Eu-SPRI Forum supports the intellectual and career development of early career SPRI researchers (doctoral candidates; PostDocs), most notably through doctoral programs, conferences, summer schools and mobility between the partner groups.


Early Career Research Training Schools · ECS

The field of research and innovation studies is diverse and has homes in different disciplinary areas. No regular PhD training events are held at European level, unlike for example the established ETIC schools for economists of technological change. Young researchers need dedicated events to acquire and exchange knowledge in two directions:

  • Methods-based schools for acquiring new capabilities
  • Topic-based schools.

The Eu-SPRI Forum supports ad hoc schools with some 25 students each for which EU-SPRI member organisations can apply. See latest ECS calls on: News

We have set up a series of training schools to provide comprehensive and coordinated guidance . Each school is located at the premises of one of our members, but delivered thorough a team involving colleagues from other EU-SPRI organisations. For each school a broad announcement to the STI policy community are being made.

EU-SPRI Training Schools Series · Pilots launched

Five schools are planned in this pilot series. Each school will be announced widely, target groups are PhD students (year 2 and 3 in particular) from Eu-SPRI member and non-member organisations, as well as professionals in the area of STI Policy.

Teaching format: Each school consists of lectures, debates and assignments. The reading list is short and should focus on recent contributions. Assignments can include critical analysis, use of tools, conceptual clarifications, and policy reporting. Output of assignments will be put online, e.g., as blogs. The format will encourage students to bring in their own research into various sessions and discussions, but we do not aim for separate discussions about the work of individual students. Such individual training is much more central in other Eu-SPRI instruments.



The first Training school was held at SPRU, University of Sussex, in January 2017. It focused on long-term transformative change, including innovation policy for transformative change, inclusive innovation, policy mixes, transition governance, including issues of democracy and technocracy (role of experts and citizens), research impact, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinary (this included practical training in how to write a blog), inclusive innovation, alternative science and technology indicators.


The school at Utrecht University focused on actors, networks and institutions within innovation systems, institutional theory, network theory, modes of governance in innovation systems, (constructive) technology assessment, responsible innovation, user innovation, bibliometrics, patentometrics, (social) network analysis, demand-led innovation policy.  Held summer 2017.


The school in Lund University focused on geography of innovation, proximity, territorial innovation models (e.g. clusters, regional innovation systems), innovation in the core & periphery, globalization (global value chains, global production networks, global innovation networks), multi-scalar dimensions of networks, institutions and governance, geography of transitions, entrepreneurship, regional structural change, regional policy. Held in Winter 2017/18.


The school at University of Oslo focused on the science system, science and technology studies, university-industry relations, the relationship between research and innovation, public understanding of science, IPR, healthcare research and innovation, scientific publishing, science and technology policy, research governance, research funding, research evaluation, impact assessment. Held Summer 2018.


The school to be held at the University of Twente focused on the governance of European R&I policies, policy rationales and the role of the state, the embedding of R&I in society, the making of R&I policies, foresight and technology assessment, governance in a multi-level system, R&I policy instruments and their design, demand-side and supply-side instruments, policy mixes, implementation and monitoring, policy learning, the impact of R&I funding and related indicators, recent developments in European STI policy and its governance. Held Winter 2018/9.

Eu-SPRI Early Career Researcher Conferences · ECC

The aim of the conferences is to gather together outstanding early career researchers with established academics for a series of exchanges about ongoing and new research in research and innovation policy. Early career researchers can network with one another, across institutions and countries, and with established researchers, and gain critical feedback on their work, as well as experience in critiquing the work of peers.

The Eu-SPRI Forum will support one conference per year. An ECC would normally have 25-30 participants.

See link to news item on SPRU December 2020 Eu-SPRI early career researcher mini-course.

Eu-SPRI Early Career Researcher and PhD Circulation Award

The circulation of Early Career Researchers and PhD researchers among Eu-SPRI members is an important element of the training activities of the network. It addresses our objective of offering a European pathway to PhD researchers in this field. The proposed location of a visit of normally three months or longer should be in a different “national system” so that the PhD researcher experiences a different institutional environment.

Eu-SPRI will award a lump sum of 2.500 Euros per candidate (for travel expenses and accommodation). The Award can be granted to Early Career Researchers and  doctoral researchers in their second year of PhD thesis or beyond.

Call for proposals for ECRs and doctoral researchers. The circulation of ECRS and PhD researchers is an important element of the training activities of the Eu-SPRI Forum Network.

Download “Blank-Circulation-Report.doc” Blank-Circulation-Report.doc – Downloaded 102 times – 77 KB