March 26, 2021

UCalgary Political Science Congratulates: Laura Conrad!

2020–21 winner of a Canada Graduate Scholarship—Master’s

Congratulations to Laura Conrad on receiving a 2020–21 Canada Graduate Scholarship—Master’s

The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s (CGS M) program is to help develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies.



Would you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a first-year Master’s student in the Department of Political Science. I am originally from Winnipeg and completed my Bachelor of Arts, Honours from the University of Manitoba in June of 2020. My field of study is Canadian Politics, with a special interest in Canadian municipal politics. I am currently serving as the lead Research Assistant for the Canadian Municipal Barometer, which is directed by my advisor Dr. Jack Lucas. My interest in municipal politics stems from the fact that by in large, it is the level of government that has the largest impact on an individual’s everyday life. Despite this, municipal politics is considered to be a low-information arena and we routinely see lower voter turnout in municipal elections with less competition for elected seats. Outside of academia, I like to cheer on the Winnipeg Jets, spend time at my cottage, and binge-watch the latest Netflix shows.


What is your Master’s thesis going to be on?

One of the main functions of political parties is to recruit individuals to run for elected office. However, recruitment still occurs even in the absence of parties. My thesis is going to look at how political recruitment happens in the non-partisan environment of municipal politics by studying candidates for the upcoming Alberta municipal elections. I am interested in looking at who recruits into municipal politics, where candidates are recruited from, and how or if partisanship runs in the background of these seemingly non-partisan elections. I am especially interested in the gendered nature of recruitment. The prevailing literature concludes that women are less likely to be recruited than men and are also less likely to respond to recruitment than men, but I want to explore why this is the case and how the absence of political parties influences these conclusions.

What are you planning next?

First up is a move to Calgary! I was planning on moving last summer but my plans were changed with COVID, so I’m excited to finally move out West and get to know the city. The Canadian Municipal Barometer is also finishing up our 2021 survey so we will have lots of interesting analysis to do there.

Congratulations to Laura Conrad on your 2020–21 Canada Graduate Scholarships—Master’s!


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