1 Jun 2016

The new Regional Studies Association open access journal, Regional Studies, Regional Science, has a section specifically devoted to Early Career Papers which focuses on publishing short articles from students and early career researchers to make their research accessible to a wider audience. Articles in the Early Career Papers Section will have a regional focus and will succinctly present the research questions and results whether preliminary or final.
The editors of the Early Career Papers Section are currently seeking submissions of paper proposals for short articles (max. 3,000 words).
Contributions are welcomed from any discipline in the field of regional studies or regional science and with any geographical focus. The ‘regional’ dimension may vary from trans-national spaces with fuzzy boundaries to clearly defined spaces at the sub-national level.
Authors (and co-Authors) can be students or Early Career Researchers who have completed their PhD in the last five years. RSA Members are particularly invited to submit a paper proposal for consideration; however, RSA membership is not a prerequisite for submission.


Submissions are invited in the form of a research summary consisting of (a) six ‘research highlights’ in bullet points and (b) six sections of max. 150 words covering the following points:

1. Introduction (150 words)

  • Sets the wider context and the debates that the research is contributing to
  • Explains the relevance of the issue to people outside the region covered

  • Makes a clear claim for novelty and relevance

  • Contains a clear research question
  • Explains what data has been gathered
  • Sets out a flavour of the findings

2. Literature Review (150 words)

  • Highlights the main field of literature to address the research question

  • Identifies a tension in existing understandings that the research will attempt to resolve
  • Sets out a limited number of key concepts that are used to interpret the data

  • Presents a clear evidentiary framework, setting out how data can be analysed

3. Methodology & case study overview (150 words)

  • Sets out precisely what evidence has been gathered and how

  • Gives detail about the methods used and justifies this choice

  • Provides information on the context of the region or regions covered in the paper

4. Data / Empirics (150 words)

  • Only presents the base data without analysis or reference

  • Is arranged using the model, heuristic or framework developed in the literature review

  • It is transparent and potentially verifiable with sufficient information for reader to judge it
  • Uses text to point out the most salient issues and join up the dots of the relevance

5. Discussion (150 words)

  • Makes claims about how the data can be interpreted using the analytic framework

  • Uses the framework to argue that the situation is an example of a larger category (‘diagnosis’)
  • Uses that diagnosis to indicate which aspect of the tension is most pertinent (‘analysis’)

  • Explains how widely the findings can be generalised

  • Explains what the relevance of these findings are for policy-makers and/ or practitioners

6. Conclusions (150 words)

  • Answers the research question

  • Tells us the implication for the empirical context (‘bigger picture’) described in the introduction
  • Tells us how the research invites us to think differently about the issue at stake

  • Explains the relevance of the findings for an academic, a policy-maker, a practitioner

  • Points out the limits of its applicability and any remaining uncertainties
Submissions will be evaluated for their originality, novelty and quality: successful paper proposals will be invited to submit a full paper, with a maximum of 3,000 words, for inclusion on the Early Career Papers open access site. Using a constructive review process, accepted authors will be supported by a named corresponding editor who will produce supportive feedback to guide the author towards a high-quality article. In addition, all articles are reviewed by the entirety of the editorial team prior to publication.
Article Publishing Charges (APCs), normally payable for papers published in RSRS, will be waived for those who are accepted by this Early Career Papers mentored route to publication. All articles published in Regional Studies, Regional Science are published open access, which means that the article is freely available in perpetuity online. There is no additional subscription fee, article pay-to-view fee or any other form of access fee; and no publication embargo is applied.
Authors may also consider submitting to the journal through the normal route but in this case an APC will apply. Visit the journal’s website for more details.
To submit a paper proposal or for further information regarding any of the above-mentioned points, please contact: Marijana Sumpor, Abstract Manager of the Early Career Papers section: msumpor@eizg.hr
Paul Benneworth, Paul Braidford, Marcin Dabrowski, Marijana Sumpor, Sabrina Lai & Lee Pugalis Editors of the Early Career Papers Section

9 Mar 2016

This is a guest post by Dr Sarah Ayres, Chair of the Political Studies Research Commission, Regional Studies Association Board Member and Reader in Public Policy and Governance at the University of Bristol. The post presents in shord the findings and recommendations of the project Examining the role of ‘informal governance’ on devolution to England’s cities. Follow the link for more details.
"Devolution to English cities is not sustainable without greater transparency and legitimacy in decision making" that is the conclusion of the Political Studies Association’s Research Commission to examine the role of ‘informal governance’ on devolution to England’s cities. The Commission is chaired by Dr Sarah Ayres (University of Bristol and Board Member of the Regional Studies Association) and has involved the following Commissioners - Paul Buddery (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), Dr Jo Casebourne (Institute for Government), Tessa Coombes (University of Bristol), Ed Cox (Institute for Public Policy Research) and Mark Sandford (House of Commons Library).
The Commission is launching its report at a round table event at the Institute for Government on 3rd March 2016. The report offers some reflections on the process of decision making around the devolution deals to date. It draws on the shared learning and experiences of key actors involved to identify elements that have worked well and also potential areas for improvement. It concludes that the devolution agenda offers a real opportunity to empower local areas, boost economic productivity and improve public services. Yet, there is a danger that the initiative will falter in the absence of greater clarity around process and enhanced local ownership of decision making.
The UK has long been regarded as one of the most centralised states in Europe. Yet, since the Scottish Referendum and the election of a Conservative Government in May 2015, the devolution agenda in England has moved forward at a rapid pace. It offers a real opportunity to significantly transform the way England is governed. There is energy and momentum behind English devolution that has the potential to address growing public concerns about the governance of England in a devolved United Kingdom. Central Government proposals for devolution have been met largely with enthusiasm from local areas and there is a firm commitment in parts of Government to see the devolution of power in core policy areas such as transport, economic development and regeneration and public service reform.
However, the devolution agenda, and more specifically the process of negotiating the recent round of devolution deals, is characterised by a high degree of ‘informal governance’. Informal governance can be defined ‘as a means of decision-making that is un-codified, non-institutional and where social relationships and webs of influence play crucial roles’ (Harsh, 2013, 481)[1]. The issue of informality in policy making is particularly timely as global nations and cities seek to manage multifaceted policy problems within contested, complex and uncertain environments. This development has prompted a new style of political leadership - one that relies less on bureaucracy and formal structures and more on networks and informal relations. However, informal governance raises important questions about effectiveness and transparency in policy making. On the one hand it can lead to greater efficiency through more timely and streamlined decision making, based on high trust relationships. On the other, it may weaken transparency, accountability and legitimacy by undermining traditional (more formal) administrative structures.
Informal governance is everywhere in policy making but the devolution agenda is characterised by a particularly high degree of informal governance. The fact that guidance and procedure are absent generates scepticism and suspicion from some participants, councillors, and the public. This could damage the democratic legitimacy, and hence the sustainability, of the policy. The UK government is embarking on fundamental constitutional change driven largely by informal ways of working. While there are undoubtedly benefits to more informal and fluid governance arrangements, there is a danger that devolution could be undermined if key actors and the public feel disenfranchised by and disconnected from the process. More specifically, the Commission makes the following key recommendations:
  • Procedures for making decisions about devolution deals need to be more open and transparent. There is a need for ‘light touch’ guidance on (i) central government objectives (ii) what policy areas might be included in the deals (iii) characteristics of a successful bid (iv) how implementation might be monitored and (v) central and local government expectations for consultation and engagement.
  • The Government needs to better articulate the benefits of a combined authority and metro mayor if broad support for this element is to be garnered.
  • HM Treasury needs to stay involved in the implementation of devolution deals to ensure that the commitment to and momentum behind the deals remain.
  • There needs to be more emphasis on sharing good practice about how deals are negotiated across Whitehall departments and local areas to promote policy experimentation, learning and innovation.
  • Combined authorities need to move quickly to drive public engagement and wider stakeholder collaboration in implementation.
  • The Commission’s findings and recommendations are consistent with other recent evaluations of the devolution deal process. For example Devolution: the next five years and beyond[2] identifies concerns about the pace of the devolution agenda, a lack of rigour in procedures and concerns over public engagement and consultation. Empowering Counties: Unlocking county devolution deals[3] calls for greater clarity on the purpose, process and timescale for devolution. Moreover, Making devolution deals work[4] offers guidance and a check list on how to make effective devolution deals. Our findings seek to contribute to this debate and to offer critical reflections on how to develop and improve plans for devolution in the future.
Full report also available here.


[1] Harsh, M. (2013) ‘Informal governance of emerging technologies in Africa’, in Christiansen, T. and Neuhold, C. Ed, International Handbook on Informal Governance, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, pp 481-501.
[2] Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Select Committee (2016) devolution: the next five years and beyond, Draft report, February.
[3] Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) (2015) Empowering Counties: Unlocking county devolution deals, November.
[4] Institute for Government (Ifg) (2016) Making devolution deals work, January.

3 Mar 2016

An interview with the current ESRC White Rose DTC Collaborative PhD research student

Michael Taster is a current PhD research student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield. He is the current recipient of the ESRC White Rose DTC Collaborative PhD Studentship from the University of Sheffield co-sponsored by the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and Taylor & Francis.

He has an MA in Town and Regional Planning from the University of Sheffield, and undertook a BA and MSt in Classical Archaeology at Oxford University.

We asked him to tell us about his current research, what he has gained from the collaborative PhD studentship, what he sees as the challenges of being an early career researcher (ECR), and what advice he’d offer other ECRs.

What is the focus of your research?

The focus of my current research is on the impact that new technology is having on scholarly communications. Working under the somewhat cumbersome title of; “The Creation and Reproduction of Policy Relevant Spatial Knowledge and New Publishing Models: A Case Study of Regional Studies”. I see my research as looking at two processes; first, how is academic knowledge that can have an impact on the world being constructed, and second, how are new communication technologies, such as open access publishing, Facebook, Twitter, etc. disrupting and enhancing the presentation of this knowledge.

How did you find out about the collaborative PhD studentship?

Despite researching the effects of new technology on academia, I was first made aware of the opportunity to undertake this PhD through the old fashioned medium of face-to-face interaction. Studying in the same faculty as my supervisor Gordon Dabinett, who has a long involvement with the Regional Studies Association (RSA), and the editor of the RSA’s gold open access journal Regional Studies, Regional Science (RSRS)¸ Alasdair Rae. I came to realise that I was working in a scholarly environment in which publications such as RSRS were quietly revolutionising the way knowledge is communicated. After a meeting with the chief executive of the RSA, I was convinced that the project, especially with the support of Taylor & Francis and the RSA, has the potential to shed light on these unfolding developments.

What level of mentoring and support does it offer?

Working with Taylor & Francis and the RSA has benefited me greatly, due to the opportunities and access offered through collaboration. Having the chance to meet and network with peers and key thinkers in the worlds of publishing and regional studies has greatly enhanced my thinking at this early stage of my research. I was particularly fortunate to have been able to attend the recent Taylor & Francis Conversazione in December. Talking to attendees from across different disciplines and professions presented a unique opportunity to gain a broad perspective on the field of scholarly communication. This has impacted on my research and would have been difficult to gain otherwise.

What are the challenges of being an ECR and embarking on publishing your research?

Reflecting on my experiences of the Conversazione, I think one of the most difficult hurdles for an early career researcher is developing the confidence and belief that your work can and should be published alongside more established voices in the field. I consider myself lucky to be working alongside partners who are actively supportive of academics at the beginning of their career and seek new ways to present their work.

If you could give other ECRs one piece of advice what would it be?

