The EU-SPRI Circulation Award: A Valuable Opportunity for Early Career and Doctoral Researchers

Arthur Moreira is a PhD Student studying the Economics of Innovation at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. During his Eu-SPRI-funded circulation at CIRCLE (Lund University) he was able to advance his research for his PhD thesis ‘Mission-oriented innovation policy organisations: definition, impact, and the knowledge production trajectory of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation’. In this blog he shares his experience of living and working abroad and how his circulation helped develop his academic skills.

Aspiring researchers who work in the area of research & innovation policy studies and are affiliated to one of the 18 member organisations in Europe can benefit greatly from the EU-SPRI Circulation Award. This programme offers researchers the opportunity to work with a host institution in a different country, where they can exchange knowledge, develop new ideas, and build valuable relationships.

The Award is designed to promote the exchange of knowledge and experience among researchers and institutions in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation policy. One of the key benefits of the programme is the opportunity to work with someone you can choose to help you address your specific needs to help you improve your research. Perhaps one has an idea they want to explore, perhaps they need to learn a new method for their paper or perhaps they need to discuss their work with a different audience, refine their research ideas and approaches with diverse fresh detailed and encouraging feedback. This provides a unique opportunity for researchers to receive guidance and support from a recognized expert in the field, in an experienced tailored to your needs.

In my case the discussions with the host supervisor were paramount to strengthening the theoretical background of my thesis, enabling me to write a better-grounded contribution. When I could more clearly place my contribution in relation to the theory, it became easier to concentrate my efforts on addressing the relevant literature. The discussions proved so fruitful that I obtained concrete outcomes from it before the expected main ones involving the publication of the thesis. I had a short paper accepted in a peer-reviewed STI journal, I was invited to present it in a seminar with other young scholars and later, following the same line of thought, submitted an entry to and won a prize in a doctoral essay competition.

Beyond these concrete benefits, the EU-SPRI Circulation Programme also provides a valuable opportunity for researchers to broaden their perspectives, by being exposed to new ideas, experiences and people. This can be especially important for early-stage researchers who are still exploring their research interests and career pathways. In addition to working with a host supervisor, I had the chance to also present my work in one of the weekly internal meetings, where I received constructive feedback from other researchers at the host institution. This is a great opportunity not only to receive feedback from a diverse range of perspectives, but also to build confidence addressing a community where you are not originally part of.

Participating in the EU-SPRI Circulation Programme can also provide valuable networking opportunities, which can be essential for future career opportunities. By building relationships with researchers and institutions in different countries, researchers can expand their professional network, and potentially open up new career opportunities in the field.
The Award is the perfect chance to bring your contribution to the level of rigour demanded in dealing with our current urgent socioeconomic and ecological challenges via STI policy.