Engaging with Academia

"Going out": Taking courses & presenting research


Where events are announced

  • First off, highly recommended: Use ChangeDetection.com (now visualping.com with a flashier user interface) to keep track of what's changing on websites that are of interest to you, so you won't miss updates on conference deadlines etc. Looks like it's straight from the 90s, but it does the job beautifully. One of the websites that I don't want to miss. [Link]
  • broadest coverage of all type of events:
    • @econ_conf Twitter account - very new with very broad coverage
    • Inomics
    • Econbiz (also offers email reminders, but I feel that reminders are sent on too short a notice)
    • American Economic Association (seems to offer the same content as Econbiz, but restricted to conferences)
    • Conal Conference Alerts (borderline relevance for Economics; many conferences without academic value that give you an excuse for travelling to fancy places)
    • Armacad seems to be a new project similar in style to Inomics, but crossing all disciplines. Its usefulnes would benefit from an improved sorting/searching function.
  • less broad coverage:
  • short courses-type events only:


(these events do not involve presentation of your own research)

  • Larger schools with courses in several disciplines:
  • Smaller regulars with changing topics:
  • Econometrics:
  • Mathematics and mathematical methods:
    • June: The Annual Symposium on Game Theory at the University of York is succeeded by "mini-courses" for PhD students, delivered by world-class game theorists. [Link]
    • June: The Oxford Summer School in Economic Networks
    • July: Short Courses in Economics, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki. A young series of advanced courses, so far three times covering econometrics and in 2016 computational aspects of dynamic programming. Benefit from this course greatly increases in the level of previous knowledge of doing stuff in MATLAB, as it deals to a large part with the current research of the lecturers. Similar courses take place at other institutions (such as cemmap in London), but Thessaloniki is a nice addition to the list of places where economics courses usually take place. [Link]
    • August: LSE Summer Methods Programme. Doing a PhD in theoretical microeconomics without any background in Real Analysis will be challenging. The LSE offers a very intensive two-weeks-plus-online course which benefited me a lot, though the price tag is a bit on the steep side. [Link]
    • September: Annual Summer School of Mathematics for Economic and Social Sciences, delivered by the Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa in cooperation with the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna. Two of Italy's finest institutions of graduate education offering another good opportunity to deepen your knowledge on advanced topics of mathematics that might be relevant for understanding your area of research. The level of mathematics is quite advanced indeed from an average Economist's point of view, but the course includes relatively easy-to-follow exercise sessions. You can apply for a fellowship which will give you accommodation in an old monastery in rural Tuscany as well as endless amounts of good food for free, in a very Italian atmosphere. [Link]
    • September: Summer School on Game Theory, Lake Como School of Advanced Studies. The Lake Como School is hosting a series of schools on various topics in decision science, one of them being game theory. Despite the name, the game theory classes actually take place in Campione d'Italia, which is located at Lake Lugano, but nevertheless provides a nice scenery. Lectures are of an advanced level, some delivered by and aimed at mathematicians, but they only take place during the first half of every day, so there is enough time for relaxation (or academic discussions). You can apply for a fellowship covering accomodation and boarding. (The hotel is furthermore the only place I know where it is freely possible to go for a swim in the lake...) [Link]
  • Industrial Economics and subfields:
    • [June] IO Summer School, University of East Anglia. Series of courses with changing precise titles that cover structural econometrics in Industrial Organisation, discrete choice modelling, demand estimation etc. Delivered by Eugenio Miravete from U Texas-Houston. It will prove particularly beneficial if you already have an empirical application in mind. £30/day for PhD students makes the whole course cost about £100. [Link] There is also a variety of other courses on offer.
    • [July] Competition and Regulation Summer School - If you're doing competition economics you're lucky because you can be paid to go to Rhodes in July. My co-supervisor Elena Argentesi highly recommends this school. It accompanies a full conference on the same subject. [Link]
    • [September] Summer Workshop on Data & Algorithms for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, KU Leuven
  • Innovation:
    • Collection of (Doctoral) Training Programs and Awards in the field of Entrepreneurship, put together by the Kauffman Foundation [Link]
  • Intellectual Property:
    • [July] Summer School on Intellectual Property, University of Bonn. Aimed primarily at lawyers, but interesting for anyone who is regularly in touch with IP topics, such as engineers and applied natural scientists. Two-weeks long thorough coverage of all topics of IP, with most lectures delivered by practitioners, which is most interesting to somebody otherwise mainly restricted to academia. Well organised, even though the lack of central accomodation gives it a different flavour compared to other summer schools. Maybe that's a law-school thing. [Link]
  • Agent-based modelling:
    • [June] Agent-Based Modelling for the Social Scientist, University of Surrey. Particularly in innovation studies there are issues that do not lend themselves easily to analysis by traditional economic equilibrium models, e.g., creation and diffusion of knowledge in an economy. Also an interesting way to implement bounded rationality in a non-trivial way. Even if you don't plan to use Agent-Based Modelling in your research I always find it stimulating to hear about alternative takes on a subject. Luckily you can (could?) learn that from scratch at the CRESS in Surrey. I don't think I have ever before learnt so much in four days. Well worth the £200 for PhD students. [Link]

(PhD) Workshops (with a focus on innovation and industrial economics)

(these events focus on or at least contain presentation of your own research)

  • [January] DRUID Academy: beautifully organised "child" of the main DRUID conference that is reserved for PhD student presentations. Focus is on economics and business studies contributions to innovation and technological change, but there's room for all branches of social science dealing with change.
  • [May] Spring Meeting of Young Economists (SMYE): huge annual conference exclusively for economists up to the age of 35, but since admission is based on either full paper or an extended abstract, medium-stage phd students make up most of the participants. Will be in Bologna in 2020!
  • [May/June] Competition and Innovation Summer School (CISS) - hosted by ZEW, DICE and KU Leuven (and apparently the Université du Luxembourg in recent times). Five days of research and policy courses, paper presentations and socialising in an amazing location in South-West Turkey. With €450 all inc it's a bargain (as long as you kids are fine with double rooms). Sadly it was cancelled in 2016, but returned in Sardinia in 2017. 2018 was in Montenegro.
  • [June] The Network of Industrial Economists (NIE) occasionally organises a "Doctoral Colloquium", effectively a little conference for PhD students. Used to be held at Nottingham University Business School.
  • [July] KID Summer School on “Knowledge Dynamics, Industrial Evolution, Economic Development” - Together with CISS this is contender for the summer school with the best location, taking place directly at the seaside in Nice. Thanks to the kind support by the French taxpayer, only €300 include accommodation, lunches and two dinners during the (beginning of the) premier holiday season. Nice and its surroundings are beautiful and always worth a visit; in addition you get a very broad range of topics on everything innovation, including business, geography and sociology, all in a very friendly atmosphere.
  • [December/January] BRICK Doctoral Workshop in Economics of Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge and the Italian Doctoral Workshop in Empirical Economics are both hosted by and organised by the PhD students of Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin [Link for Calls for papers]

"Full" conferences

(these events are not restricted to PhD students)

  • [June] DRUID conference: major annual conference for everything innovation: *economics, *managament, *studies
  • [September] EPIP conference: annual conference on the economics of Intellectual Property