To explore how you can integrate your work with new communications media. In an era where the gateways to top quality research papers range from established publishers to Instagram, there is real scope to present your work in a creative and accessible manner.

The collaborative PhD studentship is sponsored by the Regional Studies Association (RSA) in collaboration with Taylor & Francis and the Department of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield. It is supervised by Prof. Gordon Dabinett and Dr. Alasdair Rae (University of Sheffield) and Sally Hardy (Regional Studies Association). 

Original article published on Author Services by Taylor & Francis

6 Jan 2016

The year 2015 represented an important year the Regional Studies Association. This year we celebrated the 50th year of activity, and as the year comes to a close it is important that we look back and acknowledge the achievements of the RSA since its inception in 1965, and assess where the Association stands in our middle age.

Evaluating the work and achievements of the RSA was made easy for all of us through the book written by James Hopkins out of his PhD, entitled "Knowledge, Networks and Policy: Regional Studies in Postwar Britain and Beyond".  It's a great and recommended read and it reminds all of us of just how far the RSA has come over its relatively short history.

When we turn to consider where the RSA stands in 2015 there is much to be proud of:

  • we have the highest membership in our history
  • our members are spread throughout the globe with more than 40 nations represented amongst our ranks;
  • we balanced across our categories of membership – individual, corporate, associate, early career and student members;
  • the membership is distributed across our four geographical bands (A, B, C, D)  This is part of our conscious strategy to make the Association as inclusive as possible for scholars from a range of countries including those with recognised funding difficulties;
  • we are a youthful and dynamic Association with 40% of our members being early career academics or students. 

The Association is exceptionally active it terms of conferences and other types of events. In 2015 the RSA hosted major conferences in Piacenza, Italy; Melbourne, Australia; Hangzhou, China; London, United Kingdom, as well as the Early Career Conference in Sheffield.  Our Research Networks organised and conducted numerous additional events.

The Hangzhou Conference – our second in China – is indicative of the embracing nature of the Association and its membership.   The conference had 120 registrants from 22 countries, 4 plenary speakers, 25 workshop sessions, and 96 papers.

But this, of course, is only indicative of a broader effort: throughout 2015 the Association had more than 2500 participants at its events.

Our publication efforts are – if anything – even more impressive.  In 2015 we published 24 journal issues across our four titles (Regional Studies; Spatial Economic Analysis; Territory, Politics, Governance; Regional Studies, Regional Science). That represents approximately 1.4million words of scholarship in only one year! This was in addition to the 17 books we published in a series that currently boasts 125 titles so far. We also set up to launch our fifth journal in 2016 – aimed at the greater BRICS – Area Development and Policy offers researchers the chance to publish in their own research tradition rather than having to conform to a Euro-American style.

The RSA has emerged as an important source of research funding for its membership. In 2015 we provided financial support to:

  • 6 MeRSA grants;
  • 2 FeRSA grants;
  • 5 Early Career Researcher Grants;
  • 5 Research Networks in their new, expanded, format; 
  • and 3 travel grants.  

The total value of this investment stood at £150,000 or 1.5million RMB.  This was in addition to the 34 conference bursaries and 6 travel grants we awarded.

But the RSA isn’t just about the numbers. It is fundamentally an association of people and the exchange of ideas.  In 2015 we acknowledged a number of distinguished individuals, with Prof Ron Martin appointed as President, and Professors Lu Dadou, Ann Markusen, Dirk Ahner, Allen Scott, Clelio Campolina, and Flavia Martinelli appointed Vice Presidents.

The Regional Studies Association is a welcoming body, and as part of our efforts to better serve the field we collected feedback that tells us that our Early Career Grants and early career journal editorial posts build careers, with many recipients securing promotion or a new appointment through the life of their grant or editorship.  We are also told that our conferences are friendly and welcoming and that the networking and training opportunities we offer are useful and relevant.

