2020 Annual Preservation Conference – Student Paper Competition

General Details

The California Preservation Foundation is pleased to announce the 2020 Call for Student Papers to be presented at the California Preservation Foundation’s annual conference, entitled, “A Changing Climate for Preservation,” at the Embassy Suites, Sacramento from May 17 – 20, 2020.

  • Selected students and tradespeople studying preservation methods and techniques will present a topic at the “Learning from the Future of Preservation: Students Share Their Work” session
  • The full session is scheduled for May 18, 2020
  • Up to three students will be selected to present their papers at the conference
  • Each selected student will be awarded a travel grant of at least $300 thanks to a generous gift from Liz’s Antique Hardware and donors to our student scholarship fund

The California Preservation Foundation is accepting abstracts no later than Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Conference organizers are particularly interested in papers that allude to applied research methods and push the field of historic preservation in new directions, especially in terms of its engagement with diverse communities (in terms of race, class, gender, and age); strategies for grassroots advocacy; place-based interpretation; and means of addressing environmental sustainability and climate resiliency. We encourage submissions that consider preservation broadly to include public history, digital humanities, materials-based conservation methods, and various tools for documentation, planning, and preservation.

Proposals should clearly state the main point of the paper.  Submissions will be judged on how they make use of original research and creative analysis; the relevance of the paper to contemporary issues in historic preservation; and the strength of the argument presented (i.e., how well the authors make their point).

Students whose proposals are selected for the session must prepare a 15-minute presentation on the topic.

Top Image Courtesy Sacramento Real Estate Photos

Current full-time trade school, undergraduate, or graduate students enrolled in programs in California, Oregon, or Washington universities and colleges are eligible to enter the Paper Competition, including those students who will complete their program in the Spring 2020. Abstracts may be developed specifically for this competition or may be ones completed for any preservation, public history, construction trades study, or related course or training program. Abstracts must be the work of a single individual; team or group papers may be permitted, though they will need to confine their presentation to the same length as individual prize winner (15 minutes). Only one abstract per student/team is permitted. Selected teams will need to divide any travel grant received equally among all team members.
Submission Guidelines
  • Abstracts must be under 300 words
  • The title should not exceed 65 characters, including spaces and punctuation
  • Abstracts must follow the Chicago Manual of Style
Abstracts should define the subject and summarize the argument to be presented in the proposed paper. For undergraduate and graduate students, the content of that paper should be the product of well-documented original research that is primarily analytical and interpretive rather than descriptive in nature. For trade school applicants, the abstract should describe the methodology of a completed project and the key takeaways and conclusions you’ve drawn from your project’s completion. All abstracts will be held in confidence during the review and selection process, and only the session chair and general chair will have access to them.
Key Dates
  • March 11, 2020 – Submission of Abstract to California Preservation Foundation
  • March 23, 2020 – Session Chairs notify all persons submitting abstracts of their acceptance or rejection
  • April 6, 2020 – Speakers submit completed drafts of papers to session chairs
  • May 4, 2020 – Speakers complete revisions and distribute copy of their papers to session chairs
  • May 18, 2020 – Selected students present their topics at the conference center

Up to three selected students will each receive…

  • Complimentary registration to the full 2020 CPF conference and a complimentary membership to CPF, courtesy of the California Preservation Foundation.
  • A travel grant of at least $300, to be used at the students discretion and to help defray costs of traveling to the Annual Conference, thanks to the generous support of Liz’s Antique Hardware and the donors to our Student Fund.
  • The opportunity to be matched up with a mentor in the preservation field, who is selected from a pool of interested mentors within our professional member database, committees, or Board of Directors.




Please address all questions to CPF Field Services Director, Jonathan Haeber ( jon@californiapreservation.org / 415-495-0349 )

Submit your Abstract Here

Student Sessions - Conference