Award

The National Student and Thought Leadership Awards in Public Administration is a joint initiative of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) and the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA). The award recognizes and showcases the top talent emerging from Canadian programs each year. 

CAPPA members from across Canada solicit and judge entries (best paper, best professional report, or best graduating student) from their students and select a winner at the undergraduate or graduate levels. 

The winners from each program are invited to present their work at IPAC’s National Annual Conference in front of a panel of judges. Judges will select and rank the three best presentations for the Thought Leadership Awards. 

The Prizes are as follows:

  • $1000 for Gold
  • $500 for Silver 
  • $250 for Bronze 

Funding to attend the Annual Conference

  • IPAC will cover the conference registration fee for the winners. 
  • It is the responsibility of each university program to secure funding to cover the student's travel and hotel costs. Funding can be solicited from: university travel funds for students, student societies, program resources, local and provincial governments, IPAC regional groups, and local sponsors.

Key Dates

Submission Deadline  June 29, 2019
 Winners Notified  In late June, the winners will be notified and can begin making arrangements to attend the Annual Conference.
Presentations & Announcement of Winners IPAC’s 71st Annual Conference, August 18-21, 2019, Winnipeg

Criteria for Assessment

Judges will use the following criteria to judge the presentations: 

  • Visual appeal: first good impression? Grab attention of viewer? Achieved through good layout, use of color, title, and other graphic devices.
  • Brevity: makes points quickly through good visual/word balance.
  • Coherence: logical unified statement requiring no further explanation, capable of standing alone; and intellectually accessible to audience.
  • Direction: simplicity, focus, easy to follow from point to point.
  • Evidence: argument must be supported by evidence; properly and accurately referenced.
  • Content: innovative, new ways to look at or conceptualize old or contemporary problems; applications from other fields or methodologies to problems of public policy or public management; importance or salience of the issue that the e-poster addresses; and potential for transferability across jurisdictions; potential for conversion (of idea) into a benefit for public good.


Nominations should be sent to:

Belle Young 
[email protected] 
(250) 721-8056

Packages should include: 

  • nominator's name and contact information
  • nominee's name and contact information
  • a brief bio (no more than 100 words)
  • synopsis of accomplishment


  • Gold - Keith Da Silva
    •  Johnson-Shoyama
  • Silver - Clayton Neufeldt
    • Simon Fraser University
  • Bronze - Marie-Thérèse Dugas
    • ENAP
Gold: Megan Semaniuk, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta
Silver: Halena Seiferling, School of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University
Bronze: Tara Todd, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy