Alongside a small team of employees, BISA is run by an Executive Committee of volunteer trustees, some elected and some co-opted. Those who stand for election are voted for by you – the members.

Elections are held when positions become available, usually once a year. Each full member receives one vote. Student, institutional and school members are not eligible to vote.

Being a BISA trustee is an exciting and rewarding opportunity that allows you to develop transferable skills, meet new people and understand more about the development of IR as a discipline. There is an element of commitment and responsibility to understand. If you’re considering standing for election here’s some key information:

Time commitment

The Executive Committee meets four times a year and this is often a day of business held virtually. However we sometimes meet face-to-face, either in Birmingham or at the location of the annual BISA conference, for a day and a half of business with an overnight stay. There is also work done – depending on your role – in between these meetings. Whilst the amount of time fluctuates across the year, it equates to an average of one day a month for an ordinary trustee and two days per month for an officer. You should bear in mind the commitment is not insignificant. You may wish to raise this with your line manager as commitments to professional associations are increasingly taken into account in workload allocation and progression and reward processes.

Timeline for nominations and elections

Nominations for our 2023 elections are now open. Read the call and then find out how to submit your nomination below.

  • 12 April: call for nominations opens
  • 16 May, 5pm: deadline for receipt of nominations NOW EXTENDED TO 23 MAY
  • 31 May: voting opens
  • 11 June, 4pm: voting closes
  • 19 June: BISA Executive committee endorses the election result
  • 1 July: new trustees take up their positions
  • 1 August: results announced
  • September 2023: first Executive Committee meeting for new trustees
“Being a BISA trustee is a fantastic opportunity for service to the discipline. The role provides a bird's eye view to changes, challenges and opportunities in the discipline and the profession. I am proud to have served at a pivotal moment in the evolution of BISA, include providing greater support to early-career researchers through a dedicated PGR group, developing new areas of research through the working groups and research funding, and building a flexible, efficient and sustainable administrative core.”
Toni Haastrup, BISA Secretary
Toni Haastrup

How to nominate

To run for election, please send an e-mail to office@bisa.ac.uk with the subject line <Nomination for BISA Executive Committee>. Please include the following information: 

  • Your name and affiliation
  • The name and email address of a seconder. This person will need to be a BISA member and be willing to publicly declare in your favour (they will be named alongside you in your personal election statement).
  • A short personal statement of no more than 200 words outlining why you should be elected (this will be used on the BISA website once the election commences).
  • A CV and photograph of you. Please note that both of these will be placed on this website to inform voting, so you should remove any personal information such as telephone number and date of birth, as well as any other details you would not be happy to have placed online.
  • If you wish to take on a specific role rather than stand as a general trustee, please make that clear in your personal statement.


To allow for choice, we hope there are more candidates than vacancies. This means there will (and should be) an element of campaigning involved. If you are standing for election, do feel free to solicit support among your BISA colleagues (remember: only full BISA members can vote). We are happy for you to use email and social media for that purpose, but we do not condone any form of expenditure as part of the election.


Queries on the process of nomination or election can be directed to either BISA Chair, Ruth Blakeley: R.Blakeley@sheffield.ac.uk, or Vice-Chair, Kyle Grayson: kyle.grayson@newcastle.ac.uk

“Assisting in the running of BISA has given me a broad perspective on the development of the discipline - I have been involved in the setting up of a new journal, running student-focused Model NATO events, liaising with BISA research groups and discussions on everything from REF to TEF. In helping to run the UK's premier International Studies association, I now appreciate more fully the importance of an organisation I first joined (many years ago) at the outset of my career.”
Mark Webber, BISA President
Mark Webber
Voting using a ballot box

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