Manchester Institute of Innovation Research

Eu SPRI Forum PhD Circulation Award

Call for proposals for doctoral researchers

Twenty Fourth submission deadline: 11 June 2019                                                                                                                            

The circulation of PhD researchers is an important element of the training activities of the Eu-SPRI Forum network. It is part of the development of the European training platform which Eu-SPRI Forum aims to develop in the area of science and innovation policy studies. It addresses our objective of offering a European pathway to PhD researchers in this field.

EU-SPRI Forum now invites PhD researchers to apply for the next round of PhD circulation. 

Member organisations are:

  • Université Paris-Est, Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société (IFRIS)
  • Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
  • Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), Spain
  • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM-Accenture Chair on Economics and Management of Innovation)
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche (CNR), CERIS Institute for Research on Firm and Growth, Rome
  • Politecnico di Milano
  • Consorzio Universitario in Ingenieria per la Qualita e l’Innovazione, QUINN, Pisa
  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
  • CIRCLE, Lund University, Sweden
  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester, UK
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • NIFU, Norway
  • University of Twente,  Institute of Innovation and Governance Studies (IGS)
  • VTT, in collaboration with Helsinki Institute of Science and Technology Studies (HIST)
  • Innovation Studies, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development , Universiteit Utrecht

This call is open to doctoral researchers in their second year of PhD thesis or beyond (and early stage researchers, who have completed their PhD within the past 12 months, in exceptional circumstances).

Topic Areas supported

This mobility call is restricted to research topics relating to science, technology and innovation policy including studies of science, technological innovation processes and entrepreneurship which may have relevance for policy.

How to apply

1.       You must first discuss your proposed visit with a potential supervisor at your chosen host institution. Both the ‘PhD Home’ institute and ‘PhD Host’ institute must be members of the Eu-SPRI Forum Network.  You must confirm that they are prepared to accept you if your proposal is selected. 

2.       Send the following documents to

  • A completed application form (download from Eu-SPRI Forum web site;  
    (This does not need to be signed by all parties at application stage)
  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter / email of support from Host Supervisor
  • Letter / email of support from Home Supervisor
  • 1 other academic reference

3.   Your application will be evaluated by a committee from the Eu-SPRI Forum Training Group.  You will be informed of the outcome when a decision has been made (within 1 month).

Application guidelines

  • The proposed location should be in a different “national system” so that the PhD researcher experiences a different institutional environment.  An application to move, for example, within the Netherlands would not be accepted
  • Length of circulation visit should be at least 3 months.
  • In the Letter of Intent, be as specific as possible about what you intend to do at your host institute.  Detail why you wish to visit that particular institute; how it will contribute to your research; what you hope to achieve.
  • Prepare your proposal thoroughly, look at the criteria for selection, and make a good case.  The awards are competitive, and you need to present yourself well.  Have a specific objective of the stay.  This could be to work on an area of theory with experts, or to undertake fieldwork in a different country, for example.  Think about the potential benefits which may arise in the longer term.  Make sure you put in sufficient material to convince the reviewers
  • Ensure that the place you want to visit is a good match for you and your work, and make sure that the researcher(s) you want to work with will actually be there and are willing to host you.  Making preliminary enquiries about practical arrangements is also a good idea.  However, if someone at another institution has agreed in principle to accept you, your proposal may still be subject to a request for further revision or rejected.
  • Ask someone (perhaps your supervisor) to review your proposal before you submit it.
  • Your research must be relevant to the Eu-SPRI Forum Network.  For more information see web site.
  • Both the ‘PhD Home’ institute and ‘PhD Host’ institute must be members of the Eu-SPRI Forum Network.  Therefore, you may only apply to institutes that are ‘PhD Hosts’ within Eu-SPRI Forum Network.  See list above and web site.
  •  The criteria for evaluating proposals are:

    • Quality of the candidate
    • Quality of the PhD project
    • Relevance of the project to Eu-SPRI
    • Expected benefits of stay for host institution
    • Expected benefits of stay for research career and PhD studies
    • Balance of student flows


Further details
  • Eu-SPRI will award a lump sum of 2,500 Euros per candidate (for travel expenses and accommodation)
  • If your application is successful, the letter of Intent must then be signed by all parties who must agree to the terms outlined in it
  • On completion of the circulation you must provide an evaluation report to the Eu-SPRI  network which will be placed on the website
  • If you think you need any further information please email or  

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The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research is a centre of excellence in the field of innovation studies, building on a 50-year tradition of innovation and science studies in Manchester.

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