07 / 09 / 2018

ESRS autumn school - call for abstracts

Author: BSC

Food and nutrition security and long-term sustainability of food systems are among the major challenges for European societies in the coming decades. Food systems and the ways we produce, consume and regulate the production of food are increasingly expected to contribute to a range of societal objectives – provide healthy nutrition to all, conserve the planetary resources, deliver public environmental goods, facilitate the development of rural and urban territories, promote social justice and inclusion, enrich our cultural diversity. Various stakeholders from food companies to consumers, environmentalists, municipalities, and many others are engaging in new practical initiatives of sustainable food provision and consumption, or even seek to develop new and more inclusive food policies. These processes are closely related to social innovation.

The objective of the Autumn School

The objective of the ESRS Autumn School 2018 “Social Innovation in and for Sustainable Food Provision” is to advance scientific knowledge of PhD students in rural sociology and related disciplines (e.g. agriculture and food studies, nutrition and public health) about the role social innovation plays in contemporary food provision. The Autumn School will look into conditions, frameworks and mechanisms of social innovation as well as its outcomes and effects on our food systems.

Who is invited?

It has been a tradition of ESRS schools to bring together students who work on PhD projects in thematically related area to discuss issues of common interest and individual relevance, and enhance the expertise of PhD researchers in an interdisciplinary and friendly atmosphere, together with more experienced researchers and professors who act as tutors.

This year the Autumn School invites PhD students who work on social innovation in the areas of agriculture and food, nutrition, diets and consumption; examine the responses of the food industry to dynamic shifts in consumer demand for sustainably produced products; investigate collaborative arrangements as well as governance towards sustainable food systems; examine ways in which specific supply and demand synergies enhance different modes of sustainable production and consumption; and other related topics. PhD students are expected to bring their own theoretical perspectives and empirical cases that would form the basis for academic interaction during the School’s activities.

Gains from the Autumn School

For PhD students the Autumn School will provide an opportunity to discuss their work, receive feedback, and make choices regarding theories, methods and data representations most fitting their research goals. The School will also provide a structured overview of social innovation related academic debate which will be presented by well-known experts in the field. Guest professors and tutors will provide input in various forms (keynotes, workshops, feedback, individual consultations, etc.). Besides plenary sessions, the Autumn school will hold working group discussions on the student research cases as well as practical issues participants might face in their work - such as context and sector-related peculiarities of innovations, research strategies, writing-related issues. It is expected that up to 12 PhD students will be admitted to the School. There is no registration fee and the expenses related to accommodation and catering will be covered by the organisers. The admitted students are expected to cover their travel costs.

How to apply?

- PhD students willing to apply have to submit an abstract (including a short biographical note, title of a paper, keywords, research questions, theoretical framework, methods used, empirical data and main results if available) and give precision about the status of their text – is it a thesis chapter, an academic paper or any other academic text. The abstract should not exceed 800 words.

- Abstract has to be sent to: by the 20th of September. 

- The Scientific committee will select and inform the candidates by the 1 st of October.

- Candidates who are selected will have to send their full paper (3-4 thousand words) by the 25th of October.

More information on Autumn School available here.