Call for Applications: 5th Research Symposium on Social Impact of Making Music


Deadline: 1 June 2020


The aim of these yearly international meetings is to build and strengthen a network of professionals wishing to deepen rigorous and evidence-based understanding of how active participatory music making may be used to bring social benefits to groups of individuals in diverse contexts and situations. Following four previous successful and inspiring editions (in Ghent-Brussels, London, Porto and Bogotá), this year’s 5th SIMM-posium – organized by the international research platform SIMM in collaboration with (and at) the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) – will again bring together individuals and organizations developing research in this field. Practitioners and policymakers with an interest in research are also warmly invited to apply to attend, though formal presentations will be limited to those actively involved in research.

The international research platform for Social Impact of Making Music (SIMM) operates as an independent scholarly association ( The SIMM platform is based in Brussels and involves institutional partners in various countries and continents.  SIMM is also working on collaborative research training seminars and on the development of international comparative research, under the guidance of international experts in the field.

An overview of recent research subjects and types of participants in this field can be found in Prof John Sloboda’s presentation at the 4th SIMM-posium in Bogotá (2019).

This year’s SIMM-posium in Brussels particularly welcomes applications for presentations that relate to:

  • the relationship between research developed in Northern and Southern hemisphere
  • possible collaborations between researchers from the Global North and Global South
  • research on intercultural social music projects in both hemispheres

However, other topics may also be proposed.

There will be provision in the programme for up to 25 brief (10-minute) presentations of past research or research in progress, which will be curated into thematic panels of four to five presentations followed by a plenary discussion. Presentations are expected to focus on research projects, questions, or debates, not presentations of practice. The language of this SIMM-posium is English.

The programme will be overseen by a scientific committee whose members are:

  • Marta Amico, Université de Rennes (France)
  • An De Bisschop, HOGENT – University College Ghent (Belgium)
  • Graça Mota, CIPEM – Centro de Investigação em Psicologia da Música e Educação Musical, Porto (Portugal)
  • Lukas Pairon, SIMM (Belgium)
  • Anemone Van Zijl, HOGENT – University College Ghent (Belgium)
The programme will also include a keynote speech by Prof Geoffrey Baker and together with the team of BOZAR a programme will be proposed with films and with music by musicians working with social and community music projects.

Registration: Registration fee for the entire event (including coffee breaks, and two lunches) will be € 70.

Call for participants: Expressions of interest should be sent by email to Alexandra Gelhay ( This should include name, institutional affiliation, current professional role(s) and a maximum 250-word statement of relevant professional experience and background (why you wish to attend this symposium).

Those wishing to make a presentation of a research project should additionally include a title and a 200-word abstract.

Expressions of interest should be submitted as a single document containing all relevant material, in word or pdf format.

Participants experiencing financial hardship may be eligible for a limited number of SEMPRE bursaries to cover part of their travel and accommodation expenses, and they should indicate their interest in such support along with their expression of interest.

Successful applicants will be notified no later than 30 June 2020 and will then be invited to register and pay the symposium fee. The conference organisers will supply information about hotel and accommodation options to successful applicants. Delegates will be responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements.