Every two years the Journal of Policy History and the Institute for Political History sponsor a conference on policy history. Since the first Policy History Conference in Saint Louis, Missouri, the primary goal behind the conference has been to provide an interdisciplinary forum for presentations and roundtable discussions on policy history topics and recent policy history research. The biennial conferences bring together academy scholars, independent scholars and graduate students to share their research. Many of the papers presented eventually appear in academic journals and other publications.
Saint Louis, Missouri, was the site of the first conferences in 2000, 2002, and 2004. The 2006 Policy History Conference was held at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and was co-sponsored by the Journal of Policy History, the Institute for Political History, and the Miller Center of Public Affairs.
The 2008 Policy History Conference, held May 29 - June 1 in Saint Louis, MO, was co-chaired by Edward Berkowitz and Robert Lieberman. Over 275 participants were on the program, including distinguished historians, political scientists, social scientists, lawyers, education scholars, and policy experts. The plenary sessions included a lively discussion on the meaning of 1968 with Nelson Lichtenstein and Byron Shafer, chaired by Julian Zelizer, and a retrospective of Paul Starr's The Social Transformation of American Medicine.
The 2010 Policy History Conference is scheduled for June 3-6, 2010 at the Hyatt on Capitol Square Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. The conference returns to Charlottesville, Virginia in 2012, once again with the co-sponsorship of the Miller Center of Public Affairs.
At each Policy History Conference, the Journal of Policy History presents the Ellis Hawley Prize, awarded to a junior scholar contributing the most outstanding article published in the Journal during the past two years. The Institute for Political History awards two travel grants to graduate students or junior scholars to assist in conducting archival research: the Hugh Davis Graham Award in twentieth-century policy/political history and the Thomas H. Critchlow Award in pre-twentieth-century policy/political history. In addition, the Graduate Program in Policy History at Bowling Green State University, in association with the Institute for Political History, presents the Bowling Green Book Prize in International or Comparative Policy History.