Call for Papers for Early Career Research Conference (ECC) 21 – 23 October 2021 Paris France

European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation (Eu-SPRI) 2021

Early Career Research Conference (ECC)

21 – 23 October, 2021; Paris, France

Transformative Innovation Policy: Concepts, Methods and Policy Practices

Call for papers for (Post-)Doctoral and Early Career Researchers

We are pleased to announce that the 2021 Eu-SPRI Early Career Conference (ECC) will take place in Paris, France, on 21-23 of October. We invite PhD candidates, post-doctoral and early career researchers to share and discuss their scientific contributions (papers) to Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies for forward-looking transformations. The expected and encouraged fields of study are sociology, economics, political science, geography, public policy and innovation studies; other fields are also considered.

The conference will consist of keynote talks, paper presentations, policy-practitioner panels, and a workshop on ‘science-to-policy’. This ECC event is organized by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Center for Innovation Systems & Policy; the Université Gustave Eiffel (UGE), Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences, Innovations, Sociétés (LISIS), in collaboration with University of Vienna, Department of Geography and Regional Research and the Urban Europe Research Alliance (UERA).

Submissions shall be uploaded on the EasyChair System no later than 01 July 2021.

Thematic background & relevance

In recent years, we have seen various governments starting to make a conscious effort to address societal challenges in their Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies. There is a growing realization of the necessity of immediate and profound systemic change, in order to tackle the manifold global crises of our times. However, business-as-usual and one-size-fits-all approaches will not be successful in providing the most effective and suitable multi-level and place-based actions, policies and governance approaches that will substantially boost transformations in this respect. We also see this emerging in STS literature through the notion of ‘transformative STI policies’ (e.g. Diercks et al., 2019; Kuhlmann & Rip, 2018; Schot & Steinmueller, 2018; Weber & Rohracher, 2012). There is an ongoing reflection that the design and implementation of transformative governance and forward-looking policies for systemic change need to address the complex and multi-dimensional nature of societal challenges in relevant areas, for example, mobility and accessibility, food and agriculture, energy systems, new urban governance and participation/co-creation, as well as environmental issues. Not only this requires a change in innovation objectives or new technological solutions, but calls for changes in the knowledge and innovation systems. That is, it consists of setting new priorities and radical changes in the socio-technical system, including a reconfiguration of the actors involved. And it will be necessary to combine different conceptual and empirical elements (with all the methodological and theoretical challenges ahead) to foster transformations. Henceforth, this ECC proposes the opportunity to discuss ‘STI policies for forward-looking transformations’ from different angles.

In particular, we welcome submissions that address (but not necessarily limited to) the following areas:

  • Pathways of STI policies
  • Types of innovations addressed by transformative STI policies
  • Scales – embedding of STI policies in geographical context
  • Science, society and policy interface
  • Evaluation, assessment and impacts of STI policies

 Further information on these 5 topics can be found here.

Conference structure and formats:

The conference will offer a varied programme, including paper presentation sessions, keynote talks, policy-and-practitioners panel, a conference award, and conference dinner.

Early career researchers can choose one of the two following options to present their work: 1) full paper presentation (15-minute presentation followed by a discussion) or 2) speed talk (5-minute pitches, followed by discussion in break out groups). The audience is expected (and encouraged) to act as discussants. More details on the conference formats can be found at the Conference website (click here).

In addition, a ‘science-to-policy’ training will be offered. It is aimed at developing early career researchers’ capacities to influence policy with their research. It will consist of 1) an online training session prior to the conference and 2) a pitching session at the conference itself. Further information and registration procedures are detailed in the Conference website (click here).

Registration, Fees and Accomodation:

  • Registration: free for EU-SPRI members; 250€ for non-EU-SPRI members
  • Accommodation (2 nights), lunch and dinner included
  • Travel expenses will not be covered (a limited number of grants for widening countries’ participants will be provided upon request)

Paper submission (instructions & deadlines):

Early career researchers interested in participating in this ECC must submit an extended abstract (app. 1000 to max. 1500 words, including key references) as well as a short motivation letter (1-2 paragraphs, max 1 page) via the EasyChair system no later than 01 July 2021. The decision will be communicated to the authors by 30th July 2021. If accepted, full papers must be submitted 2 weeks prior to the conference (speed talk submissions only need to submit their presentation as pdf).

Evaluation and selection criteria of submissions is based on academic quality, thematic relevance and motivation.


In case of any question, please contact the local organizing team:  and/or visit  the Conference website:

Please do draw the advert to the attention of any colleagues who may be interested.

Looking forward to your submissions,

The ECC Organizing Team


Diercks, G., Larsen, H., & Steward, F. (2019): Transformative innovation policy: Addressing variety in an emerging policy paradigm. Research Policy, 48(4), 880-894.

Kuhlmann, S., & Rip, A. (2018): Next-generation innovation policy and grand challenges. Science and public policy, 45(4), 448-454.

Schot, J., & Steinmueller, W. E. (2018): Three frames for innovation policy: R&D, systems of innovation and transformative change. Research Policy, 47(9), 1554-1567.

Weber, K. M., & Rohracher, H. (2012): Legitimizing research, technology and innovation policies for transformative change: Combining insights from innovation systems and multi-level perspective in a comprehensive ‘failures’ framework. Research Policy, 41(6), 1037-1047.