Submitting Proposals

  • How do I set up a new account to submit a proposal on the MPSA website?
    View helpful tips and screenshots on how to create your MPSA account here.
  • The proposal link keeps taking me to the same homepage, but does not allow me to submit. HELP!
    When logged into your MPSA account, you should see a button on the right hand side that reads “Click Here to Submit a Proposal”. If this button is not visible, you may see a different button that says “Complete My Profile.” You must complete/update your profile before you are able to submit a proposal. Once you’ve updated each profile screen, a link will be available at the end to submit your proposal.
  • I tried completing my profile, but my institution isn’t showing up in your database as an affiliation option. How do I add this?
    If your institution is not listed, please contact us at with the institution name. Once we have made the update, we will respond so that you may log back in and complete your profile.
  • I am a first-year graduate student. What sections may I submit my proposal to?
    First year graduate students may only submit to subfields which is Section 76-81. Review the section descriptions here:
  • What is the difference between a regular section and a subfield?
    The difference will be the presentation format. Papers, roundtables and complete panel formats are available for Sections 2-73. For subfields (Section 76-81), the format will be a Lightning Talk. Review this page for descriptions of each format:
  • I am a PhD student and unable to submit a complete panel. Why is it this option not visible when logged in?
    You must hold a terminal degree in order to submit a proposal. If another panel participant has a terminal degree (including the discussants), they may submit the complete panel proposal.
  • Do I submit my full paper or just the abstract and overview?
    You cannot submit a full paper to the proposal submission system, only the abstract and overview. If your proposal is accepted, you will receive instructions in the Spring about how to submit your paper to the members of your panel by uploading it to the MPSA paper archive.
  • When will I hear if my proposal has been accepted?
    For important dates and deadlines including proposal acceptance, please review here:
  • I’m an undergraduate student. Can I present on a paper session?
    Undergraduate students are only eligible to participate and present on undergraduate poster sessions.

Registration and Receipts

  • Are hotel accommodations and meals included in the conference registration fee?
    No. Neither meals nor hotel accommodations are included with your conference registration fee. You are responsible for making your own hotel and childcare reservations. Please see information about making reservations at our official conference hotels here and information on our Childcare Scholarships here.
  • How can I access a receipt for my conference registration?
    Print registration receipts directly from the website by logging in to your MPSA account, click on your name (person icon) in the top right-hand corner. Then click “My profile”. Then select “Orders & Payments”. All previous orders will be visible. Select “View/Print” beside the order for which you need a receipt. You then have the option to download or print.
  • I have been invited to speak on a panel, and I am not a member of MPSA. Do I have to register for the conference? 
    Everyone who attends the conference must register. There are no exceptions. The Conference Fee Waiver Scholarship is available on a first-come, first-served basis for international scholars from developing countries and individuals who are not political scientists, if they have not attended the conference before.
  • Why is the conference registration fee higher if I do not stay in a conference hotel?
    When the MPSA negotiates a contract with a conference hotel, the association receives free meeting space in exchange for a guarantee that it will use a specific number of sleeping rooms. If attendees do not use the required number of sleeping rooms, the MPSA must pay the cost for these unused rooms, which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, the more sleeping rooms that conference attendees use, the more attractive the MPSA conference becomes to a hotel, and the MPSA can negotiate even lower room rates.
  • If I have already registered for the conference but decide not to attend, can I get a refund?
    The MPSA has a “no refund” policy.
  • What if I need to change my participation status from in-person to virtual, or vice versa?
    If you register for in-person attendance and are unable to travel, you can change your registration status to virtual if you are participating on a session featuring a hybrid format (Panel/Paper sessions, Roundtables, Lightning Talks and Working Groups). You may also switch your registration status from virtual to in-person as needed. If you have a participatory role (presenter, chair, discussant) on a Poster session, you will not be able to switch your registration status from in-person to virtual as this session type is available for in-person participation only. Information on how to update your participation will be available in Spring 2025. Adjustments to registration pricing (based on in-hotel/virtual, out-hotel status) will be processed accordingly. If a balance is due, your registration will not be updated until the balance is paid in full. Any refunds due to registration status changes will be issued after the conference.
  • I am registered for in-person participation, but want to attend some sessions virtually. Do I need to adjust my registration?
    No, unless you are planning to be fully-virtual, you do not need to update your registration type. Regardless of registration participation status (in-person or virtual) all conference registrants have access to the online virtual conference platform.
  • Do I have to purchase a membership to register for the conference?
    No, you are not required to purchase a membership prior to registering for the conference. However, please note that MPSA members receive significant discounts. Learn more about the benefits of MPSA membership here, membership categories here, and join/renew here.
  • If I purchase a membership, do I also have to register for the conference?
    MPSA membership is not the same as conference registration. To register for the conference at the member rate, please note that conference registration must be made as a second transaction after purchasing the membership.
  • Do I have to present at the conference to attend?
    No. While most of the conference attendees are participating as presenters, all political science students and scholars are welcome to attend. The same registration rates and deadlines apply for all conference attendees.


  • Does the MPSA check to see if a person has registered in a non-conference hotel?
    The MPSA counts on you to be honest when you select a registration rate and pay to attend the conference. We have restructured our registration system so we can confirm that people who register at the lower in-hotel rate are really staying in the Palmer House or an official conference overflow hotel. If a person registers for the conference at the lower in-hotel rate but is not a registered guest in an official conference hotel, they will be billed for the difference between the in-hotel and out-of-hotel rates. Be aware that if you are not officially registered as a guest in the hotel, you are not staying in that hotel. If you are sharing a room with another person, be sure that you register at the hotel check-in desk when you arrive at the hotel.
  • What happens if the Palmer House sells out of rooms?
    As the MPSA conference has grown over the past several years, rooms at the Palmer House have sold out. When this has happened, the MPSA has negotiated additional blocks of rooms at other hotels. We will continue to try to negotiate additional room blocks once the Palmer House sells out: however, ultimately it is your responsibility to make your reservations in a timely manner.

