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British International Studies Association

Updated: 2016-05-25T20:53Z

The British International Studies Association (BISA) is a learned society that promotes the study of international relations and related subjects through teaching, research, and facilitation of contact between scholars. BISA has an international membership of over 1100 members, where 80 countries are represented. BISA's Chair is Professor Nicola Phillips (University of Sheffield); she succeeded Professor Theo Farrell (Kings College London) who served as Chair over 2013–14. Its Chief Executive is Gail Birkett. The association national office is based at Aberystwyth University hosted by the Department of International Politics.

The BISA is a member society of the Academy of Social Sciences.


In Jan 1974 an inaugural meeting was held at the 14th Bailey Conference on International Studies at the University of Surrey, and at that time, a draft interim constitution was agreed. The interim executive committee consisted of Alastair Francis Buchan (chairman), RJ Jones (secretary), Susan Strange (treasurer), PA Reynolds, G Goodwin, D Wrightman, CM Mason, T Taylor, A James and J Spence.


  • BISA publishes the Review of International Studies
  • BISA publishes the European Journal of International Security
  • BISA also collaborates with Cambridge University Press on the Book Series "Cambridge Studies in International Relations"
  • International Studies Today is a biannual bulletin for members

Annual prizes

BISA awards the following prizes at its annual international conference:

  • Distinquished Contribution Prize
  • Michael Nicholson Thesis Prize
  • Susan Strange Book Prize
  • PG BISA Teaching Excellence Prize
  • BISA Teaching Excellence Prize
  • Best Article in Review of International Studies

Working groups

BISA working groups are formed by members to enable collaboration and networking in specific subfields. There are currently about 30 groups focusing on specific areas of study and collaboration.


The Association makes available funding via a variety of routes, working group funding, conference bursaries, founders fund awards etc. Introduced in 2015, BISA also offers funding for Early Career Researchers’ projects with grants of up to £3,000.

External links

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