And as Brian Robson, the former Deputy Vice Chancellor of Manchester University said at the President’s event in November
The RSA is clearly busy and active, but what is so impressive is that friendly buzz and the members’ enthusiasm for the Association.
It's been a wonderful 50 years, a fantastic 50th Year and we continue to build an even more promising and embracing future.

25 Nov 2015

This is a guest post by RSA Student Representative, Eduardo Oliveira. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in strategic spatial planning & place branding at the Department of Spatial Planning, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. To find out more about Eduardo: Academic Publications - LinkedIn - Presentations - Blog - RSA Student Representative

I have been recently challenged by the editorial team of thRegional Studies, Regional Science (RSRS) to briefly share my ideas and experience on sharing my publications, specifically my article published in the Early Career section of RSRS, through social media platforms. With this post, I aim to share with the readers my viewpoints on how sharing published research findings on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms can boost readership of a paper and desirably your career. As above mentioned, I will particularly focus on my latest article - Constructing regional advantage in branding the cross-border Euroregion Galicia–northern Portugal which has recently reached the second position of the most read articles published in Regional Studies, Regional Science. In addition, and according to RSRS editorial team, the article is the first most read article of the Early Career articles and it’s in the top 5% of all articles ever tracked by Altmetric with an Altmetric score of 51.

The paper was published in 11 of May 2015 and since that date I have been sharing it via different social media platforms almost in daily bases. The fact that the journal also offers open access makes it easier to tweet, post or blog the link which gives access to the article as well as the possibility to download it – without any costs. I mainly have been tweeting my article as well as posting it on LinkedIn or Facebook groups devoting attention to regional development. I have been doing it in different ways that eventually will inspire my fellow early career colleagues and the readers of this blog in general to also submit a paper proposal. I have been using Twitter to share the link to the paper by “targeting” potential interested readers – those who have been doing research on the same topic or related ones (in this case constructing regional advantage, strategic planning, place branding) as well as policy makers working closely to the research area, for the matter the Euroregion Galicia-northern Portugal (in this case governmental entities in Spain and Portugal as well as European Union institutions). I have been fortunate enough to see the link being shared several times by other Twitter users, including by some national and supra-national governmental institutions. This snowball effect produced by multiple shares on social media, it definitely generates additional views and increases the readership. I often say that is a tailored made tweet - which cares about the readers and cares about the content. I have been employing this tailored made posting on Facebook as well by posting the link on large discussion groups of people interested in understand regional dynamics, regional development and looking for envisioning better futures for Galicia in Spain and the northern Portuguese region. As my aim is not to make of a scientific topic a subject matter of a daily tabloid, but instead increment the discussion around the topic, I opt to share the link with additional information following new regional policies or decisions which impact the research area or the countries involved.

In my viewpoint sharing a published paper with preliminary or final research findings not only gives the possibility to share knowledge about certain topic or research area but also helps researchers to position themselves in the academic discussion, for instance among those conducting research on regional studies and regional science as well as contribute to praxis. In addition, and I am sure that my fellow colleagues will agree with me on this matter, in today’s competitive academic job market and beyond, it is of paramount importance to let the world know our expertise through publications and other relevant academic outputs. Sharing published work on social media platforms could also open doors for career opportunities as potential employees (for example, universities, research centres, NGOs, enterprises) will get to know our work in an easy and dynamic way. With dynamic here I mean the multiple possible ways we can choose to share knowledge in a freely, friendly and fruitfully manner.

I hope the readers of this blog find my experience and methodology on using social media to spread research findings and published work useful.

To conclude, in my personal view an early career research could benefit from a clear win-win relation between publishing a paper on the Early Career Section of RSRS – sharing the link to the published work and the open access publishing. The mentored route of the Early Career Section is helpful and constructive. The open access format allows accessing the article without any additional fees for the reader, which in turn contributes to knowledge exchange across different social media platforms. It is very important to believe in our work as well as being confident in our research and in the academic and practical value of our findings. The final version of my article, improved with the help of the corresponding editors and other experts, gives me highly confidence on the findings and I do believe that it can inspire other regions to develop a similar approach as well as inspire early career to invest in an Early Career paper for RSRS. Bearing in mind these positive sides, I have been spreading the article worldwide. The RSRS editorial team will welcome with enthusiasm your unique, novel and interesting paper proposal. 

