Call for Applications, ESRS Autumn School 2018 in Riga, Latvia

Deadline:  20 September 2018
Open to: students who work on PhD projects in thematically related area
Venue: 6-8 November 2018 in Riga, Latvia


Food and nutrition security and long-term sustainability of food systems are among the major challenges for European societies in the coming decades. Food systems and the ways we produce, consume and regulate the production of food are increasingly expected to contribute to a range of societal objectives – provide healthy nutrition to all, conserve the planetary resources, deliver public environmental goods, facilitate the development of rural and urban territories, promote social justice and inclusion, enrich our cultural diversity. Various stakeholders from food companies to consumers, environmentalists, municipalities, and many others are engaging in new practical initiatives of sustainable food provision, or even seek to develop new and more inclusive food policies. These processes are closely related to social innovation.

The objective of the ESRS Autumn School 2018 “Social Innovation in and for Sustainable Food Provision” is to advance scientific knowledge of PhD students in rural sociology and related disciplines (e.g. food studies, nutrition and public health) about the role social innovation plays in contemporary food provision. The Autumn School will look into conditions, frameworks and mechanisms of social innovation as well as its outcomes and effects on our food systems.

The Autumn School is organised in conjunction and in parallel with another scientific event – the 3rd SISA (Systems Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture) Workshop, which will be held on the same premises. SISA workshop brings together research insights and practical experiences in making agriculture more sustainable. The 3rd SISA workshop will discuss these in-depth, seeking to contribute to more robust knowledge on how to stimulate transitions towards sustainable agro-food systems.


It has been a tradition of ESRS summer, autumn and winter schools to bring together students who work on PhD projects in thematically related area to discuss issues of common interest and individual relevance, and enhance the expertise of PhD researchers in an interdisciplinary and friendly atmosphere, together with more experienced researchers and professors who act as tutors.


For PhD students the Autumn School will provide an opportunity to discuss their work, receive feedback, and make choices regarding theories, methods and data representations most fitting their research goals. The School will also provide a structured overview of social innovation related academic debate which will be presented by wellknown experts in the field. Guest professors and tutors will provide input in various forms (keynotes, workshops, feedback, individual consultations, etc.).

Besides plenary sessions, the Autumn school will hold working group discussions on the student research cases as well as practical issues participants might face in their work -such as context and sectorrelated peculiarities of innovations, research strategies, writing-related issues. It is expected that up to 12 PhD students will be admitted to the School. There is no registration fee and the expenses related to accommodation and catering will be covered by the organisers. The admitted students are expected to cover their travel costs.


PhD students should apply by submitting an abstract, including a short bibliographical note, title of the paper, keywords, research questions, theoretical framework, methods used, empirical data and main results if available) and give precision about the status of their text – is it a thesis chapter, an academic paper or any other academic text. The abstract should not exceed 800 words.

Abstracts should be sent to by the 20th of September.

The Scientific committee will select and inform the candidates by the 1st of October.

Candidates who are selected will have to send their full paper (3-4 thousand words) by the 25th of October. 

The official web-page.