Published: Oct. 31, 2016

The Center for Values and Social Policy is pleased to announce the CVSP Undergraduate Research Conference on Normative Issues in Social Policy, Saturday, April 22, 2017, at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The conference features a keynote address by Helen Frowe, Professor of Practical Philosophy, University of Stockholm Director, Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace, and a $250 Prize for Best Undergraduate Paper.

Debates about controversial social policies often have a purely factual, empirical component. These include questions such as how much a policy like universal health care would cost to implement and whether the practice of capital punishment reduces the rate of crime. But most discussions of controversial social policies also have a significant normative component. These include questions such as whether affirmative action is unjust, whether punishing young teenagers as adults is unfair, whether abortion violates the fetus's right to life, whether permitting the sale of human organs fails to treat people with the appropriate kind of respect, and so on. The focus of this conference will be on these kinds of normative questions as they relate to actual or proposed social policies.

The conference is open to all undergraduates who are currently enrolled at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Papers that were written for a class assignment as well as papers written exclusively for this conference are eligible. Papers should be approximately 3000 words long and should address at least one normative question relating to at least one kind of social policy. To submit a paper, send a Word or pdf version to If the paper was written for a course, it should indicate the name of the course. The paper should not include the author's name or any other identifying features. In addition, each submission should include a short abstract (approximately 150-200 words) that briefly describes what the paper is about. The deadline for submission is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 30, 2016. Questions should be directed to (10/31/16)