10 Nov 2015

This is a guest post by Julie Tian Miao, the RSA's Early Career Representative. Julie Miao is a Lecturer in Urban Planning and Development at Glasgow University, and Glasgow-Nankai Postgraduate School in China. 

The paper I am summarising today reports the first stage findings from my Regional Studies Association (RSA) Early Career Grant [November 2013 round], to which I am very grateful to.

In a nutshell, my RSA project intends to explore the potential disjuncture between the centralised social-institutional arrangement and the decentralised techno-economic system in China. I was inspired by the studies (such as Peck & Zhang, 2013) on the emerging Sino-capitalism regime but disappointed by the reductionist ‘neoliberalism’ label that broad-brush China’s distinctive social and economic evolution. As a scholar who witnessed China’s reforms over the past three decades, I am more than aware that the Central government still (have to) retain a firm hand over a wide range of social-institutional management and activities, partly because the fear of social disturbance and partly because the greater economic localism and decentralisation. Here, ironically, the faster economic neoliberalism in China seems has resulted in sustained (or even strengthened) bureaucratic-authoritarian in its social affair management.

Departure from this wider background, I focused my attention on China’s social housing provision as one example of its social-institutional responsibilities; and its labour market as showcase of its economic dimension. Spatial boundary was set on around the three National Self-Innovation Model Zones in China, namely Beijing Zhongguancun Science Park (Z-Park); Shanghai Zhangjiang Science Park (Z-SHIPs), and Wuhan Optics Valley of China (OVC), because I see the housing-labour imbalance to be the severest around these industry agglomerations. Three research aims were set for this project:
  • To profile Chinese policy evolutions and governance for labour markets and affordable housing;
  • To identify disjuncture in the different mixes of state-market relations in different regions;
  • To discuss civil society and government responses to emerging problems. 

This paper on ‘Housing the Knowledge Economy’ mainly addressed the latter two questions, in particular the awareness of social housing providers to the housing needs of knowledge workers. These issues were analysed mainly through secondary data analysis, assisted by interviews with local and national authorise and science parks’ managers. This method was chosen because the supply effect of social housing was the main concern of this paper instead of the demand. Based on extensive documentary coding and analysis, it was found that for China as a whole, its labour market has been liberalised to a similar extend as that in the West, but Beijing is still the ‘central nervous’ in setting targets of social housing constructions, which has resulted in substantial disjuncture between where people get paid and where people get housed.  Nonetheless, regional variations were prominent.

Frequency of the key dimensions appeared in the three SPs and national key regulations.
Source: the author
In Z-Park, where the most acute work-live imbalance was identified, the local authorities were least explicit in their social housing (or even commercial housing) commitment. Along with spatial expansion of Z-Park outside the central districts of Beijing, more social housing for Z-Park employees was provided at the outskirt and financed by the municipal government. In Z-SHIPs, attention to the housing needs of science park employees was much more noticeable. But what made Z-SHIPs stood out was its reliance on the market to provide affordable housing, a model that bears similarity to that in the West. In OVC, where land constrain was not as severe as the other two, the real estate sector has long been identified as the pillar of local development. Social housing was public financed and distributed, and often located far from city centre, a patter similar to Z-Park. But the much more aggressive real estate development in OVC raised the concern of its real ‘high-tech’ and innovation commitment.
By distinguishing China’s social-institutional and techno-economic domains, this research could uncover the multiple faces of the widely debated Sino-capitalism. Another novelty aspect of this research lies in identifying the possible inconsistent pace towards neoliberalism both temporarily and regionally, which in turn could hamper the overall system function as a result of the ‘Buckets Effect’. This draws policy attention to a systematic approach in promoting knowledge economy. A following paper from this project, which is based on questionnaire survey of knowledge workers, will further explore such inconsistence around the three Science Parks from the demand side.   

