Call for Proposals: Second British Society of Aesthetics Postgraduate Conference

The British Society of Aesthetics is offering a grant of up to £5,000 to support its second postgraduate conference in aesthetics.

The conference should be a general aesthetics conference or on some theme in aesthetics. Though it must be for postgraduates, it can be organised by either postgraduates or academics. Besides covering the conference costs, funds may be used to support postgraduate bursaries, including travel, accommodation and food costs, both for speakers and delegates, as well as the costs of any invited speakers. The organisers of the conference are responsible for all practical matters concerning its running; and the conference must be held by the end of May 2016. (The BSA’s first postgraduate conference will be held in February 2015.) The conference must be held in the UK, though the organisers need not be based here. The BSA expects to be the sole funder of this conference, which should include ‘The Second British Society of Aesthetics Postgraduate Conference’ in its title, and all conference materials should publicise the role of the BSA.

Proposals should be sent to no later than Wednesday 1 April 2015. They should be no more than 2,200 words long, and include the names of the organisers and conference committee, a proposed date range and venue, a draft budget (see below for guidance on presentation), an explanation of the procedures for choosing papers and awarding bursaries, a draft Call for Papers and a list of any proposed invited speakers. The BSA has adopted the Good Practice Policy of the British Philosophical Association and the Society for Women in Philosophy, and the application should explain how the conference would comply with these guidelines (see below for a summary of the Policy). Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications by the middle of May 2015. Any questions about this Call for Proposals should be addressed to the BSA Manager at the email address above.

It is a requirement of BSA funding that event organisers adhere to the following BPA/SWIP Good Practice recommendations on conference organisation:
a. When drawing up a list of potential invited speakers, take reasonable steps to ensure that women are well represented; see the Good Practice website ( for more information and advice.
b. Where possible, consult the women on your list before fixing the date of the conference, to ensure that women speakers are not just invited but will actually attend.
c. Women may well be at lower-prestige institutions and/or in lower-ranked jobs. (E.g. in the UK, only 12% of professors in Russell Group philosophy departments are women.) They may therefore have less access to institutional funding. If you cannot fund all speakers, ask bigger-name speakers whether they can fund their own travel (they can always say no), freeing up resources for less well-known speakers.
d. Organisers should ensure that male and female speakers are treated equally on publicity material and the conference programme (e.g. to avoid the situation where a male speaker is described as ‘Senior Lecturer in philosophy at …’ but a female speaker, also an SL, is described as ‘teaches philosophy at …’; or where the male speaker’s title (Dr, Prof.) is included by the female speaker’s isn’t).
e. Investigate whether the provision of childcare facilities for the duration of the conference is possible. Many universities have crèches on or near campus, which may be able to offer a day rate for conference delegates. For larger conferences, if campus facilities are not available consider hosting the conference at a hotel that offers childcare and babysitting services. Consider setting aside funding to subsidise the use of childcare facilities by delegates; see the Good Practice website for more information and advice.
In addition, the BSA will monitor the gender balance of conferences and other events that it funds. It is a requirement of funding that statistics on the gender balance of the speakers at the event are provided by the organisers as part of the final report. Where a conference or event manifests an obvious gender imbalance, the BSA will make enquiries in order to satisfy itself that appropriate steps to promote the representation of women were taken by the organisers.
Provide a breakdown of your projected income and expenditure. Include full details wherever possible to avoid us having to seek clarification.
Examples of income:
– Registration fees
– BSA grant requested
– Grants from other organisations
Examples of expenditure:
– Speaker travel (details and estimated cost of each speaker’s flight/train fare etc)
– Speaker accommodation (number of nights and estimated cost)
– Venue hire
– Equipment hire
– Refreshments and meals
– Marketing materials
Any ‘in kind’ support, such as meeting rooms provided free of charge by your institution, or wine reception provided by sponsors, should also be listed.
The projected income, including grant requested, should match the projected expenditure, as the BSA will not support projects which aim to make a profit.

We advise that, before applying, you enquire whether your department or institution is willing to bankroll the project and invoice the BSA as sponsors afterwards. This not only simplifies payment of the grant but also frees up your time, as organisers, to concentrate on the academic side. (However, this is not required for the success of the application.)  Funds may only be released in advance of the project at the Treasurer’s discretion.