SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

SPRU PhD Forum

23rd Annual SPRU PhD Forum 2017

Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th May 2017
University of Sussex campus, Brighton

The 23rd Annual SPRU PhD Forum will be held on 8th-9th May at the University of Sussex. The theme this year is 'New Research Agendas for Innovation, Science and Technology Policy' with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and networking. 

Download the full programme now, or just the main schedule.

PhD Forum Programme 2017 cover snapshot PhD Forum 2017 Schedule cover snapshot

The SPRU PhD Forum is a free, two-day event which provides doctoral researchers a unique space to present their research, network and collaborate. 

Centred on the overlapping fields of innovation, science, and technology policy studies this event also recognises the connections with other fields such as economics, security, development, life sciences, the creative industries, and more. The Forum is specifically designed to enable dialogue and personal feedback from peers and world-class researchers from SPRU and beyond. 

This annual event is organised by current SPRU PhD students meaning that the Forum is more informal than a normal conference, and generally more representative of the European-wide doctoral community. 

We offer a number of different presentation categories: you can present your research in the traditional way during a session, or you can take part in our shorter ‘research insights’ sessions, giving you the opportunity to discuss your research in a broader, reflexive manner. 

However, you don’t have to present at all. The Forum’s ethos is about putting participation and dialogue first. 

This year’s event will include key note speakers from across the disciplinary boundaries, plenary and paper sessions, skills and learning talks to share doctoral experiences, networking and collaborative side events including a free evening meal.

The SPRU PhD Forum aims to be a supportive and constructive moment in the lives of doctoral students:

  • You will have the opportunity to present your work in different formats: this is open to all participants and is designed to give you bespoke feedback, whatever your stage of research.
  • You can have your paper or elements of your presentation published in the special edition of the SPRU Working Paper Series which will go out after the event
  • You can make new friends, explore connections and research interests and help to develop the doctoral community here in the UK and further afield
  • You can develop skills and knowledge which will strengthen your CV and you!
  • You have an excuse to visit Brighton!


Download the full programme now, or just the main schedule.

Additional information

  • There will be free tea and coffee, and lunches, provided free across both days
  • There will be a formal evening meal at the end of Day 1.
  • Unfortunately, we are not able to compensate travel or accommodation expenses, however we are more than happy to help you with any queries and will make every effort to support your attendance. Please let us know how we can help you attend.


Please feel free to contact Alex Ghionis <a.ghionis@sussex.ac.uk> with any questions about the event, your attendance, or any other matters related to the Forum.

You can follow us on Twitter to keep updated: @SPRU_Forum 

DPhil Day 2016

Monday 9th May and Tuesday 10th May
University of Sussex campus, Brighton

The 22nd Annual SPRU DPhil Day in conjunction with SPRU’s 50th Anniversary, is a postgraduate conference to be held 9th-10th of May at the University of Sussex’s Campus, Brighton. Incorporating the theme of plurality, DSkills Day (9th of May) will invite a number of speakers from both inside and outside of SPRU to talk about their own experiences with the process of doing research and 'the plurality of research perspectives'. Plurality in social sciences encompasses all stages of research, from the theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, and impact and influence. The second day, (10th of May) will offer participants from any stages of PhD research an opportunity to present their work, and gain insights and thoughts from peers and prominent scholars in a friendly, engaging, and professional environment.


The event programme is now online here.


For enquires, please contact us here.

DPhil Day 2015
Tuesday 5th May and Wednesday 6th May
University of Sussex campus, Brighton

The 21st Annual SPRU DPhil Day, SPRU’s postgraduate conference, is to be held at the beginning of May in the Jubilee Building of University of Sussex’s Campus, Brighton. Confirmed Speakers: Key Guy (OECD), Luigi Marengo (LUISS, Rome), Mariana Mazzucato (SPRU), and Andy Stirling (SPRU). Incorporating the theme of uncertainty, DSkills Day (5th of May) will invite a number of speakers from both inside and outside of SPRU to talk about their own experiences with the process of doing research and the uncertainties within. Covering all stages of research, from the beginnings of a research focus to the impact and influence of research, the uncertainties will be unpacked, unfolded, and hopefully made a little more certain. DPhil Day itself (6th of May) will give delegates an opportunity to present their own research, no matter at what stage it is, and gain insights and thoughts from peers and prominent scholars in a friendly, engaging, and professional environment.

For non-contributing registration, please do so via the google form. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts should be submitted via the google form and should be no more than 300 words in length. We encourage applicants at all stages of research to submit. Deadline for entries is midnight (GMT) on Sunday March 1st and successful abstracts will be notified on Monday March 8th.


Please email Josh with any inquires or get in touch via social media: @SPRU_DPhilDay or @JoshuaRHutton

DPhil Day 2014

On the twentieth anniversary of SPRU’s annual postgraduate conference, this year’s theme challenges both expert and novice researchers to shine a light on the darker side of their research experiences. What is it actually like conducting research and trying to influence policy debates on science, technology and innovation? We want the story behind the story; the challenges, grit, and messiness of research and policy-influencing as it really is.

For more information click here

SPRU_Forum on Twitter

Account for the annual @SPRU PhD-led event- watch this space for details of our 2018 event! #SPF18

RT @marcsrhudson: Sociotechnical transitions for beginners; of speed, stability and mixing it up marchudson.net/2017/10/19/soc… pic.twitter.com/6Lv1e4Z4N1

RT @EmiliaSmeds: Check out new cutting-edge work by @CityLeadersLab @UCLSTEaPP colleagues @elliecosgrave & @public_culture #cities twitter.com/public_culture…

RT @AnnaHolliday: Excited to be joining @CarolineLucas+ @F_Kern_SPRU to switch this amazing #solar project on today! Let's make Susse… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

RT @SPRU: New article by @RevillJames on factors that influence terrorists' decisions to adopt chemical & biological weapons… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

RT @alexghionis: #Terrorist #CBW #WMD use is often easily assumed; here @RevillJames takes a look at 6 keyfactors & argues that the… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

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