SPRU PhD Forum

This Forum draws together PhD students to discuss a key topic. See details of upcoming events and also the most recent Forum.

2021 SPRU PhD Forum

17th18th June 2021, online

Collaboration in Context: Advancing Research and Policy Practices in Science, Technology, and Innovation

In an increasingly complex world, the key to innovative problem-solving lies in challenging old system boundaries and using the potential of many actors, institutions, and knowledge sources in short, collaboration.

Under this umbrella, the 27th SPRU PhD Forum aims to bring together novel research insights to deepen and broaden our understanding of Science, Technology, and Innovation.The forum provides a unique platform for doctoral researchers to present and discuss their work with scholars in their field and to extend their horizons past their own disciplines.


We are pleased to share this year’s SPRU PhD Forum programme with you. Session presentations will be held via Zoom and presenters will have 12 minutes each for their presentation and 6 minutes for questions and discussion.

  • Day One


    (BST: GMT+1)

    Day 1 – June 17, 2021


    Welcome to the event and Introduction

    Prof. Steven McGuire, Dean of the University of Sussex Business School Prof. Jeremy Kent Hall, Director at SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit

    Prof. Tim Foxon, PhD Doctoral Programme Convenor- Science Policy Research Unit Moderator: Aslı Ateş, SPRU PhD Researcher


    Parallel Session 1

    Risk, Discourses and Contested Futures


    Jeanne Cadiou, INRAE & IDDRI: “Future-oriented discourses on the French biogas contribution to sustainability transitions underestimate the impacts on agricultural systems”

    Leonard Frank, University of Freiburg: “What is governance for regime destabilisation? Comparing analytical frameworks through pesticide governance”

    Melanie Lewis, University of Technology Sydney: “Why might our project fail? A case study using a different perspective for organisational change and innovation initiatives”

    Nur Gizem Yalcin, Ghent University / Technical University of Berlin: “Contested visions of the circular plastics transitions”


    Dr. Joshua Moon, SPRU University of Sussex

    Alice Livingston Ortolani, SPRU University of Sussex


    Parallel Session 2

    Politics, Policies and Governance in Transformative Changes


    Elisabeth Mohle, Universidad Nacional General San Martin: “The political economy of national decarbonization strategies in Latin America in comparative perspective: The cases of Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay”

    Inese Zepa, ETH Zurich: “From energy islands to energy highlands? Political barriers to sustainability transitions in the Baltic states”

    Marie-Theres Kügerl, Montanuniversität Leoben: “What’s your (view)point? Exploring the Austrian multi-stakeholder process for mineral policy development – A Q Sort study”

    Mbeo Calvince Ogeya, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology: “At what price? The political economy of off-grid electricity development and deployment in Kenya through a SIS lens”

    Mina Rezaeian, University of Manchester: “UK eco-towns policy: Government’s expectations and housebuilders’ reactions”


    Prof. Karoline Rogge, SPRU University of Sussex Qi Song, SPRU University of Sussex


    Lunch Break


    Parallel Session 3

    Going digital: Opportunities and Challenges


    Sarah Bostan, University of Leeds: “Responsible innovation in open-source software: Implementing electronic health record systems”

    Florian Helfrich, University of Twente: “Challenging power relations – Governance of Blockchain- based Infrastructure Transitions on Energy markets (eGoBIT)”

    Maria J. Bustamante, Stockholm School of Economics: “The value of digital platforms: Transforming matters of concern and affordances into platform worth”

    Luc F.M. van Summeren, Eindhoven University of Technology: “Community energy meets smart grids”

    Victo J. Silva, University of Campinas: “Rosenberg effects: How AI influences science”


    Dr. Simone Vannuccini, SPRU University of Sussex Yao Shi, SPRU University of Sussex

    Parallel Session 4

    Innovation: Strategies, Dynamics and Systems


    Liu Shi, University of Oxford: “Firm innovation strategies in response to green industrial policy in ‘era of ferment’: Case study on China's early transition to electric mobility”

    Alejandra Barrueta, University of Manchester: “They talk the talk but do they walk it: The performativity of LCE”

    Jørgen Finstad, University of Oslo: “A dynamic view on the sectoral configuration of technological innovation systems: Insights from the evolution of CCS in Norway”

    Arthur Marcon, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul: “The dynamics of startups in innovation ecosystems”

    Max Meier, KU Leuven: “Co-Patents: What do trends reveal? An assessment of European innovation systems”


    Dr. David Eggleton, SPRU University of Sussex Ali Saber, SPRU University of Sussex


    Tea Break


    Parallel Session 5

    Science, Funding and Collaboration


    Bunyakiat Petri, Virginia Tech: “The Relations between International Research Collaboration and Local Triple Helix Collaboration: The Case study of Thailand and the U.S.”

