Winter School Eu-SPRI - Innovation policy for Transformative Change University of Sussex, UK

Publish Date: Oct 17, 2016

Deadline: Dec 02, 2016

Event Dates: from Jan 16, 2017 12:00 to Jan 20, 2017 12:00


Location: University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom

Date: 16-20 January 2017

Organisers: SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit, INGENIO, and Eu-SPRI - European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation

Organising Committee: Professor Johan Schot (course director), Professor Ed Steinmueller, Professor Andy Stirling, Dr Paula Kivimaa, Dr Ismael Rafols, Mr Jonas Torrens

Maximum Participants: 30

The Science Policy Research Unit is proud to announce that together with the European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation, Eu-SPRI Forum, it is piloting a new series of Winter and Summer schools. This series aims to provide state-of-the-art training in the study of science and innovation policy and supporting disciplines, catering for early career scholars and professionals at different stages of their careers. It concentrates on current research and debates, with emphasis on policy and pressing societal challenges. SPRU will host the first session of this series on the theme of Transformative Change.

The combined hues of environmental degradation, climate change, rising inequalities, democratic deficit, a protracted economic crisis, and the displacement of large populations by war and strife, paint a complex picture that is evocative of crisis and urgency. Governments, multilateral organisations, businesses and civil society have been engaged in composing new global agendas for facing these challenges, as it is evident in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement, in the efforts of the International Panel on Climate Change, Future Earth and International Panel on Social Progress, as well as in many bottom-up grassroots and inclusive innovation activities.

These engagements, agendas and research programmes signal a need to reframe Science, Technology and Innovation policies, around the overarching notion of ‘transformative change’, with changes in its objectives, scope of action, scales and pace. This emerging frame taps into ongoing debates in research, policy and practice, and places greater emphasis on systemic responses, and renewed notions of social progress and democracy.

This winter school seeks to familiarise participants with state-of-the-art debates about the ‘transformative change’ frame of STI policy and its associated practices. Through seminars and discussions, the school participants will explore its conceptual underpinnings and its connections and departures from conventional STI policy. Sessions will also discuss concrete examples of efforts to promote such transformations.

Three guiding questions will be addressed:

• How may contrasting understandings of transformative change be brought to bear on policy responses to pressing contemporary challenges?

• How to ensure such responses are inclusive and democratic?

• How to advance such responses through transdisciplinary approaches and alliances?

Important dates

3 Oct 2016      Applications open

5 Nov 2016     Last day for applications

15 Nov 2016   Final program confirmed

2 Dec 2016      Deadline for registration

16 Jan 2017    First day of the school

20 Jan 2017    Last day of the school

Course objectives

Participants of the course will become familiar with the state-of-the-art of the emerging transformative Change frame, being able to:

• Critically examine the prevalent framings of science and technology policy, placing them in historical perspective

• Recognise and discuss the emerging policy practices which embody the Transformative Change framing

• Identify and critically assess methods and approaches with the potential to ‘open-up’ and democratise STI policies

• Consider the role of alternative science and technology indicators

• Reflect on the relevance of the Transformative Change frame to their current research and professional practice

Content and planning

The course has a duration of 5 days and combines lectures, panel discussions, interactive and training sessions. Each day of the school will be dedicated to a topic, combining lectures, case studies and group discussions. Participants will receive training in research communication. As an assignment, they will work towards writing blogs that critically reflect on contemporary STI practice through the perspectives discussed in the course; the resulting work will be published in appropriate channels, with the intention of opening up a broader conversation. Upon completion of the course and the assignment, participants receive a certificate.


SPRU will host the school at the conference centre at the University of Sussex, Brighton. This venue is located close to SPRU’s main building, and at a short travel by train to the city centre. Participants will be accommodated in a hotel, close to the train station, in a convivial area of the city centre.


Accommodation is provided by SPRU, but all participants should make their travel arrangements independently. Participants from Eu-SPRI member organisations, have fee waivers covering the course, accommodation, and catering costs. Participants from other institutions are subject to a 500€ fee to cover the course, accommodation, and catering costs.

Target audience and selection

The school will target early career researchers and professionals whose track-records demonstrate a commitment to the promotion of transformative change in its different guises, and who will benefit from the training offered. The committee will consider applications from PhD candidates who are past their 1st year; early career researchers; and innovation policy professionals from public agencies, research institutes and consultancies, and experienced social entrepreneurs. Considering that a balanced and diverse group would foster a better learning environment, the committee will take diversity into account when selecting participants. The dimensions of gender, nationality and professional background will be considered.

How to apply

Applicants should submit a PDF document consisting of:

• A motivation letter (1 page, 500 words)
• A brief CV (2 pages)
• A recommendation letter (300 words)

Applicants are requested to use the Europass template. Applications will be evaluated on three criteria:

• Demonstrable research/professional and personal commitment with transformative change (motivation letter and CV)
• Likelihood that the participant will benefit from the training (motivation letter)
• Track-record (CV and recommendation letter)

Applications should be sent before the 5th November, 17:00, to

More information

For more information regarding this winter school, please contact
For information regarding the Eu-SPRI Winter School in general, please contact the secretariat:

For more official information click "Further official information" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

Similar Opportunities


Environmental Studies

Innovative Technologies



Eligible Countries


Host Countries

United Kingdom