We want to make the BISA conference accessible to as many people as possible. This year, in collaboration with the School of Government, University of Birmingham, we’re offering up to 10 postgraduate (PhD only) bursaries for those based in the UK and Ireland, and up to 10 bursaries for postgraduate (PhD only) students registered at institutions anywhere else in the world (non-UK/Ireland institutions).  We are also pleased to be able to offer up to 20 bursaries to support the attendance at the conference of non-permanent early-career academic staff or ECR staff who are actively seeking an academic role in a HE Institute. These bursaries will be £150 for those residing in the UK, and £300 for those residing outside the UK. All bursary recipients also receive a waiver on the conference ticket fee.

Postgraduate bursaries

The bursary award is £150 per applicant for those registered at UK or Ireland institutions, and £300 per applicant for those registered at non-UK institutions. Your conference fee will also be waived.

The bursaries can be used towards travel and accommodation.

Am I eligible?

  • Bursaries are available to current postgraduate members of BISA, who do not have support from their institution, a research grant, or other funding awards, to attend the conference.
  • Applicants should be BISA postgraduate members at the time of application, and at the time of the conference for which the bursary is awarded.
  • PhD applicants and postdocs are not eligible for a conference bursary. So, if you haven’t started your PhD, have already completed, or will have completed your PhD prior to the conference, you won’t be eligible.
  • Masters’ students are not eligible for this award.
  • Bursary applicants must have paper(s) accepted for presentation at the conference. It is a condition of the award that papers are submitted by the paper submission deadline.

ECR bursaries

The bursary award is £150 per applicant for those residing in the UK or Ireland, and £300 per applicant for those outside the UK or Ireland. Your conference fee will also be waived.

The bursaries can be used towards travel and accommodation.

Am I eligible?

  • ECR for this purpose is defined as up to five years from receiving your PhD award
  • We welcome applications from those who have completed their PhD’s and are either non-permanent early-career academic staff or are actively seeking an academic role in a HE Institute.
  • You must have a paper accepted onto the conference programme
  • You must be a member of BISA at the time of application and at the time of the conference
  • You must not have any other support from a department/institution, research grants, or any other funding awards etc to attend the conference.

How do the bursaries work?

You’ll need to fill in an online bursary application form which, if you are a PhD student, must be accompanied by a statement from a supervisor. This must be signed, on university headed paper and uploaded to the website with your application.

You’ll need to collate the following information before making your online application:

  1. Name and institution (if you have one)/email contact 
  2. Confirmation of current BISA membership
  3. 200-word account of your research   
  4. Are you in receipt of any grants/funding? If so, describe them   
  5. Title of paper you will present at the BISA conference
  6. 50-word paper abstract/summary  
  7. Any other role(s) that will you play in the conference   
  8. For PhD students, a letter of support from your institution on university headed paper.

Your letter of support should:

  • introduce you, including information on the nature of the relationship with the letter writer i.e. supervisor, head of department, head of research etc
  • confirm your attitude to studying and research
  • detail your academic record and commitment
  • make the case for funding i.e. confirm there is no alternative and/or institutional funding available for you 
  • confirm you’re still registered as a PhD student
  • make the case for the value of your participation in the conference.

ECRs should answer the alternate question about their current employment.

Applications closed on 1 March 2024 and all applicants have now been notified of the outcome.

How to claim your bursary expenses

No money will change hands in advance of the conference. You will still need to register for your conference place, however you will be able to choose a free bursary ticket type. You will need to submit a claim for your expenses.

Please complete an expenses claim form and return it to the BISA office by email with your receipts (clearly scanned images or jpeg are fine). Please ensure your bank details are clearly legible otherwise payments may get misdirected by our bank. 

Claim forms must be supported by proper receipts that show VAT where applicable (incl VAT registration number), details of items paid for, and the amount paid. Online booking receipts should be in the applicant’s name.

All claims are to be made promptly after the conference and within three months of the event. Failure to do so may result in funding not being paid out.

You should not utilise the same receipts for more than one funding claim. This is fraudulent and may result in the award being withdrawn.

We will not accept claims for mileage and/or parking, unless there are specific reasons for this, which have been agreed in advance of the conference, and the claims being made.  

The awards are for travel and accommodation only. Additional items will not be funded. Where travelling using an Oyster card, please provide a download statement with the relevant trips and costs highlighted. Generic lump sum top-ups cannot be claimed. 

The bursary expenses claims will be paid by bank transfer.

Other conditions

  • No applicant will be supported for more than two conference awards
  • No single institution will be eligible for more than five awards in any one year
  • These awards relate only to attendance at the main BISA 2024 conference, 5 to 7 June 2024.

Please send any bursary enquiries to the Conference Chair, Nick Caddick, via conferences@bisa.ac.uk. Information on childcare will be available once submissions open.