SPE Elections for 2018-2019 team

By: Shawn McGuirk

July 23, 2018

We are starting our elections process for the coming year and are looking for motivated and driven individuals to join our executive and to put into action our plan for 2018-2019! Want to find out more? Join us at our SPE pub night at McKibbins Irish Pub, 6pm Thursday July 26, 2018!


To run for elections, please email us at contact@sp-exchange.ca and let us know what position you would like to be considered for. Please include a short blurb (300 words or less) describing why you are running for this position. The deadline to submit a nomination is August 10, 2018. Your name will be placed on a ballot and an election will take place in late August 2018 (date TBD).


On a separate note, if you are interested in volunteering for a specific project with us, please let us know as well! You do not need to apply for a position to volunteer or lead an event. Let us know why the event interest you, and we will get in touch with more details.


About us

Science & Policy Exchange is a Montreal based non-profit organization directed by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Our mission is to promote the student voice in policy discussions, and to bring together leading experts from academia, industry, and government to engage and inform students and the public on issues at the interface of science and policy.


We have many projects planned for the coming year - but we always welcome new ideas from volunteers! More details on specific projects below. If you want to find out more about SPE and our accomplishments over the last year, check out our “In Review” document here!



Positions available


Executive Committee


President (Co-President): Chair(s) of both the executive committee and board of directors, responsible for ensuring that tasks are done in a timely manner and according to SPE's vision for the year. Only those having previously held a position in SPE can run for President or co-President.


Treasurer: Responsible for managing SPE's finances and dealing with our lawyer whenever necessary. This includes filing a yearly report to the Canada Revenue Agency and drafting budgets for the year and for each event, as well as leading fundraising efforts like Grant applications and drafting documents used to attract and secure sponsors. The treasurer also sits on both the executive committee and board of directors.


VP Administration: Responsible for organizing and attending all SPE meetings (executive and board) and keeping standardized minutes. The VP Administration works closely with the President (or co-Presidents) also) and takes care of general administration including managing Slack and Google Drive, outlining SOPs, and can suggest new ways to improve efficiency within SPE.


VP External Relations: Responsible for managing communications with collaborators and partner groups, as well as contacting speakers for events. This position is critical to keeping SPE relevant in larger circles and assists with fundraising. The VP External Relations is also responsible for maintaining a database of contacts to ensure continuity.


VP Member Relations: Responsible for team management within SPE. The VP Member Relations leads recruitment activities and is the central point of contact for volunteers. Ensures follow-up with our volunteer base, recruits volunteers to projects where help is required, and helps volunteers develop new project ideas.


VP Marketing: Responsible for advertising our events (making posters, contacting media outlets, sending press releases to our partners, etc), developing targeted marketing plans, and assists with fundraising and recruitment when necessary. With their team, the VP Marketing will update the SPE in review and help develop an impact and visibility plan for fundraising.


VP Communications: Responsible for the public face of SPE, including social media and online presence outside of the website. This includes coordinating with the online presence of partners like Mitacs, FRQ, CSPC, etc. They manage Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, including managing teams of volunteers who help run these accounts.


VP News: Responsible for keeping up with science policy news at large and writing any News pieces that may be featured on the website or newsletter. Also drafts and publishes our monthly newsletter, and regularly feeds content and links to the VP Communications for social media.


Webmaster: Responsible for upkeep of the website, posting content, updating member profiles, and ensuring continued web traffic. Ideally the Webmaster would have experience in web design and/or graphic design.


Board of Directors


Internal Director (3 positions): Responsible for drafting and amending the strategic plan, to ensure the long-term vision for SPE along with the External Directors. Only those having previously held positions in SPE can run for Internal Director. SPE requires dedicated, committed, and passionate people to see its ideas and plans come into fruition.


External Director (5 positions): Responsible for ensuring the long-term vision for SPE along with the Internal Directors. These positions are reserved for professionals with experience in policy or other domains relevant to developing the long-term vision of SPE.



Projects for volunteers (let us know if you are interested!)


2019 Public Forum series

  • Free public forum events where we convene experts representing diverse perspectives, including scientific, clinical, social, business, and law, to discuss issues at the intersection between science and policy
  • Past topics include cannabis legalization, genetic sequencing and editing, mental health, and antibiotic resistance
  • Tasks involved - acquisition of funding, identification and invitation of experts, event planning logistics, marketing

Pan-Canadian consultation on the federal reform of graduate and postdoctoral fellowships

  • An online survey to gauge student and postdoc experiences with scholarships and fellowships, to identify gaps and unmet needs, and to generate report and recommendations
  • Tasks involved - design, generation, distribution, and advertisement of survey, creation and distribution of resulting report

2019 federal budget discussions

  • SPE will develop recommendations to submit to the government re new investments in federal funding for scholarship and fellowships
  • Tasks involved - brainstorm ideas to improve federal funding, help write FINA pre-budget submission, work on consultation described in item 2

Social media outreach

  • Tasks involved - work with our VP communications to maintain our social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

Interviews with MPs and policy leaders

  • New initiative to develop interview series with academic, policy, and student leaders
  • Tasks involved - identification and invitation of interviewees, development of interview questions, conducting of interviews, videography

Science & Policy Café organization

  • 3-4 small group science policy discussion and consultations held at a cafe, with predominantly students and postdocs in attendance, run in a “world cafe” format
  • Goal is to generate reports with locally implementable recommendations. Past topics include sustainability, gender gap in STEM careers, and cannabis legalization
  • Tasks involved - brainstorm topics, generate pre-cafe policy brief to guide discussions, writing of report post-café


  • Development of long-term fundraising plan, as well as securing funds for specific events with help of the project leads for each specific project.
  • Tasks involved - identification of potential donors, work with VP Marketing to develop branded merch (eg. tote bags, pins, reusable straws, etc.) fundraising campaign

Building a Canadian Science Policy Network

  • Connecting trainee-led science policy groups across Canada to facilitate better communication, organization, and collaboration
  • Tasks involved - connecting with other groups, establish Slack group, organize conference calls, develop mandate

Science policy workshops for students

  • Practical training for trainees looking to get exposure and experience in science policy work, e.g. writing policy briefs, science advice simulations, etc.
  • Tasks involved - identification of potential opportunities and partners for science policy training, development and organization of event, recruitment of participants

Making infographics summarizing our reports and recommendations

  • Creation of graphical summaries of our existing and upcoming reports and recommendations, eg. STEM education white paper and science diplomacy report
  • Task involved - work with our graphic designer, VP marketing, and other members to generate infographics

Any other ideas welcome! We encourage ALL volunteers to submit their ideas and work with the SPE team to develop them.