The Association seeks a leading and impactful role for its community, to inform and influence policy and practice in creative and ambitious ways. The aim is to support Expos addressing issues that are important, current and having an impact on society. These Expos will investigate how the communities of regional studies, regional science, urban studies and related fields can respond to new societal challenges and opportunities.
The two key deliverables from the Expo are:
1. An article for Regional Studies, Regional Science with the APC sponsored by the Association from the withheld portion of the grant (articles will be subject to peer review)
2. A policy-facing book in the new Regional Studies Policy Impact series (25,000-30,000 words). This can be in the form of a report or edited papers with an introduction and conclusion. It must include an executive summary highlighting the policy implications from the work, and it must be accessible to policymakers and practitioners. The RSA will provide advice on book templates to maximise policy impact. This book would normally be expected to be launched by the Association at an appropriate time and venue and will be given in print form to all RSA members and in electronic form to all subscribers to the RSA journals pack. This gives each book a very substantial potential readership footprint. Additional copies will be purchased by the Association for distribution to the policy community directly.
CURRENT CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
Applications are now sought for the 2023 RSA Policy Expo grant funding scheme. We seek proposals that, while ambitious in advancing the field, target policy-relevant questions and envisage avenues to influence policy and practice.
The Policy Expo initiative is worth up to £15,000 (c.$19,000; c. €16,800) to successful teams aiming to connect their work and wider communities to societal questions and policy needs. The RSA seeks to support up to 3 Policy Expos spread across the below themes.
The RSA will award £15,000 for the completion of the research and outputs. The research should produce an article for our gold open access journal, Regional Studies, Regional Science and a short ‘policy facing’ book of no more than 30,000 words published by Routledge relating to one of the themes below.
The book will have a large distribution, as it will be sent in print copy to all RSA members and in e-book format to all those who subscribe to any of the journals of the RSA.
Applicants are advised to read the application support document carefully and to comply with rules of the scheme such as the inclusion of a named early career researcher in the team. The full Terms and Conditions governing the grant are available in the RSA Policy Expo Handbook 2023.
Please send your queries and your application to email@example.com
The submission deadline for applications is 31 October 2023.
Populations and health
Demographic change presents significant challenges and opportunities for regional policy, including population decline/growth, the impact of an ageing population, the effects of mass migration and so on. We are interested in proposals that take a quantitative or qualitative (or a mix of both) to help policy-makers understand how to analyse and design policy to address changing demographics in their places.
A related topic of interest under this theme is the impact of health inequalities on regional economies. While life expectancy in most regions continues to improve (although at a slowing rate in some places), declining healthy life expectancy for some populations presents significant social and economic challenges, and in many regions the gaps in health between different socio-economic groups is widening. A project that explores the social determinants of poor health, how to calculate their economic impact and provides guidance on how policy might address them would be of great interest for policy-makers.
Climate and sustainability
Climate change and its impacts is the greatest current challenge facing policy-makers worldwide. The UN has warned it is “now or never” to act to ensure global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees. Meanwhile we face the rapid growth of 50 degree places, extreme weather events, droughts and wildfires.
Expo proposals that address some of these issues are strongly encouraged. Some possible areas of focus include comparisons of regional approaches to climate change or designing policies and strategies towards achieving Net Zero; the biodiversity crisis and its impact for regional policy; governance and policy relating to natural resources; Net Zero and economic growth – mutually compatible?
Inclusive strategies for regional development
It is increasingly recognised that the dominant policy paradigms in regional economic development over the past five decades have failed to resolve (and in some cases may have even accelerated) disparities within and between regions. This underpins recent discourse on people and places ‘left behind’, and the political, social and economic impacts of failing to address these disparities.
Some of the issues that have been highlighted by policy-makers at all levels of governance as being of interest include – how can investments in new innovation infrastructure be more inclusive in terms of ensuring maximum benefits for local businesses in the foundational economy and for local communities in terms of jobs and skills pathways; what has been the impact of the growth of gig and platform working in addressing or exacerbating inequalities?; how can entrepreneurship help to drive regional development?; to what extent did the Covid pandemic change business models and work patterns and what does this mean for regional policy?; the role of rural economies in regional development; the role of creative industries in driving inclusive strategies for growth.
Regional planning for resilience
We strongly encourage proposals that focus on topics of interest to city and regional planners, and highlight the importance of good planning for regional social and economic resilience. Policy-makers are particularly interested in learning about innovative approaches to planning from around the world.
Areas of particular interest include; strategies to address housing crises, particularly in terms of affordable housing and provision of social housing; how to plan the age-friendly city; the governance and financialisaton of infrastructure; planning for reconstruction following natural disasters or conflict.
Tools, frameworks and capacities for regional policy
Policy-makers are very interested in evidence-based, ‘what works’ toolkits and guidance that can be applied across a range of policy themes. Some specific ideas that have been suggested are – the use of digital and data in designing policy; the sustainable development goals as a framework for regional development policy; policy mobilities – how can policies in other places be translated and applied effectively; tools for policy ‘proofing’ – ensuring strategies and policies don’t discriminate/ actively benefit people and places with particular characteristics (e.g. gender, age, health, ability, economic status, rural etc.)
Geopolitics and regional impact
Recent geopolitical manoeuvres to exercise greater political control over territorial space has returned to centre stage recently with important regional implications. Geopolitics, its focuses on political power, and link to geographic space, mean policymakers are increasingly interested in the regional implications for people and places.
Expo proposals that address these regional implications of geopolitical power politics are strongly encouraged. Areas of particular interest would be proposals considering the wider regional implications for Global North-South relations e.g. in the context of the great resource and infrastructure scramble across Africa.
SUPPORT FOR AUTHORS
Policy Expo authors benefit from global RSA dissemination support:
- support for a project launch event
- social media promotion including Twitter, LinkedIn, RSA e-bulletin, Facebook, WeChat, Instagram
- publication platforms including RSA Regions magazine and the RSA Blog
- free access to e-books provided to up to 50 named policymakers
- global reach via e-book access for all RSA members and any library that is subscribed to the RSA journals
- support to host a webinar
- support to host a book launch
Administrative queries should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send your applications to email@example.com
The submission deadline for detailed applications is 31 October 2023.
This book series forms a series of punchy, policy facing books addressing issues of contemporary concern. There is a consistent focus on the impact of policy research both in terms of its reach to policy, academic and practitioner communities and also in its significance, to show how evidence can inform policy change within regional and urban studies. Members can access these books online via the RSA Lounge, Publications.
Books published in the Series can be purchased here.
Download statistics and graph to end 2022:
2019 (Policy Expo launch year): 579
(Data current @ May 2023)