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2022 Commissioner Seminar Series

Image - 2022 Commissioner Seminar Series

The RSA’s European Foundation delivered the first Commissioner Seminar on Cohesion Policy in Brussels this month.

This seminar series is an initiative by Dr Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms and a collaborative venture organised between Commissioner Ferreira and her Cabinet; the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) in partnership with the Regional Studies Association’s European Foundation (RSA Europe).

Earlier this week, Brussels welcomed us for the first seminar on the geography of discontent, levelling up, lagging regions, development trapped regions. The seminar was led by Prof Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, London School of Economics, UK.

For the seminar, 15 selected PhD and early career researchers were invited to Brussels to discuss their research with Commissioner Ferreira. The group represented 11 different nationalities and a variety of disciplines ranging from sociology, public policy, urban planning, economic geography etc.

Participants of the last seminar highly valued the opportunity to present their research to the Commissioner and receiving feedback on their research in addition to vibrant discussions and networking. The following quotes summarise the positive impact the seminar had on participants:

This was such a valuable event. It is rare for academics or researchers of any level to be able to engage with policymakers in this way, but this seminar was extremely valuable to early career researchers in meeting the Commissioner and other associates from the European Commission, as well as having the opportunity to present and discuss research with them. Furthermore, the ability to engage and network with other early career researchers is very valuable in exploring new research ideas and building good research relationships. The event was extremely well organised, and this is typical of the work of the Regional Studies Association/ RSA Europe in ensuring that the regional studies community thrives.

Dr Robert Bowen, ECR, Cardiff University, UK

I had the opportunity to challenge myself and learn how to communicate my research outside the academic world.

Nathalie Vigna, PhD student, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

The seminar was absolutely fantastic and has taken me to a new level. Once you’ve given a talk to so many important people, other talks feel almost playfully easy. Because of the seminar, I keep asking myself if my work has a clear message with a call-to-action. It’s challenging, but it had added new value to my research.

Jan Gniza, PhD student, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Germany

Photos can be found on the RSA Europe Facebook page.

A great opportunity for knowledge exchange and mobilisation and after the success of the first seminar, we are now developing the call for the second seminar in the series which will focus on innovation.

Alex Holmes

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