Eu-SPRI Forum Early Career Researcher and PhD Circulation Award: Call Deadline 11th September 2021

Call for proposals for Doctoral Researchers and Early Career Researchers

Thirty Second submission deadline: 11th September 2021

The circulation of Early Career and PhD Researchers is an important element of the training activities of the Eu-SPRI Forum network. It is part of the development of the European Training Platform, which the Eu-SPRI Forum aims to develop in the area of science and innovation policy studies. It addresses our objective of offering a European pathway to Early Career and PhD researchers in this field. 

Member organisations are:

  • Université Paris-Est, Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société (IFRIS)
  • Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
  • Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), Spain
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche (CNR), IRCRES Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth, Rome
  • Politecnico di Milano
  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
  • CIRCLE, Lund University, Sweden
  • University of Manchester, Institute of Innovation Research
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • NIFU, Norway
  • University of Twente,  Institute of Innovation and Governance Studies (IGS)
  • VTT, in collaboration with Helsinki Institute of Science and Technology Studies (HIST)
  • UiO, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo
  • SPRU, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex
  • Innovation Studies, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development , Universiteit Utrecht
  • TNO, Netherlands Organisation of Applied Scientific Research
  • UAM, Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and Accenture
  • TUD, Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund, ZWE der TU-Dortmund
  • Rathenau Institute — KNAW

This call is open to Doctoral Researchers in their second year of PhD thesis or beyond and Early Career Researchers, who have completed their PhD within the past 36 months.

Topic Areas supported

This mobility call is restricted to research topics relating to science, technology and innovation policy including studies of science, technological innovation processes and entrepreneurship which may have relevance for policy.

How to apply

  1. You must first discuss your proposed visit with a potential supervisor at your chosen host institution. Both the ‘Home’ institute and ‘Host’ institute must be members of the Eu-SPRI Forum Network. You must confirm that they are prepared to accept you if your proposal is selected.
  1. Send the following documents to the Secretariat 

(This does not need to be signed by all parties at application stage)

  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter / email of support from Host Supervisor
  • Letter / email of support from Home Supervisor
  • 1 other academic reference
  1. Your application will be evaluated by a committee from the Eu-SPRI Forum Training Group. You will be informed of the outcome when a decision has been made (within 1 month).

Application guidelines

  • The proposed location should be in a different “national system” so that the researcher experiences a different institutional environment. An application to move, for example, within the Netherlands would not be accepted.
  • Length of circulation visit should be at least 3 months. The three months can be split into tranches.
  • In the Letter of Intent, be as specific as possible about what you intend to do at your host institute.  Detail why you wish to visit that particular institute; how it will contribute to your research; what you hope to achieve.
  • Prepare your proposal thoroughly, look at the criteria for selection and make a good case.  The awards are competitive and you need to present yourself well.  Have a specific objective for the stay.  This could be to work on an area of theory with experts or to undertake fieldwork in a different country, for example.  Think about the potential benefits which may arise in the longer term.  Make sure you put in sufficient material to convince the reviewers
  • Ensure that the place you want to visit is a good match for you and your work and make sure that the researcher(s) you want to work with will actually be there and are willing to host you.  Making preliminary enquiries about practical arrangements is also a good idea.  However, if someone at another institution has agreed in principle to accept you, your proposal may still be subject to a request for further revision or rejected.
  • Ask someone (perhaps your supervisor) to review your proposal before you submit it.
  • Your research must be relevant to the Eu-SPRI Forum Network. For more information see the web
  • Both the ‘PhD Home’ institute and ‘PhD Host’ institute must be members of the Eu-SPRI Forum Network. Therefore, you may only apply to institutes that are ‘PhD Hosts’ within Eu-SPRI Forum Network.  See list above and web
  • The criteria for evaluating proposals are:
  • Quality of the candidate
  • Quality of the PhD project

–     Relevance of the project to Eu-SPRI

–     Expected benefits of stay for host institution

–     Expected benefits of stay for research career and/or PhD studies

–     Balance of student flows

Further details

  • Eu-SPRI will award a lump sum of €2,500 per candidate (for travel expenses and accommodation).  This will be paid once the awardee is in situ at the host organisation.
  • If your application is successful, the letter of Intent must then be signed by all parties who must agree to the terms outlined in it
  • On completion of the circulation you must provide an evaluation report to the Eu-SPRI network which may be placed on the website. This is a mandatory requirement.
  • If you think you need any further information please email: the Secretariat.  


Please check with your proposed host orgaisation that they are accepting research visitors.  Manchester, for example is not accepting visitors until January 2022 at the earliest.

For previous applicants who have received notification of an award but who have not yet been able to conduct the research visit please notify the Secretariat of your new dates, once these are known.  Awards are still valid.

Call for Participation: Eu-SPRI PhD Summer School: Advancing Mission-oriented Innovation Policy, 25-27 August 2021 Utrecht University (online)



Eu-SPRI Early Career Research Training School, Utrecht University, 25-27 August 2021 (online) 


Against the background of societal challenges (climate change, biodiversity loss, ageing, cyber-insecurity), innovation policy has changed markedly during the last decade. Governments are shifting the emphasis in innovation policy from generic R&D and triple-helix support to new programs and instruments to target specific problems following the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Europe’s Green Deal and Digital Agenda, or more specific challenges rooted in national or regional contexts.

