BFE-RMA Research Students’ Conference

12th – 14th January 2021 Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge

Deadline for proposals: 1st October 2020

The Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge is delighted to host the 2021 British Forum for Ethnomusicology and Royal Musical Association Research Students’ Conference. We look forward to welcoming UK and international postgraduates to present their research and creative practice in an inclusive, friendly and supportive atmosphere. The conference will also include training and careers workshops, informal performance opportunities, concerts and a variety of social and networking events.

We are pleased to announce that the keynote lectures will be delivered by:

  • Emily McGregor (King’s College London) winner of the Jerome Roche Prize, on behalf of the RMA
  • [TBC] winner of the BFE Early Career Prize

For further information on the conference, travel information and accommodation options, as well as registration, please see the conference website:

For general conference enquires please contact:


The Conference Call for Proposals invites submissions of work in the following categories:

Academic Papers and Lecture Recitals

Postgraduate research students are invited to submit proposals relating to any aspect of musical research, including musicology, ethnomusicology, music psychology, composition, audiovisual media, performance, and/or other creative practices, and research that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. We also welcome poster presentations: please indicate if your presentation is in poster format and/or if you are happy to present a poster in case your submitted presentation is not selected.

Papers must be a maximum of 20 minutes’ duration and will be followed by 10 minutes of questions and discussion. Lecture recitals must be a maximum of 45 minutes with 35 minutes for the presentation, followed by 10 minutes for discussion.

Abstract submissions

Submissions should be in doc. or docx. format, and consist of a title and an abstract of no more than 250 words. Please email abstracts to by 1st October 2020.  With the abstract please supply the following information: name, email address, institutional affiliation, presentation title, audiovisual requirements, and any other special requests.

Themed Panel Session Proposals

For this conference, there are two options for themed panel sessions.

  • 90-minute sessions with three 20-minute papers and 30 minutes of discussion
  • 60-minute sessions with four 5-minute lightning papers and 40 minutes of discussion

Abstract submissions

Submissions should consist of a title and an abstract of no more than 250 words to be sent for each of the contributions to the session. In addition, please provide a 400-word rationale that makes clear the purpose of the session, its theme and the ways in which the individual contributions relate to each other. Please include full contact details of the convenor and indicate whether an independent chair will be required and what equipment is needed. We especially welcome proposals that encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and/or mixed methodological approaches.

Please email abstracts to by 1st October. With the abstract please supply the following information: name, email address, institutional affiliation, presentation titles, audiovisual requirements, and any other special requests.

Call for Compositions

As part of the conference, the Faculty of Music will be offering composition workshops, which are likely to be directed by a piano trio. However, given the current pandemic crisis, it has proven difficult to confirm who will be leading the workshops. Details will be confirmed when the final call for proposals is released in the summer.

Compositions should be no more than 6 minutes in duration (shorter pieces are welcome, as are movements or excerpts of longer pieces). Selected compositions will be performed in the workshop, followed by time for discussion.

Submission Guidelines

Scores should be submitted in PDF format accompanied by a separate abstract of no more than 250 words that briefly describes the aims and methods of the piece. These materials should be submitted to by the 1st October 2020. Please provide the following information when submitting your proposal: name, email address, institutional affiliation and composition title.

The Conference Committee’s decisions will be communicated to proposers by 1st November 2020.

Conference Committee

Michelle Assay

Richard Causton

Matt Dicken

Katharine Ellis

Ellen Falconer

Lois Fitch

Dunya Habash

Patrick Huang

Matthew Machin-Autenrieth (chair)

Francesca Vella