Call for abstracts, panels and workshops

The 12th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP) will be held in Vancouver, Canada on 16-18 May, 2018. The conference is hosted by Simon Fraser University's School of Criminology. Full conference details can be found at

Submission process: papers, panels, workshops

  • Submissions open: October 31 2017
  • Submissions close: January 11 2018

All submissions are peer reviewed, and decisions will be provided by the first week of February 2018.

  • A Paper presentation (15 mins);
  • A Panel session (3-4 speakers on the same topic, 1.5 hours);

A link to submit your abstract will be available here in November 2017

The ISSDP Conference is a unique occasion to present your latest findings to an intellectually engaged, diverse and dedicated scholarly community, and to immerse yourself in the state of the art research across the full spectrum of drug policy research, with the participation of leading international scholars.

Researchers and/or practitioners interested in contributing scholarly papers that advance future thinking regarding the development, assessment, or evolution of drug policy locally, nationally or internationally are encouraged to submit abstracts.

We invite abstracts on all aspects of drug policy, but particularly on the conference themes. The conference themes this year include:

  • Regulatory options and policy alternatives for currently illicit drugs
  • The opioid crisis
  • Diversity in drug policy: accommodating ethnicity, class, gender and culture
  • Comparative policy analyses
  • Relations between drug policies on international, national and local levels
  • The role of different kinds of stakeholders and their position in drug policy
  • Drug supply and suppliers
  • Policies towards non-medical uses of prescription drugs
  • Methodological and theoretical developments in drug policy analysis
  • Internet markets for illicit drugs
  • The use of social network analysis to inform drug policy
  • Peer engagement/user involvement in drug policy
  • The crossover of harm reduction between illicit drugs and other substances

This conference requires that all presenters submit a written paper (2,500-4,000 words) prior to the conference (papers are due April 16th, 2018) and will be made available to all participants (password protected).

All submissions (papers, panels and workshops) are peer reviewed by the Scientific Committee and its members’ scores are used to then select the successful submissions. Those selected to present are required to register for the conference. Participants may present only one paper, although they may be a contributing author on more than one.


Papers provide an opportunity to present original research findings related to any of the conference themes or other drug policy topics. The presentations slots are 15 minutes, and a written version of your paper (up to 4,000 words and formatted for journal submission) will be provided to participants before the conference. The expectation is that participants will have read the paper and hence the oral presentation focusses on key findings and then opportunity for discussion. All paper sessions will include a discussant.

In your submission for a paper, please use structured abstract headings (e.g. introduction, methods, results, discussion) for your 200-400 word abstract. If accepted, your abstract will appear as you have submitted it, in the book of abstracts.

Paper submission form


We have set aside a number of panel sessions. These sessions focus on a selected topic, and provide 3-4 papers around a central theme, with a chairperson nominated by you, who will coordinate and oversee the panel, including the discussion components of the panel session. Panels are 1.5 hours in length.

In your submission for a panel, please provide the title of the panel session, and a brief description of the aims of the panel sessions. Please also list your presenters and their topics. Depending on the nature of your proposed panel, you should submit a 200-400 word abstract for each paper as part of your panel submission (with presenters subsequently submitting full written papers by April 16th, 2018)

Panel submission form


We are also inviting submissions for workshops. These are highly interactive, drug policy research skills-focused sessions, open to all registered participants, with numbers capped at the workshop convenor’s request. Workshops will be interactive and skills-based, and are 1.5 hours in length. They do not involve didactic presentations.

In your submission for a workshop, please provide a description of the aims of the workshop, along with an outline of the interactive, skills sharing training that will occur in the workshop.

Please send your submission at

International Journal of Drug Policy (IJDP) Special Themed edition

ISSDP is working in partnership with the IJDP, the official journal partner to the 12th annual conference. Selected papers presented at the ISSDP conference will be considered for publication as part of guest-edited themed sections in the IJDP. If you would like to have your written paper considered for IJDP, please select the appropriate box on the submission form.


We strongly encourage PhD students and established scholars from Asia and from low and middle income countries to participate in the conference. A competitive scholarships program is available for these participants.

There are:

  • three ISSDP doctoral scholarships @ 700 euro
  • three ISSDP low and middle income country scholarships @ 700 euro
  • and up to 12 Asian scholarships @ 1,650 euro

 The conference committee will be responsible for choosing the scholars.

Further details and the specific criteria for each of these scholarships can be found at:

If you meet the criteria and wish to be considered for a scholarship, please tick the appropriate box on the submission form.


Early Career Researcher (ECR)

The ISSDP strongly encourages early career researchers (defined as current PhD student or less than 5 years post PhD) to attend and participate in the conference. There is an annual award for the best early career research presentation at the conference. Past winners can be found at: If you are an ECR, and would like your presentation to be considered for the award, please select the appropriate box on the submission form.


Early Bird Conference Registration will open in November 2017, and will close on February 21st, 2018. After this date, Regular Registration will be open until May 9th, 2018, or until registrations are sold out (whichever comes first).


Other Conference and Venue Information

Information on how to get to the venue (The Pan Pacific Hotel) is available here:

We obtained an important discount at the Pan Pacific for ISSDP 2018 participants, a price that is unlikely to be matched by other hotels around the venue. We encourage you to reserve your room at the Pan Pacific early using the link provided on the conference website.

More questions?

Please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Neil Boyd, Martin Bouchard, Alissa Greer

Conference Organizers