21 Sep 2015

This is a guest post by RSA Student Representative, Eduardo Oliveira. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in strategic spatial planning & place branding at the Department of Spatial Planning, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
I am quite sure that the readers of this blog and my fellow colleagues are aware of the myriad of publications offered by Regional Studies Association (see the list here). RSRS is an interdisciplinary open access journal from the Regional Studies Association which offers to potential authors the opportunity to reach as wide an audience as possible through the open access publishing route. This open access means that the article will be accessible worldwide and perpetually. The RSRS welcomes submissions on regional issues in economics, geography, planning, political science, and related fields, produced, for instance, by early careers researchers. The journal has a section specifically devoted to Early Career Papers which focuses on publishing short articles from students and early career researchers to make their research accessible to a wider audience. Articles in the Early Career Papers section will have a regional focus and will succinctly present the research questions and results whether preliminary or final.
I found the Early Career section a great vehicle to publish intermediate results of my research project. Being an open access journal, following a rigorous and meticulous process of review by a notable and experienced editorial team as well as external peer-reviewers, I knew in advance that the manuscript could reach a larger audience. I would like to underline here that the publishing process was challenging, as academic publishing is, but very also a very rewarding one.
The aim of the editorial team is to publish novel, insightful and unique research findings. The team is highly committed to support early career researchers all the way through, from the paper proposal to the final version of the manuscript. It was a challenging process, as I had to improve the manuscript for several times bringing additional literature and highlighting the uniqueness of the findings. At the same time, it was also a very rewarding route as I have learned a lot during the revision - I have developed new ideas and consequently polish the theoretical framework. The 3000 words as maximum length for the articles challenges researchers to go straight to the point and indeed focuses on the most relevant findings – this particular element is also very relevant to boost readership as we all like to get new information in a fast, pragmatic and straightforward way. I have received great comments that have definitely helped me to bring the paper to a higher level. I can convincingly state there that I greatly benefit of the mentored route to publication the journal offers for early careers to publish their work.
I hope to have inspired some early careers to prepare a paper proposal. I would like to remind the readers that the editors of the Early Career Papers section are currently seeking submissions of paper proposals for short articles (max. 3,000 words as mentioned above). The next deadline for paper proposals is 15 of October 2015 (please read the information here and consider submitting).
Additional information of relevant interest for early careers is that the Regional Studies Association is currently organising the next - Early Career Conference 2015 - From Early Careers to Established Profiles: Strategies for Success, 29th - 30th October, 2015 at ICOSS, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK and also welcomes abstracts ( info. here). Read here the summary of last year Early Career Conference in Sheffield - Sheffield at a glance: widening career horizons through open access publishing.

28 Aug 2015

As part of the Regional Studies Association‘s 50th anniversary new funding schemes and increased funding for Research Networks have been agreed.

By offering these, the Association is seeking to raise the profile of regional research and its contribution if appropriate, to policy and practice. Research awards will be judged on the basis of the excellence of the research proposal and the ability of the applicant to communicate the results of the research broadly.

Please note that these schemes are open to RSA members only. However, non-members are encouraged to apply and join the RSA at the same time (not applicable for the Fellowship Research Grant).

Travel Grants

The RSA offers its members’ up to £500 towards travel costs when attending a non - RSA event. Recipients of the Travel Grant must be a member of the Association at the time of the application, at the time of travel and claim. Non-members are encouraged to apply and join the RSA at the same time.

  • Value: up to £500 (or its equivalent in US$ or € depending upon the exchange rate at the time of the award).
  • Application deadlines in 2015: Friday 28th August, 3pm (GMT); Friday 27th November, 3pm (GMT)

Webpage: www.regionalstudies.org/funding/page/rsa-travel-grant

Membership Research Grant (NEW)

This is a new research funding scheme introduced in 2015 which is intended primarily to provide opportunities for mid-career scholars who have already published in the field of regional studies and or science and who are current Individual members of the RSA.