Preparing for the Conference

  • My proposal was accepted for the conference. How to I respond to my invitation for conference participation?
    Please login and to confirm or deny your participation here. Instruction on how to RSVP to your role can be found here. Remember to coordinate with your co-authors; if you are not planning on attending, you must DECLINE your role(s). If you are an author on a paper and have a co-author who ACCEPTS their role, the paper will remain on the program and the person who accepts will continue to receive updated conference information via email.
  • My proposal has been accepted. What date/time is my session? 
    You can find your schedule online by searching the preliminary conference schedule here. You will be asked to set your time zone before you can view the program. The online program is searchable by participant name, session format, section and date/time.
  • Can I submit a special scheduling request for my presentation date and time?
    By submitting a proposal, individuals agree to be available to participate in sessions during any of the four days of the conference. Requests for specific days or times for participation are not accepted, except for reasons related to religious observance or unusual family circumstances. Though the MPSA does value teaching, approximately 80% of attendees teach and we cannot schedule around participant’s teaching schedule. Special scheduling requests must be submitted to the Conference Director ( no later than the cutoff date for special scheduling requests found here.
  • How long will I have to present my paper?
    For Panel/Paper sessions, each author presents an abbreviated version of their paper (e.g.  if 5 presenters, 10 minutes; if 4 presenters, 13 minutes; if 3 presenters, 14 minutes), followed by comments from all discussants, and each session ending in audience discussion. The program will list the exact time for each paper to be presented, the times for discussants to speak, and the time for questions from the audience. During a Lightning Talks, six to eight papers are presented using brief PowerPoint presentations (six-minute maximum). After each presentation, there will be two minutes of Q&A. At the conclusion of the presentations, there can be more extensive Q&A about any of the papers. The chair(s) will keep the presentations to the exact time limit, so presenters need to have their presentation rehearsed in advance. View session times and formats here.
  • How do I obtain a letter of invitation for the conference so that I may apply for a Visa?
    Participants may request a letter of invitation for a Visa to attend the MPSA Annual Conference by logging into their MPSA account and clicking “Request a Letter of Invitation”. If you have not done so already, you will be prompted to complete your MPSA profile prior to obtaining a copy of the letter. Please note that the MPSA is unable to to advocate on your behalf if your Visa application is denied.

Contracts and Labor Issues

Although hotel strikes are not anticipated in Chicago in April, recent labor issues in other states have highlighted the importance of ensuring MPSA is prepared for similar situations in the future. To this end, MPSA has reviewed contracts with the Palmer House Hilton and Chicago Hilton hotels, along with agreements with other conference vendors, including the conference proposal submission system and virtual conference platform provider, onsite registration system and conference app provider, and exhibit hall and event setup company, as well as the conference insurance policy to better understand the implications of potential labor issues for the association.

  • Do MPSA governing documents indicate a preference for union labor and catering services?
    MPSA governing documents do not currently indicate a preference for union labor and catering services, however MPSA has been under contract with the Palmer House Hilton and Hilton Chicago, both union hotels, for many years. Future hotel contracts would consider these factors if the conference location were to change.
  • Do the MPSA contracts with the Palmer House Hilton or Hilton Chicago contain language about labor or labor conditions regarding the MPSA Annual Conference?
    The contracts contain the following language related to labor: The Hotel agrees to notify MPSA in writing within ten (10) days after it becomes aware of any labor relations dispute involving the Hotel and its employees including, but not limited to, union picketing, the filing of an Unfair Labor Practice charge by a union, the expiration of a negotiated labor contract, an existing or impending strike or lockout or any other matter which could reasonably be construed as a labor‐management relations dispute. The Hotel shall advise MPSA of city-wide conditions that would affect the meeting, especially strikes of public transportation/safety workers and renovations of transportation services/routes within ten (10) days after it becomes aware of these.
  • What penalties would MPSA face if cancelling the conference due to a labor stoppage? Would conference insurance cover these penalties?
    Depending upon the timing of a cancellation, potential penalties could include up to sixty percent of anticipated net revenue from hotel sleeping rooms, as well as non-refundable costs for the proposal submission system, onsite registration system, conference app, print program, event set up fees, security and temp staff services, conference equipment, shipping fees, and other miscellaneous costs, including registration fee refunds. Conference insurance provides coverage for labor stoppages that halt hotel operations but does not distinguish between union or supplemental labor. If the hotels continue to operate during a labor stoppage or strike conference insurance would not cover losses incurred by cancellation of the conference.
  • What is the chain of command regarding decisions about cancelling, postponing, or moving the conference fully online?
    Decisions regarding changes to conference format, timing, or cancellation made within three months of the scheduled conference start date will be made by the MPSA Executive Committee (President, President-elect, Past President, and Executive Director) with input from the MPSA Council. If less than three months from the conference, the Executive Committee will make every effort to convene the Council if time allows and will attempt to consult the Council before deciding, depending on the timing and urgency of the issue. Decisions regarding changes to conference format, timing, or cancellation made outside of the three-month window will be subject to a vote of the Council.

Conference Policies

Additional Questions?