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British Academy Conferences: submission of proposals

A meeting of minds – help shape the future of your field with the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

The deadline for submitting proposals for British Academy Conferences to be held in 2018 has now closed.
Proposals received after 23:59 GMT on 24 February 2017 will not be considered.

Submission of proposals

The British Academy, the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences, is currently inviting outstanding proposals for our 2018 conference programme. This presents an exceptional opportunity for UK scholars who can demonstrate academic leadership and vision to run a landmark conference featuring leading-edge research as part of the Academy’s events programme. (Lists of recent British Academy Conferences)

Any UK-based scholar is eligible to submit a proposal. If successful, you will be the academic convenor of the conference, and the British Academy’s staff will handle the administration of the conference, so that you can focus on ensuring the quality of the scholarship presented is of the highest possible calibre.

We are inviting proposals for conferences to be held in 2018. British Academy Conferences:

  • are held at the British Academy’s premises at Carlton House Terrace (in central London close to Westminster and Piccadilly Circus, and easily accessible by train from each of London’s five airports)
  • are ideal for up to 100 participants
  • offer the opportunity to bring together a large number of academics from different subject areas
  • include the possibility that a themed volume of essays arising from the conference would be published in the Proceedings of the British Academy series

The British Academy is looking for proposals for conferences that will be pivotal events and of lasting significance in the field: a chance for leading and emerging scholars to examine current and future issues surrounding novel, dynamic, innovative and exciting subject areas in the humanities and social sciences.

Proposals should be submitted on the appropriate form, which can be downloaded from this page (see above right).

The deadline for the submission of proposals (including the references) is 24 February 2017. Selection of the successful academic conferences will be carried out by the relevant British Academy committee in April 2017, and all applicants will be notified by 5 May 2017.

Further information

The British Academy will hold up to six of these conferences in 2018.

They are of two days duration, with experts in their fields invited to present on the latest developments in the subject and to stimulate discussion among those attending. Where relevant, there should be appropriate international representation.

Proposals of an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary nature are especially appropriate to the Academy’s programme, and suggestions for subjects that contribute to public policy debates are welcomed.

The Academy also welcomes proposals for conferences held in collaboration with other organisations.

What does the academic convenor do?

  • Provides the academic theme and develops the overall objectives of the conference
  • Selects and approaches speakers and chairs and briefs them on the required academic focus
  • Provides and advises routes for publicity
  • Where approved, acts as editor for a themed volume of essays in the Proceedings of the British Academy series, and ensures adherence to a strict schedule leading to publication

What does the British Academy do?

  • Provides the venue, facilities and catering (tea/coffee breaks, and lunch)
  • Contributes to travel and accommodation for convenors, speakers and chairs
  • Promotes and administers the conference
  • Where approved, publishes a themed volume of essays in the Proceedings of the British Academy series arising from the conference

Conference structure
Conferences take place over two days. Conferences should run between 9.45am and 5pm. The proposal form suggests a structure of up to four speakers per session (which includes an allowance for discussion). This restricts the timetable to a maximum of 16 speakers over the two days. (We will not entertain proposals for more speakers unless the convenor is able to secure appropriate additional funding from other sources; if you wish to discuss the possibility of including more speakers over the two days, please contact the Academy's Conferences Team,, before submitting your proposal. Please note that we will not entertain proposals for a third conference day.)

Publicity and promotion
The British Academy promotes its conferences across a range of media and marketing. This can include targeted emails to specific individuals whom the cenvenor would ideally wish to attend. From time to time, the team may contact a convenor to help promote the conference with a media outlet – this may involve a media interview or writing a short feature. In the early stages of organising a conference, we will require editorial copy and ask for help sourcing images to promote and illustrate the event.

You should be aware that ordinary delegates wishing to attend a British Academy Conference in 2018 (i.e. those who are not attending as speakers, chairs or convenors) will be asked to pay a registration fee. For conferences in 2017, the fee for attending both days of the two-day conference will be £95 (£36 for students, the retired and the unwaged), but this level of fee is liable to be reviewed for conferences in 2018. We will offer the convenor a small number of places for ‘guest delegates’ who need not pay a registration fee.

There is a presumption that, in due course, you would submit a proposal for an edited volume of essays arising from the conference to be published in the Proceedings of the British Academy series. (Further information on how to submit a publication proposal for the Proceedings series.)

Public dissemination
The British Academy aims to engage with the public – stimulating interest in, and understanding of, the humanities and social sciences, and contributing to public debate. Convenors will be invited to explore different ways for communicating the themes of the conference for the benefit of a wider, non-academic audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How much does it cost?
A. The Academy covers the cost of administration, catering, preparation of delegates' packs, and promotional material. A contribution is made to all speakers', chairs' and convenors' travel costs, based on the distance to be travelled to the conference; there is an expectation that participants from well-resourced countries will be able to meet their own travel costs. The Academy also funds accommodation for all speakers, chairs and convenors on the days of the conference (accommodation is booked at a nearby hotel). The exact scale and financing of each conference will be discussed in greater detail with successful applicants (which will include confirmation of which speakers can fund their own travel).

Q. I am not a UK national, can I apply?
A. The requirement is that the principal proposer/convenor must be a UK-based academic.

Q. Don’t you have to be a Fellow of the British Academy to convene a conference?
A. No – any UK-based scholar is eligible to propose a conference. Applications are judged on merit by the relevant British Academy committee.

Q. If the proposal is successful, when will the conference take place?
A. Conferences accepted will take place between January and December 2018.

Q. When do I find out if I have been successful?
A. We will contact you with the outcome of the Committee’s decision by 5 May 2017.

Code of practice

The British Academy has a Code of Practice for assessing applications, setting out the principles of equity, integrity and confidentiality governing the treatment of all applications for academic support. The Code of Practice also covers Data Protection, the Academy’s ethics policy and the appeals procedure. Feedback is not a feature of the British Academy Conferences scheme, and the Academy is regretfully unable to enter into correspondence regarding the decisions of the awarding Committee which are governed by the Code of Practice. Please note that by applying in this scheme, applicants undertake to accept the terms under which applications are assessed.

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