OPEN DAYS 2014 University Master Class on EU Cohesion Policy announced

The ODU-MC will be held during the OPEN DAYS-European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels (6-9 October 2014), as part of the OPEN DAYS University.



The aim of the ODU-MC is to improve the understanding of EU Cohesion Policy and its research potential among selected European PhD students and early-career researchers. Organised for the second time during the OPEN DAYS, its objectives are: 

- To present the latest developments in research on European regional and urban development and the EU cohesion policy; 

- To enable PhD students and early career researchers (ECR) to exchange views with EU politicians, officials and senior academics in the field of European regional and urban development and policy; 

- To facilitate networking among PhD students /ECR from different countries and with the wider EU policy and academic communities; 

- To raise awareness and understanding of the research potential in the field of EU cohesion policy.


In 2014, the objective is to attract 30 PhD students/ECR, who would be selected based on the following criteria:

1) Studies' background and current position/field of research;
2) quality of the draft paper outline they submit;
3) other criteria such as geographical (one participant from each EU Member State and some non-EU participants) and gender balance in the Master Class 2014.


The submitted paper (1,000 words) could refer to one or several of the thematic priorities of the OPEN DAYS:

- The reform(s) of EU cohesion policy and its impact on regional and urban development in the EU;
- Building administrative capacity and partnerships at local level;
- Challenges for European Territorial Cooperation. 

The selected PhD students/ECR will be informed on 28 May 2014 and three of the successful candidates will be invited to present their paper on 7 October to the Master Class.



The ODU-MC is organised by the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Regional Studies Association (RSA). The ESPON 2020 programme will be involved in concept development and reach out activities to universities and research institutes in the field. The advisory board will be composed of at least one member of the afore-mentioned institutions and organisations.

The Master Class will be modular in format and, subject to agreement, is expected to include the following:

- Lecture format sessions (restricted to MC participants);

- a  ‘World Café’ session (restricted to MC participants);

- Networking sessions (restricted to MC participants);

- Attendance at other OPEN DAYS and ODU sessions;

- Participation in social networking together with OD participants.

It is expected that the ODU-MC will be run in two half-day sessions on Monday pm and Wednesday am and a full day on Tuesday. The modules may be organised along the following lines, subject to discussions and agreements between the partners.



Monday 6 October, 12:00 – 14:00 (CoR)

Get-together reception: light sandwich lunch in Atrium 5 – Meeting Place café


Monday 6 October, 14:30 – 17:15 (EP)

Module 1: OPEN DAYS Opening Session (European Parliament, hemicycle)

This session would set the scene for the Master Class by outlining the current state of play for cohesion policy.


Tuesday, 7 October, 9:00 – 12:45 (CoR)

Module 2:  Dialog with Commissioner Johannes Hahn (to be confirmed), followed by research presentation.


Tuesday 7 October, 14:30 – 17:00 (CoR)

Module 3: World Café

This session would take the form of managed discussions in small groups, each sitting around a table tackling issues currently facing the European Union. Each group will be allocated a table manager, possibly using DG REGIO officials according to their areas of expertise. Some tables would also include an academic. This session would take place after the participants have had time to get to know each other and their areas of research. The themes to be covered should be the ones that are not covered during the lectures, having a link to the OD University themes.


Tuesday 7 October, 20:00 – 22:00 (Bozar, Center of Fine Arts)

OPEN DAYS official reception


Wednesday, 8 October, 9:00-12.00 (CoR)

Module 4: Understanding Cohesion Policy – Lecture Sessions (lectures of 45 minutes)

The focus of these presentations would be on conveying insights into leading academic thinking and key policy issues. The leitmotif would be ‘understanding cohesion policy’, and the sessions would normally have one academic, one local, regional, national or EU official and/or one policymaker speaking on each topic and last approximately 45 minutes, including a questions and answers session. The academic would introduce the current academic thinking on the subject, whereas the policymaker would introduce examples of projects putting the theory into practice. The themes to be covered are some of the ones selected for the OPEN DAYS University themes, depending on the offer of workshops to come


Wednesday, 8 October, 14:30-17:00

Possibility to attend OPEN DAYS workshops



Participants who attend all modules will receive a certificate of having been awarded and completed the ODU-MC.. ODU-MC participants will be given access to other OPEN DAYS events, such as the opening session, social events and workshops during the specified time-schedule.



Committee of the Regions


Application procedure

There would be a maximum of 30 participants selected by a committee representing the organisers. The aim would be to include one participant from each EUMember State and some non-EU participants. Potential ODU-MC participants must be registered PhD students, those in their early career, defined as being within five years of the date on their PhD certificate, and be from recognised academic institutions.

Applications must be accompanied by an academic referee’s statement supporting the application. Application forms must be sent to by 16 May 2014.

Selected and non-selected applicants will be notified in writing no later than 28 May 2014. They must confirm their participation in writing to the RSA. Those selected to participate in the ODU Master Class will have their travel and accommodation covered by the European Commission, dependent on attending all modules of the Master Class.


OPEN DAYS 2014's website

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