The Regional Studies Association (RSA) is pleased to announce the 2014 OPEN DAYS Master Class and Call for Applications.

Following last year’s success we invite PhD students and Early Career Researchers (being within five years of the date on their PhD certificate) to apply for this year’s Master Class held as part of the 2014 OPEN DAYS in Brussels 6-9 October 2014.

We welcome applications from RSA members and non-RSA members.

For more information, please see below:



The aim of the ODU-MC is to improve the understanding of EU Cohesion Policy and its research potential among selected European PhD students and early-career researchers. Organised for the second time during the OPEN DAYS, its objectives are: 

  • to present the latest developments in research on European regional and urban development and the EU cohesion policy; 
  • to enable PhD students and early career researchers (ECR) to exchange views with EU politicians, officials and senior academics in the field of European regional and urban development and policy; 
  • to facilitate networking among PhD students /ECR fromdifferentcountries andwiththewiderEUpolicyandacademiccommunities; 
  • to raise awarenessand understanding of the research potential in the field ofEU cohesionpolicy. 

The ODU-MC will be held during the OPEN DAYS-European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels (6-9 October 2014), as part of the OPEN DAYS University.

In 2014, the objective is to attract 30 PhD students/ECR, who would be selected based on the following criteria: 

  1. Studies' background and current position/field of research;
  2. quality of the draft paper outline they submit;
  3. other criteria such as geographical (oneparticipantfrom each EU MemberState and some non-EU participants) and gender balance in the Master Class 2014.

The submitted paper (1,000 words) could refer to one or several of the thematic priorities of the OPEN DAYS: 

  • The reform(s) of EU cohesion policy and its impact on regional and urban development in the EU;
  • building administrative capacity and partnerships at local level;
  • challenges for European Territorial Cooperation. 

The selected PhD students/ECR will be informed on 28 May 2014 and three of the successful candidates will be invited to present their paper on 7 October to the Master Class. 


The ODU-MC is organised by the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Regional Studies Association (RSA). The ESPON 2020 programme will be involved in concept development and reach out activities to universities and research institutes in the field. The advisory board will be composed of at least one member of the afore-mentioned institutions and organisations.

The Master Class will be modular in format and, subject to agreement, is expected to include the following: 

  • lecture format sessions (restricted to MC participants); 
  • a ‘World Café’ session (restricted to MC participants); 
  • networking sessions (restricted to MC participants); 
  • attendance at other OPEN DAYS and ODU sessions; 
  • participation in social networking together with OD participants.

It is expected that the ODU-MC will be run in two half-day sessions on Monday pm and Wednesday am and a full day on Tuesday. 

The modules may be organised along the following lines, subject to discussions and agreements between the partners.


There would be a maximum of 30 participants selected by a committee representing the organisers.The aim would be to include one participant from each EUMember State and some non-EU participants.  

Potential ODU-MC participants must be registered PhD students, those in their early career, defined as being within five years of the date on their PhD certificate, and be from recognised academic institutions.

The application form can be downloaded at

Applications must be accompanied by an academic referee’s statement supporting the application. Application forms must be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 16 May 2014.

Selected and non-selected applicants will be notified in writing no later than 28 May 2014. They must confirm their participation in writing to the RSA.