2018 Student Essay Contest Launched By CIC Victoria and UVictoria

In cooperation with the CIC Victoria Branch, the Centre for Global Studies is sponsoring an essay competition with three cash prizes for senior undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University.

Students are invited to submit essays in Word format, double-spaced and not exceeding 3,500 words that address subjects related to Canada’s interests and values as they pertain to our future roles and presence in the world.  Essays cannot have been previously published, but need not be written specifically for the contest.  Papers submitted for academic credit are also welcome, provided they are relevant to the themes noted below.


First Prize $1,000
Second Prize $500
Third Prize $250

1) Global Populism, Protectionism & Polarisation: Risks & Opportunities for Canada

Some believe that the populist wave has already peaked but others see more ominous signs on the horizon, including a more isolationist United States paralyzed by internal political divisions, a weakened and politically fragmented European Union, rising economic protectionism, growing tensions in East Asia and a further destabilized Middle East.  Essays addressing this theme will discuss the risks and opportunities for Canada in:

  • Expanding our global trade efforts
  • Promoting multilateralism and global governance
  • Confronting global migration and refugee movement
  • Harnessing social media to advance our interests and values
  • Upholding and enhancing the global human rights regime

2) Security Threats in an Uncertain World

Canadians are constantly inundated by images of global threats in the mass media, including terrorism, transnational organized crime, mass migration, pandemic disease, cyber warfare or climate change.  Essays in this theme will explore aspects of Canada’s likely future involvement in confronting the challenges posed by:

  • International terrorism and radicalization
  • Transnational organized crime
  • The global refugee crisis
  • Pandemic disease
  • Cyber threats
  • Emerging technologies
  • Climate change in general or in Canada’s Arctic region
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Interstate or intrastate conflict



Essays should include a cover page with the title, the key research question, a summary of the findings (max 150 words) and its (practical or policy) implications (max 150 words).  Essays should also display original thought, sound research principles and follow established academic practice with regard to citations, plagiarism and will provide necessary references.

The essays will be adjudicated by a committee composing of representatives from the CIC Victoria Branch and the Centre for Global Studies. Evaluation will be made based on originality, presentation of argument, policy relevance and overall scholarly excellence. The winning paper will be offered the opportunity to be published on the CIC national website and the winning authors will be invited to present their papers to the CIC Victoria Branch and the Centre for Global Studies as part of their “Global Talk” series.

Essays should be submitted as one PDF file by email no later than 1 March 2018 to: cfgsra@uvic.ca and addressed to Dr. Oliver Schmidtke, Director, Centre for Global Studies with “CIC-CFGS Essay Contest“ in the subject line.  Winning entries will be notified within 30 days of the close of the contest.  All entries will become the property of the CIC Victoria Branch and the Centre for Global Studies.