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Call for conference proposals




The 15th International Pragmatics Conference (IPrA 2017) will be held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 16-21 July 2017. 

Moreover, on a the basis of an earlier call for conference proposals, the IPrA Consultation Board has decided to honor a bid for the 16th International Pragmatics Conference, to be held in Hong Kong, China, 9-14 June 2019. 

The next available date is 2021.

A future site will be chosen by the IPrA Consultation Board on the basis of formal conference proposals, submitted by local groups of IPrA members. All IPrA members are eligible to submit a proposal in accordance with the guidelines below. Note, however, that the call is not yet open and that details may change.

In addition to the intrinsic qualities of the proposal (strength of the Local Site Committee, attractiveness of the proposed theme and location, the availability of facilities adequate for the expected size of the conference, financial feasibility, the expected level of local support) the decision-making process will take into account IPrA’s mission to reach out to different parts of the world. In the case of proposals of comparable quality, therefore, preference may be given to the one best suited for opening up a new region.

Multiple proposals from one and the same country will not be considered.


PROPOSAL DEADLINE: (now closed -- no new deadline yet)




Conference proposals, to be submitted by local groups of IPrA members, should contain the following information, in that order:


1. The name(s), affiliation(s), contact data, of the local coordinator(s) who will act as Chair(s) of the Conference Committee. A brief CV of the coordinator(s) should be added in a first appendix.


2. The names, affiliations, contact data, of all proposed members of the Local Site Committee (in a broad and variable sense of ‘local’). Typically, there should be about half a dozen local IPrA members willing to be actively involved in the conference preparation and organization. In addition to established scholars, the inclusion of scholars at the early stages of their careers is encouraged. A one-paragraph bio-bibliographical note about each of them should be added in a second appendix.


3. The choice of a special topic relevant to the field of pragmatics. Given the nature of IPrA as an organization, the special topic should not be too narrow; still it should be topically clear. Note that any themes that fall outside of the special topic area but that are within the scope of pragmatics as represented by IPrA are welcome at the conference.


4. Proposed dates . The preferred dates are 14-19 or 21-26 July 2019. Alternative dates will be considered if well-motivated (e.g. in view of local conditions).


5. A full description of the chosen venue or conference facilities . Minimal requirements for an eligible venue are:


- a convenient space for the registration area (preferably close to the entrance of the main conference building)

- a spacious area for book exhibit & posters (as centrally located as possible; preferably within a few minutes from the lecture rooms, with the possibility of organizing coffee breaks in the same area)

- one large lecture room for up to 700 people (typically to be used on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, Wednesday morning, and Friday afternoon of the conference week, though not necessarily restricted to those periods)

- at least 12 to 15 regular lecture rooms for parallel sessions for 50 to 100 people (preferably in one building, as close together as possible)

- availability/accessibility of regular lecture equipment (minimally computers and data projectors) and poster boards

- technical support for presentations

               - a room for the conference secretariat

               - preferably near-by or in-house affordable accommodation (see also below)


Proof of the availability of the chosen venue for the specified dates has to be added to the proposal. This means that an option will have to be taken on the venue, valid until the time when the IPrA Consultation Board will have made its choice (see below for procedure and timing).


6. Full details on contractual issues pertaining to the chosen venue in relation to:


               6.1. Financial issues:


- the precise rental rates for each of the spaces and rooms to be used (see 5.)

- the rental rates for all types of available conference equipment, including poster boards

- the cost of putting up adequate signs

- any additional costs or charges (e.g. for cleaning staff, technical staff, security, and the like)

- rates charged for coffee breaks

- rates for on-site lunches


If the rates given are the current ones and if increases may be expected before the time of the proposed conference, a clear indication has to be given of the maximal annual increase.


               6.2. Cancellation terms


               6.3. Liability


Note that such details also have to be specified in case university buildings are intended as a venue. In case a university is prepared to let IPrA use its buildings and/or equipment free of charge, signed proof to that effect needs to be added to the proposal.


7. Additional details with implications for the conference finances, in particular:


- local printing costs for a 40- to 50-page program booklet (ca. 1000 copies)

- local expense for conference bags

- local cost per person per day for student labor

- average economy airfares to the conference site from countries the local organizers hope plenary speakers can be recruited from
- accommodation rates in the hotel where plenary speakers would be expected to stay


8.  An indication of the available accommodation . Does the venue (e.g. if it is a conference hotel) itself offer accommodation and at what price? If not, are there enough hotel rooms in the vicinity of the chosen venue? Which hotels? Where are they located in relation to the conference venue? What is the price range? Is there any cheap student housing? If the quoted rates are the current ones and if increases may be expected before the time of the proposed conference, a clear indication has to be given of the maximal annual increase. Very importantly, who will be in charge of reservations? Are reservations made directly with the hotel(s), or is there an intervening agent? In both cases, are the handled rates lower or as low as the rates an individual could get? If not, what is the added value that warrants the higher rate?

               Typically, for the size of the conference and taking into account both double occupancy and the fact that not everyone is present for the whole duration of the conference, one has to count at least on 350 to 450 rooms for each conference night.


9. An indication of the type of social program that can be anticipated.


10. An indication of the type and cost of childcare that can be provided during conference hours at or near the conference venue. Such services cannot be provided in all places; hence this will not be an important criterion for choosing a site.


11. In case finances (in 6., 7. and 8.) are expressed in the local currency: the exchange rate in relation to the Euro at the moment the proposal is sent in.


12. A clear indication of the expected level of local support . Ideally, it should be possible to cover part of the conference cost   (calculated on the basis of 6.1. and 7. above)   from local resources. This support can take various forms: the free use of space and equipment, direct subsidies, funding for the expenses of invited plenary lecturers, the sponsoring of a reception, etc.


13. Date + signature of the local coordinator(s)




1. Deadline for the receipt of proposals by the IPrA Secretariat is 1 July 2016.

2. By 31 December 2016, the Consultation Board selects the 2019 venue. A six-month period is taken for the decision-making process in order to allow for the negotiation of details, if necessary.

3. Once the choice has been made by the Consultation Board,


3.1. The Secretariat and the local members of the Conference Committee start working out the final details that need to be settled before a contract can be made;

3.2. The Consultation Board and the Local Site Committee collaborate on the further composition of the Conference Committee (a process to be completed 18 months before the conference date). In principle the Conference Committee consists of:


- all members of the Local Site Committee

- one or two members of the previous Local Site Committee

- the Secretary General

- at least ten members of the Consultation Board (CB members are first asked to volunteer; the resulting group may have to be approved or further shaped by the members of the CB in view of the diversity of perspectives and areas of expertise that are represented).


4. The first full-scale announcements of the conference are made at the latest in February 2018. Abstracts deadlines should not be later than July 2018 (for panels) and November 2018 (for panel contributions, lectures and posters). In January 2019 the outcome of the abstracts reviewing process is communicated to all prospective participants.




1. The Secretariat is responsible for all contractual issues, for the distribution of circulars, for setting up and maintaining the conference website, for the handling of abstracts and registrations, and the distribution of preliminary programs.

2. The Conference Committee is responsible for the scientific program, including the choice of plenaries, the possible elicitation of panels, the evaluation of the abstracts.

3. The Local Site Committee shares all duties specified under 2. and is responsible for a number of practical issues such as the local conference logistics (other than those aspects captured in a contract with a local PCO, if any), the printing of the final program, as well as the recruitment of on-site labor. The Local Site Committee may also be asked to compose the program; this responsibility may, however, be shared with the Secretariat and/or members of the Conference Committee.