Most of the new policies can be headed under ‘Mission-oriented Innovation Policy’ where policies are directed towards a societal challenge and articulated in specific targets and timelines. Missions should guide the policies and actions by the stakeholders involved and can be used as a yardstick for continuous evaluation.

While this type of policy is gaining ground in policy circles around the world, many open questions remain regarding its rationales, design, implementation and evaluation. What is more, as various mission-types of innovation policies are now embraced at regional, national and European levels, questions arise about subsidiarity and multi-level coordination. Finally, to further our understanding, we are in need of more empirical research on the experiences and effectiveness of various forms of mission-oriented innovation policy in tackling societal problems.

This course aims to provide PhD-students and early-career scholars insights into the state-of-the-art research and practice in mission-types of innovation policies. We will cover the following topics:

  • The rise of challenges, missions and SDGs in innovation policy
  • System perspectives on Mission-oriented Innovation Policy
  • Regional innovation policy in times of grand societal challenges
  • Quantitative mapping of knowledge and innovation for grand societal challenges
  • Governance of Mission-oriented Innovation Policy
  • Mission-oriented Innovation Policy in practice. Experiences across Europe (policy roundtable)

Next to lectures and a policy roundtable, we organize parallel paper sessions for young scholars to discuss and receive feedback on their research. Participants should send in a full draft in advance (see details below). We also offer a social event on Wednesday evening.


Target audience for this course are PhD-students and early career researchers in innovation policy, and is part of the series of training activities sponsored by Eu-SPRI. The course is also open to participants not affiliated to any Eu-SPRI member organization and outside Europe. We expect participants to have basic knowledge of innovation policy upon entering the course.


Send an email to with (1) your CV, (2) abstract of your paper (max. 1,000 words) and (3) motivation letter (max. 500 words). Deadline for submission: June 1, 2021.


The maximum number of participants for the course is 36. Participants will be selected on the basis of their interests and CV. Notification of acceptance and request of confirmation will be sent at June 10, 2021.

Participation is conditional upon sending your paper (5,000-10,000 words) to before August 10, 2021.


No fees.


The course will take place online from 25-27 August 2021 (afternoon sessions only).

  1. VENUE

Online (Zoom).


Anna Bergek (Chalmers University)

Frank Biermann (Utrecht University)

Gaston Heimeriks (Utrecht University)

Matthijs Janssen (Utrecht University)

Kevin Morgan (Cardiff University)

Ismael Rafols (Leiden University)

Karoline Rogge (SPRU & Fraunhofer ISI)

Iris Wanzenböck (Utrecht University)

Mattias Weber (Austrian Institute of Technology)

Joeri Wesseling (Utrecht University)


Koen Frenken (Utrecht University) (chair)

Gaston Heimeriks (Utrecht University)

Matthijs Janssen (Utrecht University)

Iris Wanzenböck (Utrecht University)

Joeri Wesseling (Utrecht University)


This training initiative is part of Eu-SPRI Early Career Research Training Schools and is locally supported by theMission-oriented Innovation Policy Observatory (MIPO) at Utrecht University.

Eu-SPRI Early Career Researcher (ECR) Webinar Series

One of the EU-SPRI key missions is to support the next generation of researchers in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, Science and Technology Studies (STS), business administration, geography and history. This is particularly important under the current COVID-19 pandemic where mobility and the international research experience have been substantially restricted. Early career researchers have been particularly hit by these restrictions, which could potentially impact their career progression in the short and medium term. Attendance at international conferences, gaining external critical feedback on their work, research stays abroad and enlarging their own networks are, among others, key skills to become independent researchers, find appropriate job opportunities and progress in their scientific careers. EU-SPRI wants to support the intellectual and career development of early career SPRI researchers by setting up a monthly webinar series

For you as an interested early-career researcher (PhD students and post-docs), the EU-SPRI webinar series will be an excellent opportunity to present on-going and/or new research in the area of innovation and policy to an international audience. The Webinar series is thematically open within the boundaries of the affiliated EU-SPRI institutions’ topics. Our aim is for seminars to reflect the diversity of research topics and interests in our community.

In order to be considered as a presenter, please submit an extended abstract (1000 words approx.), plus a short bio (and expected date of thesis defense in the case of PhD candidates) to the below mentioned contacts.  Researchers who are accepted are asked to send a full paper two weeks prior to the webinar. Webinars will run on every third Thursday of the month from 3.30 to 5pm (CET) using Zoom and will accommodate two presentations. The expected length of the talk would be around 15-20 minutes to fit the online format, followed by the discussion from a junior and senior colleagues (max. 15mins.) and Q&As from the audience. Total length of the webinar will be 1.30 hours, 45 minutes per participant. 

We now welcome your self-nomination as speakers in this year’s series. We are looking for a diverse pool of young researchers from all EU-SPRI institutions. We believe our PhD Students and postdocs are working at the forefront of their fields of research, resulting in an updated understanding of topical themes. Our interest is in the relevance of the work, how advanced the research is and topics they can showcase.

The Webinars Organising Committee

Mabel Sanchez Barrioluengo,  MIoIR/The University of Manchester,

Gaston Heimeriks, Utrecht University,

Rhiannon Pugh, CIRCLE/Lund University,

Torben Schubert, CIRCLE/Lund University & Fraunhofer ISI,

Henning Kroll, Fraunhofer ISI,