The Department of Law (LAW) of the European University Institute (EUI) accepts applications for doctoral research grants in the framework of the newly launched Academic Scholarships Programme on Innovation Research & Expertise (ASPIRE): Enabling Next Generation Scholars and New Paradigms for Competitiveness, Innovation, and Technology Policy.
ASPIRE aims to promote the development of new law, policy frameworks, tools, and processes fit for today’s economy.
ASPIRE seeks to advance knowledge-production on competitiveness, innovation, and technology policy by fostering a new generation of researchers. The project will engage candidates from underrepresented groups, in particular developing countries and emerging economies.
The PhD candidates will be selected through the regular PhD recruitment procedure for the Department of Law, and they will register with the department’s doctoral programme.
ASPIRE Scientific Ambition
ASPIRE will be a neutral platform where researchers will be able to generate new knowledge without predetermined views. ASPIRE will nurture a new class of scholars that will be able to navigate the competitiveness, innovation, and technology policy trade-offs in countries that have little home-grown institutional strength.
The programme starts from the assumption that it is important to throw new light on the challenges raised by the modern economy. There is a belief that perspectives from scholars from environments distinct from the US and the EU can enrich the research field, by leveraging insights and ideas that have not been brought to bear on the academic discussion. There is no preference for a school of thought in ASPIRE, and no set agenda. ASPIRE is a blue-sky research initiative interested in knowledge production. ASPIRE will start behind the veil of ignorance and will not embed any pro-market or pro-government bias. ASPIRE thus attempts to overcome the limitations of conversations that all too often take a political tone.
The rapid pace at which the policy conversation is shaping is undermining the process of incremental, evidence-based, and empirical collection of facts necessary to develop and fine-tune legal and remedial arrangements. By contributing to the discussion in a new way, ASPIRE hopes to constructively assist policymakers by providing novel insights on an ongoing basis.
An Independent Academic Oversight Board that will include EUI and external Faculty-chaired by Prof. Nicolas Petit and representing a diversity of views is being formed to provide advice and serve as touchpoint to PhD supervisees. On a yearly basis, the Board will convene to evaluate the progression of ASPIRE upon reporting by the LAW department.
If You Are a Young Researcher Interested in the Programme
ASPIRE aims at engaging candidates of underrepresented groups and, in particular, developing countries and emerging economies and welcomes applications from candidates who have:
- An interest in competitiveness, innovation, and technology policies;
- A basic understanding of, and attraction towards, science and technology
- A willingness to work in a team of researchers oriented towards competition, economic regulation, technological change and society, for more details and timeline, please refer to the dedicated application webpage.
ASPIRE will be funded by unrestricted grants from a diverse pool of public, not-for-profit, and private sector organizations in accordance with the EUI’s General Principles Concerning the Receipt of External Funds and due diligence procedures.
The number of ASPIRE researchers will depend on funding. Contributing organizations cannot be involved in the selection, evaluation, orientation, and findings of PhD research activities. ASPIRE funded PhDs are governed by the standard academic rules applicable to all PhDs at the EUI.
The EUI is grateful to Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft for providing initial unrestricted funding in support of ASPIRE. The Institute looks forward to welcoming other contributing organizations that support the advancement of knowledge-production for competitiveness, innovation, and technology policy by fostering a new generation of researchers, particularly otherwise underrepresented scholars. Contributions from public, not-for-profit, and public sector organizations must be subject to prior approval by the EUI Funding committee.