Annual conference

The British Society for Population Studies holds an annual conference in a different venue each September. Programmes, abstracts, and reports of previous conferences can be accessed from the relevant link on the left.       

BSPS Annual Conference 2017 

Wednesday 6 – Friday 8 September 2017, University of Liverpool 

Call for papers 2017


The 2017 BSPS Conference will be held at the University of Liverpool, 6-8 September. All Conference sessions will be on site, where Conference catering & high-standard accommodation will also be available. Booking forms will be available from May, together with a provisional timetable. 

There will be a full programme of simultaneous strand sessions of submitted papers: proposals and abstracts for papers & posters are invited across the entire demographic & population studies spectrum. (Submissions should have a demographic or population studies focus.) Ongoing work with incomplete analyses & findings should be submitted as posters: submissions for oral presentation should include results.   

For organizational purposes, strand organisers have been allocated to specific themes. Some sessions within strands have been suggested, to be organized by the person named, in conjunction with the overall organizer of the strand under which they are listed. 

Information updates on the Conference will be posted to the BSPS website as available.  

Submissions should be made online by midnight on Monday 24 April 2017. A short abstract of up to 250 words is required, which should cover research question, methods, data, preliminary results & potential applications. Extended abstracts can be sent separately & are optional, but will help in the final selection of papers: up to 4 double-spaced A4 sheets in PDF format only may be emailed to with’ BSPS extended abstract’ and the intended strand in the title line. Extended abstracts are not a substitute for formal online submissions: this process should still be completed. Strand or session organizers may request further details of a submission before any decisions are made. Short abstracts will appear on the Conference website. Extended abstracts are for information purposes only. 

Choose an appropriate strand or session and submit online at: 

If you are unable to submit online, please contact for alternative arrangements. 

Oral & poster submissions are given equal weight. Final decisions on papers & posters accepted for presentation will be emailed to submitting authors by mid-May. 

In addition to strands and sessions inviting submissions, there will also be a couple of closed sessions, for which submissions are not being sought, plus training sessions: these will be advised on the preliminary timetable, when published. 

Before submitting, you are strongly advised to read the Notes at the end of this call for papers.   

Strands & sessions, with organisers (who may be contacted with queries): 

Session: Critical & theoretical perspectives in demography: 

This session plans to explore the (potential) contribution of theoretical paradigms and frameworks in demographic research.  We welcome papers which consider the utility of new theoretical perspectives as well as papers which offer a critical assessment of how particular theoretical perspectives have shaped the status of the discipline and its contributions to knowledge. 

Session organisers: Wendy Sigle (London School of Economics), Rebecca Sear (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)

Email contact:    

Ethics & Policy:   

A strand considering ethical aspects of demography and population policy: including research ethics for demographers, ethical issues in specific policy sectors (e.g. family policy, migration policy) and contemporary population ethics. 

More detail: This strand will build on a successful conference hosted at Cumberland Lodge in September 2016 and supported by BSPS to foster a growing conversation between demographers, policy makers and an interdisciplinary community of researchers concerned with ethics and population. 

The strand will include sessions covering three related areas of research.

  • Ethics and specific policy areas
  • Population Ethics
  • Research ethics for demographers 

Papers are solicited from both demographers and policy makers with an interest in these issues and from other fields, such as philosophy, economics, anthropology and political science, who are interested in engaging with population studies. 

Ethics and Policy extended call

Strand organisers: Simon Beard (University of Cambridge), David Cope (University of Cambridge), Steve Smallwood (Office for National Statistics).

Email contact: Simon Beard – 

Ethnicity & religion: 

Papers addressing topics related to ethnicity, religion or a combination of both can be submitted. Sessions might explore ethnic and religious identities, their interplay and change over time; ethnicity, religion and socio-economic inequalities; attitudes towards ethnicity and religion (e.g. out-group attitudes and prejudice); secularization and religious change in Europe and the World; place- neighbourhood and segregation; ethnicity, health and mortality; ethnic inequalities in education, health etc. 

