Most appointments for future committees are made by the President-elect. If a new committee is needed, it is appointed by the President. Two committees (Finance Committee and the Executive Committee) include specific officers of the MPSA.

The President-elect appoints the Conference Program Chairs, and they in turn, appoint the remainder of the 90+ person program committee. Though not everyone can be placed on a committee, professional members who wish to volunteer to serve on a committee may do so by completing the following form.

In this Section

Administrative Committees
Status Committees
Conference Program Committees
Awards Committees

Administrative Committees 

Nominations Committee for the MPSA Council

This standing committee has five members. Nominations for officers are solicited from the membership, and the nominations committee selects a slate of officers, including:

  • President-elect (who becomes President and then Immediate Past President)
  • Five Council Members, serving three-year terms
  • One Vice President, serving a two-year term
  • Any other vacancies on the Council

The election of officers occurs at the Business Meeting at the MPSA Conference or by a ballot sent to members if required. The positions of Executive Director, Treasurer, Program Chair(s), and Editor(s) are appointed. If you or a colleague are interested in serving on the MPSA Council, please complete the MPSA Council Member Nomination form in order to be considered by the Nominations Committee. Self-nominations are accepted.

Finance Committee

This standing committee is chaired by the Treasurer and includes the three Vice Presidents and the Executive Director (ex officio). The committee reviews the investments and can recommend changes in the investment policy.

Executive Committee

This committee is chaired by the MPSA President, and includes the President-elect, the Immediate Past President, and the Executive Director (ex officio).

Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE)

The Committee on Professional Ethics has nine members, serving staggered three-year terms. Informed by APSA’s Ethics Guide (2012) COPE is charged with addressing complaints of ethical problems, personal abuse, and/or retaliation allegedly caused by political scientists during their professional capacity at the MPSA. Activities include the investigation and adjudication of complaints and counter-complaints made by:

Publishing Ethics Committee

Any issues relevant to the conflicts of interest listed below pertaining to the American Journal of Political Science (AJPS) should be directed to the Publishing Ethics Committee. The Publishing Ethics Committee comprised of Sarah Binder of George Washington University (chair), Ray Duch of the University of Oxford and Laurel Weldon of Simon Frasier University may be contacted by email at

Not all conflicts of interest are prohibited or harmful to the MPSA. The association recognizes that our association, disciplines, and scholarly communities are relatively small, with potentially complex (collegial or competitive) relationships. However, the following professional or personal relationships between authors and editors are conflicts of interest that are prohibited:

  • current or former dissertation committee chair or committee member (ever)
  • current colleagues at the same institution
  • current professional research, teaching or funding collaborators
  • current or former spouses or partners

Status Committees

The Status Committees will help ensure that MPSA’s programs and events are useful and remain relevant and accessible to the underrepresented groups in the profession at all levels, from graduate students to faculty. The committees will prepare reports for the MPSA Council on their findings and help advance research on these topics. These committees should collaborate with each other as well as with the relevant Caucus groups or groups from other political science associations. Each committee is comprised of nine individuals serving staggered three-year terms. The two committees are:

  • Committee on the Status of Gender and Sexual Minorities in Political Science
  • Committee on the Status of Ethnic and Racial Minorities in Political Science

Conference Program Committee

The Program Chair(s) appoint the members of the conference program committee no later than February of the year prior to the conference for which they are responsible. Each committee member serves as chair of a section (a subfield or a slice of a subfield) and is responsible for accepting or rejecting proposals submitted to their section. In addition, committee members/section chairs organize accepted papers into panels and identify chairs and discussants for each panel. Committee members meet in September at the American Political Science Association conference, about six months prior to their MPSA conference, where they receive a program manual with detailed instructions.  The allocation of sessions to each section is made about a week after the paper proposal deadline.

Awards Committees

Committee on Awards. The MPSA President will appoint a five-person ad hoc Committee on Awards to review the nomination(s) of new awards or travel scholarships and make a recommendation to the Council that takes note of all relevant factors. This committee will also evaluate recommendations to name current awards, as well create new awards. This five-member ad hoc committee may be asked by the President to make the nominations to the Awards Committees and the Graduate Student Travel Scholarship Committee, or the President-elect may do it. The Committee on Awards also recommends whether new awards proposed by members should be created (MPSA Policy on Naming Awards).

Awards Committees. The MPSA provides awards in several categories – Flagship Awards, Field Awards, Subfield Awards, and Career Stage Awards, as well as Graduate Student Travel Scholarships. There are five members on the committees for the Flagship Awards and Travel Scholarship Awards, and the remainder of the award committees have three members. The awards are $250 except as noted below. Committee members make their selections of the winners in the winter of the year after the conference. The chair of each paper or career stage award committee presents the award the following year during the Business Meeting at the Annual Conference. The current awards include:

Flagship Awards

  • Pi Sigma Alpha Award. Best paper presented at the annual MPSA conference. Sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha. The nomination pool are the papers that received a Field Award.
  • AJPS Best Article Award. A $1,000 award for the best article appearing in the volume of the American Journal of Political Science published in the year preceding the conference.

Field Awards

  • Best Paper in International Relations.
  • Best Paper in Political Behavior.
  • Best Paper in American Politics.
  • Evan Ringquist Award. Best paper on the topic of political institutions.
  • Kellogg/Notre Dame Award. Best paper in comparative politics.
  • Kenneth J. Meier Award. Best paper in bureaucratic politics, public administration, or public policy.
  • Review of Politics Award. Best paper in normative political theory.
  • Robert H. Durr Award. Best paper applying quantitative methods to a substantive problem.

Subfield Awards

  • Lucius Barker Award. Best paper on a topic investigating race or ethnicity and politics and honoring the spirit and work of Professor Barker.
  • Patrick J. Fett Award. Best paper on the scientific study of Congress or the presidency.
  • Sophonisba Breckinridge Award. Best paper on the topic of women and politics.

Career Stage Awards

  • Best Paper by an Emerging Scholar. Best paper, regardless of field or topic, by a scholar or scholars who has or have received the terminal degree(s) within six years of the year in which the paper was presented.
  • Best Paper by a Graduate Student Award. Best paper delivered by a graduate student.
  • Best Paper by an Undergraduate Student Award. Best paper delivered by an undergraduate.
  • Richard E. Matland Award. Best paper by an emerging scholar in representation, elections, or voting. Author (or lead author) is an untenured faculty member or graduate student.
  • Herbert Simon Award. A $500 award for a scholar who has made a significant contribution to the scientific study of bureaucracy. Submissions are handled by the Midwest Caucus on Policy Administration.

Graduate Student Travel Scholarships Committee

The members of this five-person committee select recipients of the competitively awarded, $500 travel scholarships for graduate students to attend the MPSA Annual Conference. Learn more about Graduate Student Travel Scholarships here.

  • Harrell Rodgers Graduate Student Travel Scholarship
  • John Bohte Graduate Student Travel Scholarship
  • Luis R. Fraga Graduate Student Travel Scholarship
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Graduate Student Travel Scholarship
  • MPSA Status Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities Scholarship
  • MPSA Status Committee on Gender and Sexual Minorities Scholarship