  • Value: up to £5,000 (or its equivalent in US$ or € depending upon the exchange rate at the time of the award).
  • Timeframe: Maximum time span of 18 months and reporting conditions apply
  • Application process: A two stage application process applies
  • Application deadline (first selection round): 30th October 2015, 3pm (GMT)

Webpage: www.regionalstudies.org/funding/page/rsa-MeRSA-Grant

Fellowship Research Grant (NEW)

This new award is open to Fellows of the RSA only. RSA Fellows are members who have been continuous members for a minimum of 5 years and who have also been defined as “active members”. This means that they have contributed to the life of the Association through serving on the Board or committees, have spoken at conferences, have applied for funding etc. Please email the membership team at membership@regionalstudies.org to check your eligibility for this category of membership.

  • Value: up to £7,500 (or its equivalent in US$ or € depending upon the exchange rate at the time of the award).
  • Timeframe: Maximum time span of 18 months and reporting conditions apply
  • Application process: A two stage application process applies
  • Application deadline (first selection round): 30th October 2015, 3pm (GMT)

Webpage: www.regionalstudies.org/funding/page/rsa-fellowship-research-grant-scheme

The RSA Early Career Award

Who is it for?

This award is open to single applicants in their early career (five years maximum between the date showing on the certificate and the application deadline). Applicants must be based within an eligible higher education institution (HEI) and must be a current, early career member of the Regional Studies Association and throughout the duration of the grant (please note that applicants may apply for membership at the same time as applying for the grant).

  • Value: up to £10,000 (or its equivalent in US$ or € depending upon the exchange rate at the time of the award).
  • Timeframe: Maximum time span of 18 months and reporting conditions apply
  • Application process: A two stage application process applies
  • Application deadline (first selection round): 31st May 2016, 3pm (GMT) 

Webpage: http://www.regionalstudies.org/funding/page/early-career-grant-scheme

2015-2016 Research Networks’ Funding Scheme

In 2015, the Association introduced an increased Research Networks’ funding scheme which is part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Association and available in 2015 and 2016 only. RSA Research Networks are formed by RSA members interested in meeting to examine an issue that responds to the aims and goals of the Association and is of interest and concern to members of the Association as well as non-members. The issue needs not necessarily to have a direct policy focus but the examination would normally lead to policy related conclusions.

  • Value: up to £10,000 (or its equivalent in US$ or € depending upon the exchange rate at the time of the award).
  • Timeframe: minimum of 3 years and reporting conditions apply
  • Application deadline: 31st July 2016, 4pm (GMT)

Webpage: www.regionalstudies.org/research

2016 RSA Awards

The call for the 2015 RSA Awards is now open for the following categories:

  • Nathaniel Lichfield Award 2015 (Taught Masters)
  • RSA and Routledge Early Career Award 2015 (Early Careers)
Since 2011, The Regional Studies Association has allocated financial resources to support its members and offer a range of funding opportunities to suit different career stages. These opportunities provide members with the chance to apply for financial help to support their research, run networking events, receive awards for excellence and help towards the costs of travel to attend non RSA events and present their work to international audiences.

  • Value: up to £500 in cash (In case the award is assigned to two or more nominees, the prize will be divided equally among the winners), a certificate and up to a discretionary £200 towards travel to attend the RSA President's Event 2015 in London, UK on the 19th November 2015.
  • Application deadline: 31st May 2016, 4pm (GMT)
Webpage: http://www.regionalstudies.org/funding/page/awards-2015

For more details on the RSA’s Awards, Funding and Research Schemes please visit http://www.regionalstudies.org/funding, and for related queries email Auréliane Beauclair, Development Manager at aureliane.beauclair [at] regionalstudies [dot] org.