Public Philosophy Event Funding

We are dedicated to promoting the enjoyment of philosophy for all, and offer an annual grant for a UK philosophy department, philosophy clubs or other organisation to organise a Public Philosophy Event- an ambitious one- or multi-day event aimed primarily at the general public.

We offer up to £5,500 each year for a UK philosophy department or other appropriate applicant to organise a whole day event, or event across multiple days, aimed primarily at the general public. 

Applications for the academic year 2023/2024 are now closed.

For the purposes of this scheme, 2023/24 events run from 1 Oct 2023 – 30 Sept 2024.

Applications should be made using the required application form. Please note that we will consider outline applications if full plans are not yet available.

Applicants should explain the theme, structure, scale and location of the proposed event and how they believe they will be able to attract a public audience. We are open to innovative suggestions.

Applicants should consider these questions in their proposals:

  • What will be the mix of event formats? Some talks or mini-lectures are acceptable but there should be a mix with, for example, debates, ‘in conversation’ sessions, and panel discussions.
  • Where will the day or days 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 discouraged, and if you want to do so you will have to make a case as to why you believe you can attract members of the public to it.
  • How many people are you hoping to attract?
  • Will you charge? We encourage charging for 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 contributions, 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 who already have a strong list of agreed participants will be at an advantage.

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

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

Applicants must take note of our terms and conditions of sponsorship.