Annual Conference 2017

Date 05/05/2017
Place Ulster University


The SAI Annual Conference provides a unique opportunity for sociologists across the island working in all fields to present research and engage in debate with each other. This year, there are a range of global challenges which prompt us to reflect on changing social relations on the island and beyond. Among these, Brexit requires us to ask questions about connections across the island of Ireland and our relationship with Europe, both within the discipline of Sociology and in our wider societal relations. We are confronted with questions about community, citizenship, mobility, identity, justice, rights, and inclusion, and these affect a wide range of areas of research for sociologists. Understandings of wellbeing, belonging and access to services and opportunities, as well as of barriers to those, are crucial to responding robustly to the challenges we are presented with. Alongside these, there are rapidly changing pressures on academic sociologists, and questions of accountability and partnership are at the centre of disciplinary debates today. ​Sociology as a discipline will have a critical contribution to make to these crucial contemporary debates.


Ulster University School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences are delighted to host the SAI Annual Conference 2017 at our Belfast campus. Sociology and the social sciences have been crucial to understanding the changes in Northern Irish society, and despite the threats to the discipline in 2016 across the region, sociologists are responding robustly to the need for theoretical and empirical work in these challenging times. We are pleased to host the conference in Belfast as part of this response, highlighting the strong links between sociologists across the island, and we invite you to join with us in strengthening those links further. We are very happy to welcome you to the vibrant and rapidly changing city of Belfast, and hope you will come and enjoy both the academic and social events we have planned. Visit Belfast have kindly provided us with discount vouchers to help you make the most of the city, particularly if you decide to bring the family and make the most of the weekend! The 2016 Conference at University of Limerick was a fantastic event, and we look forward to repeating that success this year!

Download SAI Annual Conference 2017 Schedule
Download Information for Attendees, Presenters and Chairs 2017

Conference Dinner

This year’s Conference Dinner will take place in the luxurious Piano Lounge of the Europa Hotel, with a menu of high quality Northern Irish produce in beautiful surroundings. The intimate Piano Lounge is the perfect place to mix socially with other delegates, and all are welcome. Tickets for the Conference Dinner are still available.

The Dinner will be held on Friday 5 May at the Piano Bar, Europa Hotel.
Reception at 7pm, Dinner 7.30pm. Limited places. Book at registration desk.

Wifi and Social Media

Visitors from a University that provides an eduroam “home” service for their staff and/or students should be able to use eduroam at Ulster. Before your visit, you should set up your device according to your own organisation’s instructions. It will connect automatically at Ulster. All Irish and UK universities offer Eduroam to their staff and students. If you do not have access to Eduroam through a university, you should email with your full name, organisation, and work email address, so that we can arrange a visitor account for you. Requests should be sent by close of business on Tuesday 2nd May.

Social Media
We invite all delegates and attendees to tag conference discussions on Twitter with #SAIConf2017 or @Soc_Ass_Ire
Please use social media responsibly. A Twitter visualisation of the conference discussions will be on display at the conference, and shared on our website.

Arrival and Accomodation

The Europa hotel is adjacent to the bus station and Victoria train station providing easy transport links across Ireland. It is also the location for the Conference Dinner on Friday 5 May. The closest hotels to the conference daytime venue are the Ramada Encore and Premier Inn Cathedral Quarter.

Belfast is a walking-friendly city, and easily accessed through the bus station by the Europa Hotel or through Central Station. The York Street campus is in the Cathedral Quarter and accessible on foot, by bus or by train at Yorkgate Station. The campus is a 15 minute walk or 5 minute taxi from Belfast Central. An online journey planner and timetables are available at

Parking is not available at the York Street campus, but there is on-street parking (Parkmobile app recommended) and a NCP carpark nearby as well as Park and Ride locations outside the city.
​Belfast Bikes can be hired for £5 for 3 days for convenience (register at and there is a pick-up/drop-off at the University.


Register at

All attendees must also be current members of the SAI. You can update your membership on the SAI website before or when you register for the conference. Members will automatically receive updates on the Annual Conference.

Conference registrations should be made online at

Institutionally funded Early bird €85 After 1 April €120
Non institutionally funded Early bird €65 After 1 April €90
Conference Dinner £45 stg**

Postgraduate / low waged* Early bird €25 After 1 April €40
Conference Dinner (PG/low waged) £25 stg**

*This reduced rate is intended to support those in precarious / casual / part-time employment and/or full-time students.
** The conference dinner price is listed in sterling due to the high fluctuation in sterling rates at present. The booking website will charge the current exchange rate at time of booking.

Please indicate on registration if you have dietary or access requirements, and we will be happy to meet your needs.
For queries please email:
Keep up to date with conference details on Twitter @Soc_Assoc_Ire #SAIConf2017