BSPS awards and grants

BSPS Less Economically Developed Countries Initiative 2012: Call for proposals

The BSPS Developing Countries Initiative has reserved £1,500 per annum for activities that encourage collaboration between population demographers in the UK and developing countries. This initiative sponsors an annual visit by a demographer from a LEDC, who gives a presentation at the BSPS Conference where they get the opportunity to meet and develop contacts with UK demographers. The overall aim is to encourage long-term collaboration and joint projects, and it is anticipated that contacts will already exist between the person to be funded, and a UK institution or UK demographers.

Previous awards have been made to visitors from Cuba, Brazil and India. In 2005, Sonia Catasus Cervera, from the University of Havana visited, and in 2006, Consuelo Martin, also from Cuba, visited. In both instances, they were also supported by the University of Manchester to visit that institution. In September 2007, a visit by Andre Caetano from the University of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte Brazil) was funded, to further work with colleagues at the London School of Economics and the University of Southampton. Seminars were held at the London School of Economics and the University of Southampton during the visit. The 2008 LEDC visitor was Niveen Abu R'Meileh from Birzeit University, and in 2009 Dr. Dilip visited from India. The 2010 visitor was Dr. Ramila Bisht from Jawaharlal Nehru University & the 2011 visitor was Dr. Gobopamang Letamo from the University of Botswana.

Suggestions for the use of part or all of this fund for the year 2012 should be made by 30 April 2012 at the latest, to|  for consideration by the BSPS Council at their next meeting. Suggestions would be best supported by a single typed sheet describing how the money might be budgeted and spent and in what ways this would encourage collaboration. Bids should also include a detailed timetable of the proposed activities, and should come from the UK-based sponsoring individual or institution only.

BSPS Event Funding

The British Society for Population Studies holds several events throughout the year, in addition to the Annual Conference. These are organised by members on topics that they feel merit discussion. Suggestions for future events are always welcomed by the Secretariat, and may be jointly promoted with other organizations. BSPS provides a limited amount of funding and administrative support for these seminars. If you would like to organise a seminar, please use the proposal form below.

Event proposal form|

BSPS international travel grants

BSPS does not currently award direct research grants, but does provide bursaries for members of the society to attend conferences and professional meetings outside the UK. BSPS will normally offer support only for open conferences held overseas and not for internal seminars. International travel grants are not awarded for attendance at the BSPS Conference, or other conferences held in the UK, by members from overseas.

Grants will be awarded up to a maximum of £250. Eligibility criteria include the following conditions:

  • Must be a member or student member of BSPS and have paid the current year's subscription dues
  • Must be giving a paper on a demographic topic (oral presentations only, not posters)
  • Awards will be limited to one per individual every two years
  • Have exhausted other funding possibilities such as own department
  • Grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis, at the discretion of the Honorary Treasurer and President, whose decision is final
  • Subject to availability of funding

Applications will be considered at any time during the year but applications must be made well in advance of the conference date. The full criteria for the award are shown on the BSPS international travel grant application form| (PDF).

International travel grant application form| (Word)

BSPS Prize 2010

The result of the 2010 BSPS Prize was announced at the 2010 Conference at the University of Exeter. The winner was Katie Keenan (centre for Population Studies, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) for her dissertation High sex ratio at birth and use of sex-selective abortion in the Caucasus region.

One of the judges commented as follows:

'There was a very strong field of theses for this year's BSPS prize.

All were excellently written and displayed a strong grasp of both the required methodology and the necessary scholarly apparatus. It was heartening to see the breadth of both regions and topics analysed and methods employed.

I felt, however, that one thesis - High sex ratio at birth & use of sex-selective abortion in the Caucasus region - stood out above the rest. It is hard to imagine many more sensitive topics than sex-selective abortion, but the importance of the topic both in a purely demographic sense and, indeed, in a policy/human rights framework is clear. The thesis set out the potential scale and impact of the issue in the Caucasus in a very clear yet forceful manner.

However, it is in the innovative and imaginative way by which the author sought to circumvent some of the obvious difficulties in accessing data on abortion. By combining various different surveys regarding pre- and post-natal behaviour, as well as insinuating from birth records, the author was able to paint what was, to mind, a convincing picture of the scale of sex-selective abortion in the region. This was always done in a careful, methodical, clear and sensitive way.

This thesis was question-driven. As such, it required imagination and innovation - in other words, deep thinking - to find a way to answer it.