    Kristin Oxley, University of Oslo: “Grant peer review panels evaluating interdisciplinary research – challenges and coping strategies”

    Lucía Céspedes, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba: “¿Castellano, português, English? The languages of sciences in the Latin American scientific field”

    Paula Schipper, Utrecht University: “Does holding multiple affiliations affect impact? Analysing publications, patents and media appearances of professors”


    Dr. Frédérique Bone, SPRU University of Sussex Qi Song, SPRU University of Sussex

    Parallel Session 6

    Global South Perspectives: Research, Innovation and Sustainability


    Muez Ali, University College London: “Postgraduate research on developing countries: Shortcomings in the research process”

    Meghna Khurania, Jawaharlal Nehru University: “Student’s Choice for Vocational Education and Labour Market Aspirations: a Study of Select ITIs in Delhi”

    Nwamaka Chidera Ogbonna, University of Oxford: “Learning and capability development in Chinese Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Nigeria”

    Tohmina Khatoon, University of Sussex: “A Global South perspective on interplay between policy mixes and technological innovation systems dynamics: A case of Dhaka City’s low-carbon passenger transport”


    Prof. Tim Foxon, SPRU University of Sussex Asli Ates, SPRU University of Sussex


    Virtual Pub Night

  • Day Two

    Time (BST: GMT+1)

    Day 2 – June 18, 2021


    Parallel Session 7

    Engagement, Participation and Justice


    Carelle Mang-Benza, University of Western Ontario: “Not paid to dance at the powwow: M’Chigeeng First Nation regaining power through community wind energy in Ontario, Canada”

    Denitsa Shishkova, Plovdiv University: “Communication strategies and actions in the Bedechka case” 

    Laura van Oers & Jacob Smessaert, Utrecht University: “Setting-up a participatory guarantee system (PGS) with Dutch food communities: The unmaking of capitalist agri-food systems”

    Yutong Si, Northeastern University: “Energy justice through solar: Constructing and engaging low- income households”


    Dr. Divya Sharma, SPRU University of Sussex

    Alice Livingston Ortolani, SPRU University of Sussex

    Parallel Session 8

    Actors, Mobilisation and Decision-making


    Alex Nordt, Monash University: “Intermediaries and the role of policy entrepreneurs in strengthening energy efficiency standards for buildings”

    Christopher Walsh, University of Manchester: “Utilising the private sector for sustainable development”

    Pinar Temocin, Hiroshima University: “Rethinking environmental mobilization: Civil society engagement in the energy decision-making process in post-Fukushima Japan”

    Erich Wolff, Monash University: “Collaborative disaster data: can citizen science reshape the relationship between scientists and communities in the age of climate change?”


    Prof. Tim Foxon, SPRU University of Sussex Aline Scherrer, SPRU University of Sussex


    Tea Break


    Parallel Session 9

    Innovation Dynamics and Structural Change


    Amirhossein Najafi, University of Technology Sydney: “Hydrocarbon richness and renewable energy transition: The effect of democracy and state hydrocarbon rents on renewable energy development”

    Bernardo Caldarola, University of Sussex: "Structural change, innovation and inclusion: an analysis of the Nigerian informal sector"

    Dima Nedelcheva Yankova, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV): “Exploring the role of key network actors in fostering regional resilience”

    Gabrielle Gambuli, CY Cergy Paris Université: “High-speed railways and innovation” 

    Matthias Galan, Vienna University of Business and Economics: “Contestation in the making: Studying perceptions of the interplay of global and local production networks in the Indian off-grid solar sector” 


    Prof. Ed Steinmueller, SPRU University of Sussex

    Asli Ates, SPRU University of Sussex

    Parallel Session 10

    Inclusive Innovation and Social Innovation


    Esra Aydogdu, University of Strathclyde: “The impact of social innovation programmes and policies”

    Joana Dias, Universidade de Lisboa: “The potential of social innovation to create transformative capacity in communities”

    Melina Alejandra Galdos Frisancho, University of Sussex: “Towards a new conceptualisation of inclusive innovation: reflections around equity, participation, and perceived basic needs” 

    Sam Unsworth, Chalmers University of Technology: “Understandings, practices and infrastructures of innovation for inclusive and sustainable energy services” 


    Dr. Sung Kyu Kim, SPRU University of Sussex

    Alice Livingston Ortolani, SPRU University of Sussex


    Lunch Break


    Parallel Session 11

    Scale, Context and Transitions


    Laura Vani Kesore, Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés (LISIS): “Destabilizations and transformations of inter-urban passenger mobility: examining socio- technical changes in long-distance rail and flight in Europe (1950 - present)”

    Pinar Majidova, University of Aberdeen: “Managing urban landscape transformation in the absence of cross-sectoral collaboration in large European cities”

    Filip Śnieg, Leibniz Association & Leibniz University of Hanover: “Lost in sustainability transitions? Urban transformation in post-socialist small cities as a challenge for planning”

    Thea Jung, University of Cambridge: “A mixed-methods, cross-country analysis of decarbonisation pathways in the cement industry: Examining the role of actors, institutions and technological innovation in heterogeneous country contexts” 


    Dr. Bipashyee Ghosh, SPRU University of Sussex Aline Scherrer, SPRU University of Sussex


    Tea Break


    Virtual Closing

    Prof. Tim Foxon, SPRU PhD Convenor - Science Policy Research Unit 2021 Forum Organising Team

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Last forum

The 26th annual SPRU PhD (Online) Forum took place on 14-15 May 2020.

Previously held in the Jubilee lecture theatre, the Forum took place over Zoom due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A guest conference, ST Global Consortium, joined the Forum for 2020, giving an even wider platform for PhD researchers to connect, share and learn from each other.

Workshop presentations were live streamed on our YouTube channel over the two days.

You can view the YouTube streams for:

Two additional sessions were not livestreamed: a workshop on researcher wellness during Covid-19, provided by University of Sussex, and a panel on academic career development from ST Global Consortium.

You can download the SPRU PhD Forum 2020 Agenda [PDF 262KB].

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