Colston Research Society

Colston Research Society logo

The Colston Research Society is a body made up of academic and external members who are committed to sponsoring and supporting an annual academic symposium. Previous Colston Symposia have covered the whole range of academic disciplines and cross-disciplinary Symposia have been particularly encouraged. The financial support offered by the Society can provide invaluable seedcorn funding for symposia which might not otherwise have been able to run.  The Society is happy to receive proposals from University academics for future symposia. The faculties are on a rotation in order to submit proposals as follows:

  2016 Faculty of Science

  2017 Faculty of Social Science and Law

  2018 Faculty of Engineering

  2019 Faculty of Biomedical Sciences

  2020 Faculty of Arts

  2021 Faculty of Health Sciences

Each Colston symposium consists of three elements: a conference over two to three days, a dinner and a public lecture. Following the event, the proceedings are published; past Colston symposia publications form a series of volumes, held in the Special Collections in the University Library.

In July 2013, the Trustees of the Colston Research Society agreed that, in keeping with the aim of spending funds in a way that will benefit students and on-going research, they would award annual scholarships to fund postgraduate or post-doctoral research students wishing to attend conferences and symposia, either in the UK or overseas.

Each of the six faculties has been allocated funds to facilitate the awarding of the scholarships.

The Society was founded in 1899 as the ‘University College Colston Society’, by a body of Bristol citizens who wished to assist the University College. From 1908 to 1948 it applied its resources in grants towards specific research projects in various departments of the University. The Society has been supporting symposia since 1948.

Details of  future symposia and previous symposia are available.

Members of the Society

President of the Society: Ms Sonia Mills


Secretary to the Society: Alison Dawson

All enquiries: Emma Henry