British Academy Conferences 2025-2026: frequently asked questions

I am not a UK national; can I apply?
The requirement is that the principal proposer/convenor must be a UK-based scholar.

I am a PhD student. Can I still apply?
No. Unfortunately, postgraduate students are not eligible to apply. Applicants must either hold a doctorate or be an individual at an equivalent level.

I do not have a doctorate, can I still apply?
Yes, if you are an individual at an equivalent level, e.g. a museum curator.

I am a retired academic, can I still apply?
Yes. Any UK-based scholar can apply, regardless of whether they are in post.

Can I apply if I am a current or former British Academy award holder?
Yes. Current and former award holders are welcome to apply to this scheme.

Can my co-proposer(s) access and edit the proposal?
No. If a co-applicant(s) wants to input into the proposal, the lead applicant should draft text in a word document and send this to the co-applicant(s) via email for input in advance of completing the application form.

May I submit a proposal for a one-day symposium under the British Academy Conferences scheme?
Yes – these guidelines and the proposal form use the word ‘conference’ throughout, but events adopted into the programme of British Academy Conferences can have the character of a one-day symposium. The proposal form asks you to list your conference speakers and you should only add information for one day and leave the second and third days blank.

When can my conference take place?
Conferences must take place between 1 April 2025 and 31 March 2026.

Can I propose the idea of a conference, and then issue a call for papers once the proposal has been approved in principle?
No – you must be able to list the potential speakers on the proposal form, as this information is essential for the assessment of the proposal.

If the proposal is successful, can I make changes to the programme and speaker line-up?
Successful convenors will be expected to deliver the proposal they submitted. The British Academy accepts that some speakers may drop out and that the focus of sessions may change as a result. The lead convenor must inform the British Academy as soon as any significant divergence from the original proposal emerges, and replacement speakers must be approved by the Academy.

I want to invite more than 16 speakers to present at my two-day conference. Is this allowed?
The Academy will offer travel and accommodation support for up to 16 speakers. If convenors can find funds for additional speakers, they are welcome to include these in the programme. We do however recommend that the programme is not too crowded, otherwise the conference will not run to time and the speakers will not get enough time to present their research.

If my chairs are not drawn from my pool of 16 speakers, can I still apply for financial support for them?
Yes, although they are unlikely to be a priority for support unless they are a convenor. But if you can make a case for them being included please also add costings for their travel and accommodation.

I have previously submitted an application to hold a British Academy Conference. Can I submit another application?
Yes. The Academy will accept applications from those who have applied before (regardless of whether they were successful or unsuccessful). A fresh proposal must be prepared each time.

With regards to the strand of British Academy/Wellcome Trust Conferences, what does health and wellbeing encompass?
A broad definition of health, which encompasses human and/or animal and/or environment health and wellbeing research across the spectrum of the humanities and social sciences, has been adopted. Funding will cover disciplines including sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology, history, linguistics, philosophy and more with topics spanning from COVID-19 and health inequalities through to how media coverage of climate change can damage our mental health.

If I submit a proposal for a British Academy/Wellcome Trust Conference is there a chance that my proposal might instead be funded by British Academy/DSIT?
Yes. All successful applicants will be clearly informed of the source of the funding of their grant when an award has been offered. Proposers should be aware that the upper limit for British Academy/Wellcome Trust Conferences is £30,000, while the upper limit for British Academy/DSIT Conferences is £20,000. In such instances, the awarding committee would likely have to offer the proposer less than was sought.

How long should my referee’s support statement be?
There is no word limit for references. Most referees provide a 300–400-word statement, however shorter and longer entries are acceptable.

I have another question, who should I contact?
If you cannot find the answer to your question in the FAQs or the scheme guidance notes, please email your query to [email protected] and a member of the team will respond.

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