Through the RSA Travel Award sponsorship I was able to attend the Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS) summer school in Vienna, organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF). This training event for young researchers belongs to a series of such events organised around Europe under the auspices of ESF.
This particular event focussed on cross-national research using composite indicators, which is a topic directly related with my doctoral research where I applied the OECD-JRC methodology about composite indicators. Composite indicators are used in a range of disciplines including regional studies. Moreover, one of the facilitators of this training event in Vienna was among the OECD-JRC handbook authors. Therefore, I was particularly interested in attending this event, since I would be able to clarify a range of relevant issues, but also receive feedback about my application of the composite indicator guidelines. My ultimate objective was to gain useful feedback and improve my composite indicator to publish it in a high quality academic journal relevant to regional studies.
It turned out that the JRC speaker was both well aware of all relevant issues about composite indicators and also was approachable and willing to help me with my research. One of the major outcomes of my attendance of QMSS in Vienna was the agreement to look further into my composite indicator and work together on a joint journal or conference publication. Obviously RSA’s contribution will be acknowledged if this goes ahead, as I would not be able to attend this event otherwise.
Additionally, this summer school offered me the opportunity to meet researchers from various countries and backgrounds as there were participants from all around Europe, even from Latin America. Their disciplines varied from sociology to economics and from journalism to statistics. Most of them were not aware of RSA, so I had the chance to inform them about the range of activities of the Association as well as about the Annual Conference. Furthermore, I briefly presented the RSA website and available grants following a question from a research project coordinator about funding opportunities. RSA was also mentioned in our group presentation at the end of the summer school which is expected to be uploaded at the QMSS website.
To conclude, this certainly was a beneficial event for the development of my research skills, but also for the promotion of RSA to potential members in other European countries. So, I would like to express once more my gratitude to RSA for supporting me in this occasion.