Symposium or workshop support grants

This award scheme is intended to support the development of the sociology of health and illness by funding symposia, small conferences and workshops which address important issues in the field. A maximum of £2,500 will be provided for a one-day event, or up to £3,000 for events of two or more days. The Foundation does not fund seminars or seminar series.

Deadlines for applications
31 October 2017
31 March 2018

Applications will be considered from organisers based in a UK university for meetings to be held in the UK. At least one of the organisers should have a track record of research and publication in the sociology of health and illness. While applications from postgraduate students are welcomed, at least one of the organising team should be an academic employed by the university.

Applicants should aim to be organising a symposium or workshop that addresses important issues for the sociology of health and illness. The trustees are particularly keen to support meetings that promote discussion and debate on interdisciplinary themes of wide public relevance, and meetings with an international or comparative dimension.

While speakers may be by invitation, attendance should be open to anyone with an interest in the theme of the meeting (up to a specified maximum) and advertised accordingly. The meeting should be held at a time and place which make it accessible to a regional or national audience. This is particularly important where funding is requested for the costs of international speakers. Provision should be made for at least 5 postgraduate travel bursaries at a minimum of £50 per student.

Basic support from the applicants’ institution, for example by providing the venue for the meeting and basic administrative services, is expected. Applications which draw on other sources of funding are also encouraged.

Trustees are not eligible to be lead applicants for awards but other members of their department will not be excluded from applying.

Application procedure and criteria for assessment
Applications should be made by the meeting organisers, well in advance of the meeting, using the application form below.

Applications for support for one-day, two-day or longer symposia, conferences or workshops will be considered, with funding up to a maximum of £2,500 for one-day meetings and £3,000 for longer meetings. In both cases, applicants should make clear in their application what contribution the meeting will make to the development of the sociology of health and illness.

Applications will be considered by a panel of three trustees of the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness, using the following criteria:

  • the potential contribution of the symposium or workshop to the sociology of health and illness;
  • the proposed speakers, target audience and outputs;
  • the organisation of the conference, including accessibility, advertising and support for postgraduate students and/or early-career researchers to attend; and
  • the case made for the funding requested.

Decisions are normally made within eight weeks of the deadline for submission of applications, and applicants will be informed as soon as possible after a decision has been made. The trustees regret that they cannot give feedback on applications or the reasons for unsuccessful applications.

Application form
Download the application form at the bottom of this page. Send the completed form electronically to, and send one signed hard copy to:

Professor Joan Busfield
Treasurer, Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness
Department of Sociology
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park



Post-award processes
Successful applicants should submit a short (500-word) report of the meeting, together with an itemised invoice from the host institution, within three months of the meeting. These should be sent to Professor Joan Busfield at the address above.

The Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness should be named in all advertising for the event. The support of the Foundation should be acknowledged at the meeting and in any publications arising from it. The following phrasing should be used:

This work is/was supported by a symposium/workshop support grant from the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness.

Terms and conditions
You may download the terms and conditions of the award at the bottom of this page. Acceptance of the award will be deemed to constitute acceptance of these terms and conditions.

In the interests of transparency and to encourage further applications, successful applications will be listed on the Foundation website.

Previous awards
A list of previous awards will be made available in due course.

Downloads and further information
Please address any queries about the symposium or workshop support grants to