Population Change and Lifecourse

First CPS Graduate Research Development Conference

Graduate Research Development Conference Final Report

Project Description

The first-ever CPS Graduate Research Development Conference was held on May 29, 2009 at Carleton University, Ottawa in conjunction with the 2009 annual meeting of the Canadian Population Society. In keeping with the PCLC mandate, the primary goal of the conference was to provide the next generation of lifecourse/population researchers an accessible platform

What participants found useful about the Conference

The nature and depth of feedback from research trainers:

Most participants commented on the rich and detailed feedback they received from research trainers. The feedback included:

Students found the comments useful and many said that their research was greatly improved from these additional insights.

The Knowledge Mobilization Seminar

Participants unanimously praised Heather Juby's knowledge mobilization session as one of the most useful aspects of the conference. Most commented on her effective use of practical examples and found the skills taught immediately applicable to their own practices.

One student summed up the take away point of the knowledge mobilization session as:

It is generally agreed that doing scientific research is one thing, and passing on the information to an audience is quite another. Without adequate training, it is often difficult to hit the right note and hence the message invariably gets garbled. The insights gained from this session can therefore not be overemphasized enough.

Professionalization experience

Over and above the formal task of presenting and receiving feedback on their papers, many students reported many professionalization experiences as part of the broader value of the conference. For example, students remarked on

Others appreciated meeting the other student participants and the value of "building bridges between various universities and departments across Canada", which allowed them to see the issues and concerns of the-next generation of researchers in Canada.

How participants are passing on what they have learned

A requirement of the participating in the CPS graduate student conference was that each student must find some opportunity to disseminate what they have learned from the conference at their home universities. Below are a few of the initiatives student participants have been undertaking:

One student has already incorporated aspects from the Knowledge Mobilization seminar to be taught in an upcoming Research Methods course

Organizers & Attendees


  • Phillipa Chong, Ph.D. Student, University of Toronto

Graduate Student Participants

  • Jones Adjei, Queens University
  • Marisa Young, University of Toronto
  • Laura Templeton, University of Alberta
  • Adébiyi Boco, Université de Montréal
  • Julie Hudson, University of Alberta
  • Daniel Ciganda, University of Western Ontario
  • Lisa Kaida, University of Toronto
  • Marsha Brown, University of Western Ontario
  • George Fthenos, Universtiy of Western Ontario

Knowledge Mobilization Trainer

  • Heather Juby, Canadian Research Data Centre Network

Research Trainers

  • Roderic Beaujot, University of Western Ontario
  • Shron Lee, University of Victoria
  • Walter Omariba, Statistics Canada
  • Matin Spielauer, Statistics Canada
  • Zenaida Ravanera, University of Western Ontario
  • Barry Edmonston, Univerity of Victoria
  • Benoît Laplante, Institut national de la recherche scientifique
  • Betrand Desjardins, Université de Montréal

Suggestions for Future Conferences

The Role of the Trainers:

Some students felt that trainers should make a clearer distinction between comments on the paper and comments on the presentations. Also, several students would have liked to see a copy of their trainer's comments.

Changes in Conference Organization:

Feedback concerning the organization of the conference primarily focused on students' time with their research trainer.

Additional Program Components:

Students suggested programs that they would like to see included in future events, such as: