Fund your event

We are dedicated to promoting the enjoyment of philosophy for all, and offer grants for UK postgraduates, university departments and philosophy clubs to organise events aimed primarily at the general public.

Please note that applications for this grant are currently closed.

We are offering £5,500 grants for UK philosophy departments to organise a whole day (or longer) “Festival of Philosophy” aimed primarily at the general public, in the academic year 2022/2023. Proposals should be sent to the Academic Director of the Royal Institute using the form to the left, to arrive no later than 27th May 2022.

Applications should explain the theme, structure, size and location of the proposed day and how they believe they will be able to attract a public audience. We are open to innovative suggestions. Please also consider our conditions of sponsorship.

Applicants should consider these questions in their proposals:

  • What will be the mix of event formats? Some talks are acceptable but there should be a mix, with, for example, debates, ‘in conversation’ sessions, and panel discussions.
  • Where will the day be held? Ideally the venue would be a community partner with a public profile, such as an arts space, public library, theatre, cinema, museum, comedy club or music venue. Hosting an event on campus is not ruled out, but you will have to make a case as to why you believe you can attract people to it.
  • How many people are you hoping to attract?
  • Will you charge? We encourage charging tickets, as completely free events tend to result in a lot of no-shows. But fees should be low and there must be an option for self-certifying free places for people unable to pay.
  • Will you fully programme the event, issue a call for proposals, or a mixture of the two? It is our assumption that such an event requires more programming than a traditional conference, but we are open to other proposals.
  • Who has agreed in principle to take part? Applications with a strong list of such speakers will be at an advantage.

This new initiative replaces the annual academic conference. There is still a requirement to produce a volume from the conference. £500 of the grant is for the editor of this book, usually the conference organiser. Invited participants should be told of the requirement to write a paper based on their contribution, but for the most part they will not be reading their papers. The papers should be academically rigorous but non-technical and aimed at the intelligent general reader. There should be around 12 – 15 contributions and the total extent 70,000 – 100,000 words.

We’re aware that the coronavirus could affect how and even whether these events go ahead, and proposals should include the organiser’s best view of contingency plans (online events, live streaming or other kinds of remote engagement are possible), as well as the relevant cancellation policies associated with booking spaces and making travel arrangements. We entirely understand that all this might just be good guessing.

There are examples of successful bidders’ events here and here.