2018 Master Class on EU Cohesion Policy

European Week of Regions and Cities 2018, Brussels, Belgium

Date and location

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Conference details



As part of the 16th European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), the biggest event worldwide on regional and urban development, the Master Class on EU Cohesion Policy will be held for PhD students and early-career researchers for the sixth time. Applications are being sought from PhD students and early career researchers (defined as being within five years of the date on their PhD certificate or equivalent) undertaking research related to European Cohesion Policy to attend the 2018 University Master Class.

The Master Class is a unique format to connect aspiring researchers and will include presentations of papers by the participants as well as lectures and panel debates with policymakers, EU officials and senior academics to improve understanding of, and research, on EU Cohesion Policy. In particular, the Master Class will serve to

The Master Class is organised and led by the European Commission, DG for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO), the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Regional Studies Association (RSA) in cooperation with the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) and the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP). A selection panel composed of these organisations will be responsible for reviewing the applications and selecting participants.



30 attendees from EU Member States and non-EU countries will be invited to attend the Master Class based on

Please note that:


Application process

Applications must complete the application form and include an abstract that falls under one of the following broad themes:

1) Reshaping governance and institutional relations

2) Territorial cohesion and cooperation;

3) Policy effectiveness in response to development challenges for European regions.


Application documents to submit:

          - proving the PhD student status; or

          - proving early career status (PhD certificate);

Interested current PhD students and early career researchers are requested to submit their details and the application documents via the online form at http://bit.ly/2FCC6Ef .

The application deadline is 9th May 2018, 15.00 (GMT) or 16.00 (CET). Applications and references received after this date will not be accepted.

The successful applicants will be notified by 30th May 2018 and invited to submit their full paper with a maximum of 3,000 words to the RSA by 11th September 2018.



For any questions regarding the Master Class, please contact Daniela Carl at daniela.carl@regionalstudies.org


Impressions of last year's European Week of Regions and Cities


Feedback from previous Master Class participants

The Master Class had an immense impact on my academic career. I was exposed to a lot of new concepts and ideas. The Master Class gave me the opportunity to forge relationships with other colleagues from all over the world. Some of which I am still in contact with and we have written a publication which is going to be published this year. I am also in touch with another of the attendees and I am looking forward to visiting her at her institution for some academic research. In terms of career, attending the Master Class has boosted my resume and it is always seen as an added advantage for me.

The Master Class introduced me to new people and their interests on EU Cohesion Policy. It also gave me a conviction that everything I do in my working life makes sense and is really valuable. For me personally the Master Class was a spark which inspired me for further works on EU funds. With regard to concrete effects, one paper (prepared jointly with MC participants) has been published and another one is being prepared. I would like to express my huge gratitude to RSA, CoR and EC for this great event. 

The Master Class acted as a catalyst for a number of fundamental activities I have been involved in. Hence, as a result of the short discussion I had with Commissioner Hahn, I completely redesigned a lecture series concerned with basic thinking in spatial planning. All in all, the Master Class had one very distinct advantage: It allowed me to assess the current state of European research and policymaking, while at the same time permitting me to frame the Romanian planning and research tradition against it.

Without any doubts, among all the academic events I attended last year, this one was the professionally most exciting and most fruitful for me. First, I had the opportunity to meet and talk to policy-makers and experts working for the Commission, which in itself is remarkable especially that getting access to them is challenging for an early career researcher. Besides engaging into discussions with these experts, it was especially rewarding for me to learn that my field of research is very relevant for them and they are open to my findings and, in general, to the output of the scholarly community. This has reinforced my commitment to the field and gave me further motivation to work on issues related to the EU's Cohesion Policy. I have established some great professional contacts which I hope to maintain in the future. The Master Class also created an opportunity for establishing this dialogue which is highly valuable. Lastly, as a more personal note, I was very glad to meet socially so pleasant people at the Master Class. This does not often happen in events similar to this.

Participation in the Master Class has given a significant boost to my PhD research by both improving the level of understanding the inner workings of CP and providing an invaluable feedback on my research from top experts and fellow PhD students from other countries. Using the new knowledge and ideas gained at the Master Class events, I was able to widen the framework of my studies, which resulted in several new research papers. The overall progress of my PhD thesis has been significantly improved by new ideas and additional motivation gained at the Master Class. As a result, it is foreseeable, that the thesis will be completed one year sooner than originally expected.

The Master Class on Cohesion Policy was very beneficiary, in many directions. In professional terms, I was able to learn more about the current debates on Cohesion Policy. Moreover, I could also exchange some of my academic concerns with other mind-alike professionals, and policy-makers. In my personal life, I was able to meet with very interesting people coming from different backgrounds. I believe I was able to expand my professional circle as well. I was very happy with the program, its overall schedule and the participants. Thank you very much for selecting me this year.

The impact and value of the Master Class was beneficial not only for my research, but also to my countries' decision-making process at regional and local level.

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