Introduced in 2014, the Pi Sigma Alpha National Student Research Conference provides a venue for for student members to present and receive feedback on their research, participate in professional development events, and network with fellow political science students, as well as industry professionals and faculty. Traditionally, the event is held in Washington, DC in winter/spring; though recently, the conference has provided virtual participation options as well.
This two-day event features 100-175 paper presentations by Pi Sigma Alpha members from around the world, as well as career events focused on graduate and law school, and working in government, advocacy, academic, and other settings. Each research panel includes a graduate student discussant, as well as a faculty chair, providing students with expert-level support and feedback to help them improve their research.
Pi Sigma Alpha is home to close to 850 chapters, and the diversity of those chapters is on display at the conference. Attendees from major research institutions as well as small liberal arts colleges take part in the event. For many students this is their first experience presenting at a conference, and this event provides a supportive atmosphere for them to network and improve their presentation skills.
Since Pi Sigma Alpha introduced the National Student Research Conference in 2014, the event has drawn thousands of students to DC. Many have used the conference as a jump off to law school or graduate school.
“Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha comes with many great benefits, with the opportunity to attend the National Research Conference being one of the most valuable,” notes Moataz Abdelrasoul, president of the Alpha Alpha Rho chapter at Youngstown State University and a two time attendee. “Presenting research, interacting with fellow panelists and discussants, and networking with Pi Sigma Alpha members from across the country, all combine to make the conference experience immensely beneficial for all involved.”
The conference call for submissions opens annually in the fall. If you are interested in attending, check the website often for conference submission details and/or reach out to the national office at firstname.lastname@example.org.