Annual Conference

The British Postgraduate Philosophy Association Invitation for Applications to Organise and Host the Annual Conference and Careers Day 2021


The BPPA annual conference began in 1997 with the aims of featuring the highest quality postgraduate work in philosophy, and finding creative ways to satisfy the development needs of graduate students. The preferred format includes a traditional two-day postgraduate philosophy conference which includes a careers session. However, conference hosts are entitled to structure the conference in whichever form they prefer; the BPPA always welcome further innovation as we seek to meet the diverse expectations of the current postgraduate community.

Organising the annual BPPA conference is a significant way to exhibit the strengths of your department and foster links amongst the philosophical community. Members of the organising committee will also have the opportunity to exercise their creativity and gain valuable experience; all of which looks good on PhD and post-doc applications.

The Application

To host and organise the conference in 2021, we recommend that you have a conference team of at least three people. Interested parties should be willing to (i) work with the BPPA committee and (ii) comply with good practice requirements.

To apply, please provide the committee with the following materials:

A proposal of the schedule, format and theme of the conference, including the proposed dates and intended number of postgraduate and keynote speakers. The conference can take place any time before the beginning of 2022. You may propose an in-person or an online conference. However, the BPPA strongly encourages applicants to consider an online conference in order to ensure smoother operations and to minimise complications when holding the conference.

Applicants should detail any creative or otherwise novel ideas for their conference; novel ideas can pertain to the theme or the format of the conference.

If you are hoping to host the conference in person you will need a letter from the head of your department acknowledging:

  • Your department’s support for your application to host the conference
  • Your department’s full financial responsibility for the organisation of the conference, if successful.
  • Confirmation of any conference funding which would be offered by your department if your application is successful.

You will also need an estimated conference budget. The budget should aim to accommodate 60 delegates, and include expenses for postgraduate speakers and keynote speakers. In particular, the budget should outline the likely costs for accommodation, meals, hire of conference facilities, and refreshments.

You may also list any external funding sources that will be used.

If you are planning to host the conference online neither a letter from your head of department nor a conference budget will be necessary; a proposed conference schedule will be sufficient for your application. Whether the conference is held in person or online, the organising team will have the full support of the BPPA committee.

Applications should be sent in PDF, Word, or Excel via email. The deadline for receipt of applications is April 20th 2021. We are happy to answer any questions.

Past Conferences​

The University of Birmingham (2018)

The 2018 conference features keynote speeches by Heather Widdows, Alison Jaggar, and Veronique Munoz-Darde. The career day focused on workshops on inclusivity.

The University of Reading (2016)

The 2016 conference featured keynote speeches by Laurie Paul, David Papineau, Brad Hooker, and William MacAskill. The career day featured a series of workshops tackling issues related to developing a career in academic philosophy.

The University of Southampton (2015)

The 2015 conference featured keynote speeches by Stephen Mulhall and Lucy O’Brien. The careers day featured sessions on publication, minorities in philosophy, CV writing, and the job market.

​The University of Leeds (2014)

The 2014 conference featured keynote speeches by Angela Hobbs, Ian James Kidd, and Naomi Goulder. The careers day featured sessions on CV writing, gender and philosophy in academia, getting published, and the job market in academic philosophy.

The University of Glasgow (2013)

The 2013 conference featured keynote speeches by Helen Beebee and Ernest Sosa.

The University of Edinburgh (2012)

The 2012 conference featured keynote speeches by Sarah Broadie, Brad Hooker, Christopher Peacocke and Duncan Pritchard.

The University of Reading (2011)

The 2011 conference featured keynote speeches by Derek Parfit, Crispin Wright, Emma Borg and Jonathan Dancy.  The careers day featured session on preparing for the job market, publishing, CV writing, teaching practice, and the role of philosophy in modern culture and the public sphere.

And many more besides…