Why was IAFOR founded?

The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) was founded in 2009 as an organisation dedicated to encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating intercultural awareness and promoting international exchange, principally in Asia and between Asian countries and the “West”. By creating opportunities for dialogue between academics and thought leaders, IAFOR has become a pioneer in providing the research avenues and visionary development solutions that are necessary in our rapidly emerging globalised world.

Why is interdisciplinarity important?

Through engagements within and across disciplines, academics and scholars can be exposed to new perspectives and create new knowledge, and many institutions around the globe now offer interdisciplinary courses. By working with conference themes and encouraging diverse approaches, IAFOR’s events spark research partnerships and innovative programmes that generate and contribute to new fields. In a changing global and academic environment, these new connections can contribute to the establishment of transdisciplinary best practices and guides for the various issues today’s academics must face.

How does IAFOR ensure academic credibility?

Through individuals: The IAFOR name has become recognised in a short time as a credible academic organisation, and all our academic programmes and activities are overseen by a diverse group of some of the world’s leading academics, all of whom are both recognised experts in established fields of study and committed proponents of interdisciplinary approaches.

Through institutions: IAFOR works with many of the world’s leading universities to develop and promote interdisciplinary research programmes and conferences. Senior administrators and professors at these partner organisations help us to develop conference programmes that are exciting, thought-provoking and academically rigorous and to support and target our events to an international academic audience.

Through conferences: Human interaction is at the source of all value creation, and while technology facilitates this hugely, IAFOR's international events offer an excellent opportunity to test ideas, be challenged, and participate actively on a professional and personal network in building the personal contacts necessary for an academic career. For IAFOR, this is a chance for the organisation to develop and grow through engagement, recruitment and involvement.

Through publications: Disseminating original research is part of our core mission, and our Open Access publications involve collaboration between our in-house publications team and networks of academics throughout the world. All IAFOR journals are independently edited, free from author charges of any kind, and freely available online.

Why and how does IAFOR work with universities and organisations?

Although we enjoy good relations with universities all across the world, we have formalised strategic relationships with key institutions, helping to support and develop different research and conference projects as part of the IAFOR Global Partnership Programme. These universities and organisations attest to the quality and academic credibility of IAFOR’s conference programme development, and we work to bring together appropriate partners to develop new collaborative projects. As a result of these collaborations, researchers benefit from knowing that the conference they are attending is held in partnership with some of the world’s most prestigious institutions.

For examples of collaborative projects, please visit the Case Studies page.

Why choose an IAFOR conference rather than a specialist conference?

IAFOR’s events provide a forum for both established and up-and-coming academics to present their research, receive feedback, start conversations and establish new connections in a stimulating, inclusive and nurturing environment. Many academic conferences cater to researchers in a specific, sometimes narrow field, with a programme consisting of presentation and discussion of research in that field alone. However, IAFOR’s interdisciplinary conferences take place in pairs or groups, so conferences that cover separate yet complementary fields are held together as a single event, and delegates registered at one of the events may attend sessions in the other(s). This allows delegates at IAFOR conferences opportunities for interaction with specialists in fields other than their own, and therefore to benefit from feedback and discussion informed by different perspectives and approaches.

How does IAFOR price its conferences?

IAFOR’s pricing structure is submitted and approved to the Academic Governing Board, and our events are priced both competitively and fairly. The aim is to strike the right balance between the need for events to be sustainable, and for them to continue to attract delegates from around the world, from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, with the aim of fulfilling IAFOR's mission to promote international exchange, facilitate heightened intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion. IAFOR provides financial support in the form of bursaries and stipends through individual programmes.

How is IAFOR structured?

IAFOR is comprised of three entities:

  1. The IAFOR General Incorporated Association (Japan) is a social enterprise and non-profit entity registered under the laws of Japan.
  2. The IAFOR Research Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation, registered in the State of California and a 501(c)3 organisation under US tax code.
  3. The IAFOR Research Centre is housed in The Osaka School of Public Policy at Osaka University and the Centre’s funds are administered through Osaka University, a Japanese National University.

Who benefits from IAFOR’s activities?

Here at IAFOR we believe our academic and societal impact has been large, and is growing. We have attracted important widespread individual and institutional support throughout the world to our mission-driven activities. Since 2009 more than 16,000 academics have chosen to present their ideas at IAFOR's conferences held over four continents, in events ranging in size from under 50 to more than 500 people. Delegates at IAFOR conferences benefit from a nurturing and supportive environment in which to receive feedback, start conversations and establish new connections. Eligible academics and students can also take advantage of conference fee discounts for IAFOR’s Global Partner institutions, as well as grants and scholarships.

Can I become a member of IAFOR?

Yes. IAFOR membership provides an exceptional opportunity to be a part of a leading global academic organisation, network and platform that is committed to nurturing the very best in interdisciplinary research in the global public interest. Membership is open to all scholars, professionals and policymakers, researchers, or those with a strong professional interest in education.