Membership Terms and Conditions

This document sets out the terms and conditions associated with membership of the British International Studies Association (BISA). Please read the document before purchasing your membership and refer back to it should you wish to remind yourself of the terms. When you become a BISA member you agree both to the terms of this document and the principles laid out in our Code of Conduct

Membership categories

BISA membership is open to any individual with an interest in International Studies and related subjects. This includes:

  • academics and practitioners of International Studies and related subjects;
  • postgraduates, researchers, undergraduates and A level students of International Studies and related subjects;
  • individuals and organisations who are committed to the advancement and development of International Studies through research, teaching and knowledge exchange;
  • schools.

There are four different membership categories:

  • Full member
  • Student member
  • Institutional member
  • School member

Elections and voting rights

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 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.

Membership fees

Our membership fees are determined by the Executive Committee and are reviewed in December each year. The membership year runs for a 12-month period from the date you join unless a lifetime retirement membership is taken out.  If an increase in fees is deemed necessary by the Executive Committee, you will be notified and new fees will be implemented by 1 January each year, or the date of your next renewal, whichever falls later.

We have set membership fee levels to reflect economic and professional status i.e. whether you are in employment, retired or a student. We hope that this initiative will ensure that all those who wish to join our scholarly and professional community are able to do so.

We reserve the right to carry out membership fee checks to ensure that you have purchased the correct category of membership. If it is found you are not on the right fee structure we reserve the right to either cancel your membership, or ask you to pay the difference in price.

Your fees must be paid in full when you join and are only refundable within 14 working days of taking out your membership. Non-payment of membership fees will result in cancellation of your membership.

Membership renewal

You will be sent an automatic renewal email before your membership expires with further details. If a direct debit has been set up your membership fees will be taken automatically.

Membership cancellation by you

You are free to cancel your membership at any time, however no refund will be given after the 14 day grace period.

Membership termination by us

If you are found to have breached or violated any part of this agreement or the principles laid out in our Code of Conduct, we reserve the right to terminate your membership. This decision will be taken by the BISA Chair, Secretary and Director and endorsed by the Executive Committee.

Any such decision will be subject to the following process: 

  • you will be given at least 21 days’ notice in writing of the date of a meeting of the BISA Executive at which the decision to remove your membership will be discussed, and the reason why such a decision is being proposed;
  • you or your representative (who need not be a member of BISA) will be allowed to make representations to the meeting (either in person or in writing) as to why your membership should not be terminated;
  • the decision of the Executive Committee is final and is not open to appeal. 

We appreciate that if you are reading this document prior to becoming a member, our terms and conditions may sound rather formal. Be assured that for the overwhelming majority, membership of BISA is very rewarding and that by joining BISA you become a member of an expanding, dynamic and supportive organisation.

Referral scheme

  1. The Referral Scheme is an incentive scheme where an existing BISA member encourages a new individual to purchase BISA membership.
  2. Please read these terms and conditions before you participate in the Referral Scheme, as these will apply.
  3. The following must be true to meet the criteria for a successful referral to be deemed as having taken place:
  • The referrer must be a current, full paid up member of BISA with at least one full calendar month left on their membership
  • The referee must not have been a BISA member within the past 24 months
  • The referee must name the referrer in the correct box on their member joining form
  • Funds for the new referee membership must have cleared the BISA bank account
  1. If ALL of the above criteria are met the referrer will be entitled to three calendar months free BISA membership, to commence at the end of their current period of membership (the Reward)
  2. BISA staff will add the Reward to the referrer’s membership end date within 6 weeks of the referee’s membership fee clearing.
  3. The Reward may not be sold, transferred, auctioned or used for commercial gain. There is no cash alternative.
  4. BISA will determine at its sole discretion, and has final say, as to whether a successful referral has been made.
  5. We reserve the right to amend, withdraw or restrict the Referral Scheme and these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice.
  6. An individual cannot refer more than twice in a 12 month period.
  7. The referral scheme started on 1 October 2020.
  8. If you require any further information in regard to the Referral Scheme, please email

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