Strand organisers: Stefanie Doebler (University of Liverpool) & Gemma Catney (University of Liverpool).

Email contact:;;

Including session:

Ethnicity & the life course

Papers are invited exploring ethnic differences from a life course perspective. In particular, papers considering the role of ethnicity in shaping transitions across the life course or disrupting the traditionally conceived linearity of life course events are welcomed.. 

Life course perspectives emphasise the socially-constructed nature of ageing, often explored through an interest in ‘transitions’ across the life course or the validity of the traditionally perceived linearity of life course events.  However, cultural differences between ethnic groups, differences in age-structure, and the implications of time of arrival in the UK and contrasting settlement patterns may differently shape ethnic experiences of transitions across the life course, or disrupt the traditionally perceived linearity of life course events. For example, recent research suggests that the suppression of migration rates over the life course may vary between UK- and foreign-born populations. We invite papers that consider the interaction of ethnicity with life course perspectives and the contribution to understanding on a range of topics including:

  • Migration
  • Fertility
  • Health and Mortality
  • Families and Household formation

Session organisers: Fran Darlington-Pollock (Queen Mary, University of London), Nik Lomax (University of Leeds);;  

Families & households:   

This strand welcomes papers which measure and/or explore the effects of the diversity of family or household structures. Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to: trends causes and/or consequences of patterns of union formation & dissolution; the organisation of kin relationships; intra-household divisions of labour; intergenerational relationships; support at older ages; demographic processes and outcomes and how they are gendered, with a focus on childhood and adolescent experiences. 

Strand organiser: Alice Goisis (London School of Economics)

Email contact:

Including session:

Multigenerational living arrangements.

This session focuses on the importance of multigenerational living arrangements, particularly the characteristics and consequences for family members in different contexts, such as young adults moving back to the parental home or adult children living with elderly parents. 

Session organiser: Natalia Permyakova (University of Southampton) 

Fertility & reproductive health: 

This strand welcomes papers covering any aspect of fertility and reproductive health in any geographical setting.  Papers can examine any substantive topic and/or methodological aspect related to fertility or reproductive health.  We particularly encourage papers that are innovative in their approach, are policy relevant, incorporate cross-national comparisons, and which can make causal connections.  Reproductive health can include issues related to sexual and reproductive health, contraception and assisted reproductive technology. 

Including session:

Fertility ideals & intentions:

papers looking at the relationship between fertility ideals and achieved fertility, as well as those looking at measurement or methodological issues.  Comparative or longitudinal studies are particularly encouraged. Please note that this session will include a discussant, which is a great opportunity to get feedback on your work. You will need to provide a written draft of your paper for the discussant to read at least two weeks before the conference. 

Strand organisers: Melanie Channon (University of Oxford); Stuart Gietel-Basten (University of Oxford & HKUST)

Session organiser: Melanie Channon

Email contact:; 

Health & mortality: 

Submissions to this strand can address any aspect of health and mortality across the life course. Both quantitative and qualitative methods approaches are welcome. This strand hopes to provide a global approach to understanding health and mortality by welcoming papers based on data from a variety of settings as well as multi-country comparative studies. 

Including sessions:

Adolescent health:

Adolescence is a crucial period of psychological, social and biological change. Primary social influences move from parents to peers alongside increases in autonomy and individuation. This session calls for papers examining the etiology and consequences of adolescent health and wellbeing. 

Life course approaches to neighbourhood effects on health:

This session calls for papers using new methodologies for analysing longitudinal neighbourhood effects on health. Papers that test for critical periods, accumulation effects or selective migration are particularly encouraged. 

Strand & session organisers: Afshin Zilanawala (University College London); Stephen Jivraj (University College London)

Email contact:; 

Historical demography: 

Submissions may address any aspect of global historical demography, or the history of demography as an academic discipline. Papers on the history of medicine & public health are also welcome, as well as the history & philosophy of science where presented in the context of historical populations. Papers dealing with migration in a historical context are particularly encouraged this year. 

