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Our Roots

The BPPA is a volunteer association of postgraduate philosophy students in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The association was formed as a way to provide an active community of support and advice to young philosophers, bridging geographical boundaries between their different universities and departments, and make contact with each other. The BPPA is best known for its Annual Conference and Careers Advice Day, and the twice-yearly Masterclasses.

As a community of philosophers, we widely support all initiatives to increase the diversity within the subject area, and welcome all postgraduate philosophers to use the BPPA and benefit from its services.

Please feel free to browse our website and get in touch with your comments. Follow us on facebook for up-to-date news, or email us at british.postgraduate.philosophy@gmail.com with any enquiries. The committee look forward to hearing from you; let us know what we can do for you!


BPPA Annual Conference: Call for Organisers 2020

Helping The Community

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, and an entire day devoted to career preparation. The format has proved to be widely successful and the BPPA are always open to further innovation so as to benefit the diverse expectations of the current postgraduate community.

The Opportunity

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. 

In past years, BPPA conferences have successfully been held at:

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.

The Application

To host and organise the conference in 2020, we recommend that you have a conference team of at least three people. Interested parties should be willing to:

  1. work with the BPPA committee and

  2. comply with good practice requirements.

The conference should:

  • Conform to the BPA/SWIP good practice guidelines

  • Be demonstrably accessible and inclusive. Some suggested ways of doing this include: providing a sign language interpreter if needed, providing child-care opportunities if needed, encouraging members from marginalised groups, seeking to include members of minority groups amongst invited speakers, providing wheelchair access, distributing information on whether the rooms have hearing loop…

  • Adhere to David Chalmers' guidelines on respectful discussion

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. Please note, the conference should ideally take place between May and November 2020.

  • 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. Here, you may also list any external funding sources that will be used. We are happy to help you source external funding, where needed. There is also a possibility of a modest amount of financial support which could be offered by the BPPA.

    • 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.

The BPPA is happy to advise on budgeting suggestions, on request.

In addition, applicants should detail any creative or otherwise novel ideas for their conference, and list any suggestions, if necessary, for altering the format of the conference. We aim to provide an enjoyable and useful conference for all participants, especially those from minority backgrounds. We welcome creative ideas regarding the achievement of this aim. The organising team will have the full support of the BPPA committee.

Applications should be sent in PDF, Word, or Excel to british.postgraduate.philosophy@gmail.com 

The deadline for receipt of applications is April 30th 2020. 

We are happy to answer any questions sent to british.postgraduate.philosophy@gmail.com 

Best wishes,

The BPPA committee.


Contact British Postgraduate Philosophical Association

Get in touch with British Postgraduate Philosophical Association to learn more about our work and how you can get involved.


Executive Committee

Sean Costello


Leia Hopf

Vice President/ Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Tommy Zhang

Outreach Officer

Eri Mountbatten-O’Malley

Communications & Development Officer

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