SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

SPRU Training

SPRU offers an annual training course with a different thematic focus each year. We also create bespoke courses with governmental and non-governmental organisations and collaborative research programmes as well as executive education programmes.

SPRU Training Course 2019world jigsaw

Science, Technology and Innovation Policy for Turbulent Times

17–21 June 2019

About this course

In the UK and across the world, political, technological and environmental changes are contributing to increasingly turbulent conditions in which policymakers are having to respond to complex dynamics and new sources of uncertainty.  Science, technology and innovation are at once implicated as drivers of these changes and at the same time represent potential responses.  The 2019 SPRU Residential Training Course offers senior executives the opportunity to learn from cutting-edge research in this area and share experiences with peers from across continents, providing the basis for improved decision-making and implementation.

This course will enable you to: 

  • learn from leading international experts in science, technology and innovation policy studies
  • update your knowledge by engaging with key current debates around industrial transformation, artificial intelligence, clean growth and innovation within the multilateral trading system
  • share experiences and insights with international policymakers in your field.

 To find out more, watch 'An introduction to SPRU training for policy professionals'

Who is this course for?

This training course is designed for mid-career policy professionals working in government and non-government organisations with a focus on science, technology and innovation policy design, implementation and evaluation.

Course overview

The course is hosted by SPRU, an internationally recognised research centre in the field of science and technology policy and management. Every session will be convened by SPRU faculty, leading critical thinkers and policy researchers, who will contribute their own new thinking on research policy, grassroots innovations, sectoral transformations and policy instruments.

During this course, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Update your knowledge of key debates
  • Gain fresh insights through engaging discussions and interactive group sessions with a peer-group of policymakers from around the world
  • Learn new skills through practical workshops
  • Take inspiration from a field visit that showcases research and innovation initiatives in context.

SPRU is internationally recognised as a leading interdisciplinary research centre in the field of science and technology policy and management. Our academics are world-class researchers in their respected fields of study who pioneer new understandings and approaches in the governance of science, technology and innovation.

See Training 2018 for full details of our inaugural SPRU residential training course. 

Provisional course schedule 

TimingsDay 1: IntroductionDay 2: Digging deeperDay 3: Grassroots innovationsDay 4: Sectoral transformations   Day 5: Policy instruments
Morning Introduction Infrastructural innovation for resilience  Innovating around the city – insights and experience from Brighton and Hove 

Parallel sessions:

Energy system transformations & community resilience  


Biomedical innovation 

Research evaluation
Mid-morning Technology and turbulence 

Science, policy and social movements 

Co-ordinating grassroots and hybrid innovations for sustainable food systems 

Parallel sessions:

Governance of Artificial Intelligence 


Food and agriculture 

How to make digital transformation more inclusive in  labour markets  

Early afternoon Governing dual-use technologies in the 21st century

Multi-Criteria Mapping 


Data visualisation with network analysis 

BA i360 Field Visit: national challenges and policy responses Group work based on the morning sessions Final panel – selected SPRU faculty to respond to questions from the participants
Late afternoon

Handling uncertainty in science, technology and society 

Multi-Criteria Mapping continued


Data visualisation with network analysis continued

BA i360 Field Visit continued Group work continued Closing session
Evening Countryside walk and evening dinner  Free evening Dinner near Brighton seafront  Free evening  Departure


University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

The University of Sussex is located on the South Coast of England, on the outskirts of the popular city of Brighton and Hove, surrounded by the beauty of a national park. We are just an hour from London and 30 mins from Gatwick international airport.

See map and directions here: www.sussex.ac.uk/about/directions