Image 2018 European Week of Regions and Cities

Date and location

  •   October 7, 2018 - October 11, 2018
  •   Square Bruxelles, rue Mont des Arts, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

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 the sixth time in October 2018.  Applications to attend the 2018 University Master Class are being sought from PhD students and early career researchers undertaking research related to European Cohesion Policy.

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

  • discuss recent research on European regional and urban development and EU Cohesion Policy;
  • enable PhD students and early career researchers to exchange views and network with policymakers, EU officials and senior academics;
  • raise awareness and understanding of the research potential in the field of EU Cohesion Policy.

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.

This year’s themes are:

  1. Reshaping governance and institutional relations
  2. Territorial cohesion and cooperation;
  3. Policy effectiveness in response to development challenges for European regions.

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

  • their academic background and achievements;
  • the quality of their application and the paper abstract they submit; and
  • the broadest possible geographical and gender balance.

Please note that:

  • early career applicants must be within 5 years of finishing their PhD on the 9th May 2018 or demonstrate equivalent experience;
  • candidates who have participated in a previous edition of the Master Class are not eligible to apply;
  • only one application per person will be considered;
  • the organisers will cover and arrange travel and accommodation of all selected participants;
  • there is no fee to attend the Master Class;
  • applicants do not need to be members of the learned societies involved in the Master Class;
  • participants must attend the full programme and engage actively in all aspects of the Master Class. If participants who fail to attend the full Master Class, they must reimburse costs for travel and accommodation paid and no certificate will be given.

Application process

Applications must complete the application form and include an abstract that falls within the themes described above. Application documents to submit:

  • the completed application form (see application form under related documents- top right-hand side) your CV combined in one document (WORD or PDF) submitted via the online form
  • a certificate (uploaded in a separate PDF or WORD document) submitted via the online form (proving the PhD student status; or proving early career status (PhD certificate));
  • a portrait photo (uploaded in a separate file) submitted via the online form
  • an academic reference in support of your application must be sent separately by the referee to and be received by the closing date.

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.

Contact: For any questions regarding the Master Class, please contact Daniela Carl at

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.

Related Documents

EURegionsWeek Master Class 2018 final programme

How to get there

Square Bruxelles, rue Mont des Arts, 1000 Brussels, Belgium