Strand organiser: Romola Davenport (University of Cambridge)

Email contact:

Including session:

Best practices in historical record linkage:

This session will concern the development of strategies for, and the evaluation of, statistical models and deterministic algorithms for systematic record linkage used in historical population reconstruction. Issues relating to data quality and questions concerning bias and representativeness of linked samples are of particular interest.  

Best practices in historical record linkage extended call

Session organiser: Jeanne Cilliers (Lund University) 

Innovative data, methods and models 

This strand welcomes high-quality papers on innovative data, models and methods of analysis, and their applications in population studies. Particularly encouraged are original submissions related to mathematical, statistical, and computational demography. 

Including sessions:

Interdisciplinary methodological advances in mathematical demography:

In this session we will welcome submissions from various aspects of mathematical demography, and its applications for human demography, inspired from diverse academic fields such as population ecology, applied mathematics or mathematical biology. While many submissions will be seen through the lens of linear algebra, we also encourage other innovative approaches developing the interface of mathematical and statistical methods. 

Administrative Data Research Network:

This session will focus on new uses of administrative data, linking methodology and its applications based on the wide range of research being led by the four UK Administrative Data Research Centres. 

Strand & session organisers: General session: Jason Hilton,  

Mathematical demography: Claire Dooley,  

Administrative data: Emma White,  or Peter W F Smith, 

Latin America & the Caribbean: 

Any aspect of population studies in the continent. Papers with analytic results comparing more than one country will be favoured. 

Strand organisers: Ludi Simpson (University of Manchester); Tiziana Leone (London School of Economics)

Email contact: 

Local & small area demography 

Presentations looking at trends in moves within the UK and the implications for the future on employment and housing; implications of the Brexit vote and how to plan for an uncertain future. Sessions might include:

  • Moves within the UK; overall; graduates; links to economic performance
  • Migration to and from the EU - scale, nature and impacts across localities, regions and countries of the UK.
  • Uses of migration data to define Housing Market Areas
  • Demographic data for neighbourhood planning
  • Planning for the uncertainty of Brexit - use of Variant projections 

Strand organisers: Piers Elias, Greg Ball

Email contact:;

Including sessions:

Small area population change:

This session focuses on approaches to the analysis of population change at a neighbourhood scale. Its remit will include methodological solutions to matching incomparable data, novel data sources, and studies on substantive themes such as the persistence of area deprivation. 

Session organiser: Chris Lloyd (University of Liverpool)  

Migration & mobilities: 

We invite papers in the following research areas:

1. The analysis of the patterns, processes and impacts of migration, both international and intra-national movement. The results of empirical analysis are especially welcome, but topics may also include discussions of conceptual challenges, migration terminologies, data sources and methodological issues.

2. The study of fertility, family, health and mortality of migrants and their descendants.

3. The analysis of spatial aspects of population processes (‘spatial demography’). Studies could apply any of the techniques of spatial analysis to describe spatial patterns of population or to analyse contextual effects on demographic processes (e.g. geostatistical models, spatial econometrics, multilevel models, regional / fixed-effects analysis, spatio-temporal analysis, spatial microsimulation, geodemographics etc).

Strand organisers: Hill Kulu, Alan Marshall (University of St. Andrews)

Email contact:;

Including sessions:   

International female labour migration from low- and middle-income countries: causes and implications.

In this session we welcome papers that: a) address the causes and implications of international female labour migration from Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs); and b) examine public policy around international female labour migration in LMICs. 

Session organiser: Sasee Pallikadavath (University of Portsmouth:

International migrations: what role for migration policies in Europe?

We welcome papers that study the role political factors play in the migration decisions of individuals and in shaping migration flows between countries. Does there exist a trade-off between frontier closure and migration duration? If various waves of migration were indeed the building blocks of civilizations through history, how is it that migration today is largely seen as a threat, and why are migrants looked upon as being responsible for many of the social and economic ills of the receiving societies? 

