SPRU PhD Forum

Hosted by the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) and established in 1994 as “DPhil Day”, this annual Forum draws together PhD students to discuss key topics. Read about the most recent Forum below.

2023 SPRU PhD Forum & Eu-SPRI Early Career Event

The 29th SPRU PhD Forum took place on Tuesday 13 June 2023 in association with the European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation (Eu-SPRI). SPRU proudly hosted this year’s Eu-SPRI Conference at the University of Sussex Business School from Wednesday 14 – Friday 16 June, and this preceding event focused exclusively on the early career community, providing a fantastic opportunity for colleagues to discuss their research and network at the beginning of the week.

It was a pleasure to welcome 30 participants from a diverse range of institutions across the globe to our green (and sunny) campus in Sussex! This combined SPRU and Eu-SPRI Early Career Researcher event aimed to support early career scholars in developing their research profile and professional career by providing an enriching programme of parallel sessions, guests talks and networking opportunities.

Group photo outside Jubilee of Eu-SPRI 2023 ECR Event participants

Group photo of SPRU PhD Forum & Eu-SPRI 2023 ECR Event participants

The first panel session of the day focused on 'Getting Your First Job' with a panel of guest speakers:

  • Professor Emanuela Reale, Director of IRCRES-CNR, Italy, and President of the Eu-SPRI Executive Committee
  • Paula Knee, a Partner at Technopolis Group
  • Professor Chirantan Chatterjee, Reader in Economics of Innovation at SPRU and Convenor of the SPRU Doctoral Programme.

Topics such as effective job search strategies, crafting a compelling resume and the importance of networking were discussed, and participants could gain valuable insights and guidance by hearing from the various professional experiences of the speakers.

An interesting variety of research areas were discussed during the day’s parallel sessions, all guided by the Eu-SPRI 2023 Conference theme on ‘Research with Impact’ within Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. There were ten parallel sessions, encompassing themes such as technology, nature and governance, organisational innovation, transitions, the public sector, climate justice and gender roles in science and society. Participants were able to present and discuss their work with peers, leading scholars and editors of international journals.

The second panel of the day, ‘Getting Your Research Published’, aimed to equip participants with the knowledge and strategies required to increase the visibility and impact of their research through publication in academic journals. We were joined by guest speakers:

  • Maria Savona, Professor of Economics of Innovation, SPRU
  • Ben Martin, Professor of Science and Technology Policy Studies, SPRU
  • Abdul Abbas, Research Fellow of the Industrial Decarbonisation Research & Innovation Centre, and recent PhD graduate from SPRU.

As serving editors of Research Policy, a leading journal in the field, Professors Maria Savona and Ben Martin shared their expertise and insights on the publication process. Dr Abdul Abbas offered valuable insights from his personal experience of getting research published, including practical tips for participants.

Following the day’s engaging parallel sessions and guest talks, the convivial atmosphere spilled over into the IDS Bar on campus for a relaxed social gathering! There was a fantastic atmosphere at this year’s combined SPRU PhD Forum and Eu-SPRI ECR event - thank you to all participants for your contributions.

The 29th SPRU PhD Forum and Eu-SPRI Early Career Event was co-chaired by Dr Adrian Ely, Reader in Technology and Sustainability, SPRU and Dr Xiangming Tao, Lecturer in Innovation and Project Management, SPRU. The co-chairs worked with an organising team of SPRU doctoral researchers: Carla Douglas Gonzales, Qi Song, Kanika Balani, Isaac Lemo, Yongyuan Huang, Leticia Müller, Ida Yamaswari, and Alice Livingston-Ortolani. Other members of the SPRU research community, such as Giulia Minnini, Imogen Wade, Max Lacey-Barnacle, Rachael Durrant, Karoline Rogge, Tim Foxon, Marie Claire Brisbois and Chirantan Chatterjee kindly contributed to this event as reviewers and discussants.

Last forum

The 28th annual SPRU PhD Forum took place on 20th – 21st June 2022 in a hybrid format, bringing together the SPRU researcher community after two years of online forums. SPRU PhD students presented their work across a range of topics such as grassroots innovation, green technologies and public policy. The forum also included talks from senior academics, a Library-led workshop on increasing the visibility and reach of research activity, and social drinks at the IDS bar.

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