Session organiser: Michela Pellicani (University of Bari):

Mobility & social segregation across the life course:

This session will look at how new sources of data and/or methods of analysis can be used to better understand processes of mobility & social segregation, & their social outcomes.

Session organisers:  Amy Sweet, Richard Harris, David Manley (University of Bristol)

Refugee mobility & integration:

The ongoing refugee crisis, coupled with changing socioeconomic and political dynamics in the West (e.g. Brexit, tightening immigration policies, and rising xenophobic sentiments), presents fresh challenges to the mobility and integration of refugee migrants. This session will focus on the demographic patterns and dynamics of the refugee population, with a particular emphasis on refugees’ socio-cultural and economic integration in terms of access to education, employment, housing, health and welfare resources 

Session organiser: Yang Hu (University of Lancaster)    


Poster submissions are invited across the spectrum of population studies & methodological approaches to demography. We encourage researchers to present results from completed papers and also from research in progress. Papers without final results are particularly well-suited to this session. Presenters are welcome to submit more than one abstract for consideration as a poster, possibly in addition to a paper submission. Recent Conferences have benefited from very full and lively sessions & we are hoping to continue this success this year. 

Strand organisers: Alina Pelikh (University of Liverpool), Ewa Batyra (LSE)

Email contact:;  

General & administrative queries: BSPS Secretariat – 


  • Submissions should be made online at: 

  • Confirmation is required on the submissions form that presenters will attend the conference at their own expense to present the papers or poster submitted, if accepted. Attendance at the BSPS conference cannot be subsidised by BSPS – this applies to BSPS members and non-members and there are NO exceptions. (Except for existing BSPS student and local government members fulfilling specific conditions. See under bursaries.)
  • Papers may be allocated to a different strand from that to which the submission was made.
  • A maximum of TWO submissions as first author and/or presenter for oral presentations, although additional poster submissions would be welcomed.
  • Ongoing work with incomplete results or analyses should be submitted for poster presentation only. Oral presentations must include results. Poster submissions have equal weight with oral presentations
  • Submissions from non-members are welcomed
  • Short abstracts may be changed up to the end of July, after which no changes will be possible
  • Registration for the conference by the author intending to present will be required before the paper or poster is included in the final programme
  • Papers are organised into strand sessions. Each presenter will have 20-30 minutes in total, with 15-20 minutes for presentation & 5-10 minutes for questions & discussion. Strand organisers will advise if a different format for the session in question is planned.
  • Poster competition: a prize fund of £100 in book tokens is offered for the poster(s) judged the best on display. At least 50% of this prize will be awarded to the best student poster. All accepted posters are automatically entered for the poster prize. The invited judges will be announced later 

BSPS student member bursaries & BSPS local government employee member bursaries 

  • Bursaries are available ONLY to BSPS student members and BSPS local government employee members whose employer will not cover their costs.
  • Bursaries are only available if presenting a paper or poster
  • BSPS 2017 membership dues must have been paid before submission. Memberships activated or reactivated after submission are NOT eligible for a bursary.
  • As the number of bursaries may be limited, application for a bursary does not guarantee that one will be awarded. Applications must be received by the submission deadline, not retrospectively after that date.
  • Bursaries usually cover the costs of on-site accommodation, meals during the conference, plus registration. Travel is not included.
  • Application for a bursary is via the online submissions form ONLY, which MUST have the relevant bursary application box checked
  • Recipients of bursaries may be expected to contribute to Conference preparation or assist on-site.

Provisional timetable for 2017 Conference:

Call for session suggestions closes                                                            10 January 2017
Call for papers & posters issued                                                               10 February 2017
Call for papers closes                                                                                      24 April 2017 
Provisional programme issued, booking opens                                                    May 2017
Early-bird registration closes                                                                      end of July 2017
Booking closes                                                                                      end of August 2017