Summer Institute in Economic Geography


About the Summer Institute

The Summer Institute in Economic Geography represents a unique approach to advanced graduate training and early-career professional development for those entering the field of economic geography, oriented to the highest standards of international practice. By bringing together a group of active young researchers from around the world and a small group of internationally renowned faculty, the Summer Institute seeks to make a distinctive contribution to the ongoing development and social and intellectual “reproduction” of the subdiscipline, complementing existing graduate training and faculty mentoring programs.

The Summer Institute seeks to invigorate discussions across the community of economic geographers concerning enduring issues like ethics and research methods, while constructively ventilating contemporary controversies and debates in this fast-moving field. And it has actively facilitated network-building and mutuality of respect and understanding amongst the rising generation of economic geographers, many of whom made a transition into successful careers in the universities and beyond.

Since its inaugural meetings in Wisconsin in 2003 and Bristol in 2004, the Summer Institute has moved to a biannual cycle. The Summer Institute is open to advanced doctoral students (usually after the fieldwork stage), postdoctoral researchers, and recently appointed faculty (normally within 3 years of initial continuing appointment) from around the world.

> view testimonials from previous participants


Now firmly established in practice, the goals of the Summer Institute in Economic Geography are:

The Summer Institute provides a unique opportunity to investigate—in a residential workshop setting—a series of leading edge theoretical, methodological, and research-practice issues across the field of economic geography, along with a range of associated professional and career development matters. The program deliberately leaves a certain amount of space for unstructured interactions, while featuring a wide array of formal sessions on topics, ranging from interrogation of emergent literatures and current debates to the evaluation of innovative methodological approaches, and from skills development in areas like grant applications and journal publishing to the consideration of economic-geography careers inside and outside the academy.


The following approach has been developed and refined through previous meetings of the Summer Institute:


The Summer Institute occupies a previously unfilled niche in organizational terms, meeting a need for a relatively small, extended meeting oriented to early-career researchers, in which there are a range of opportunities for deliberation, reflection, and sustained discussion. The program of activities includes:


The Summer Institute is open to:


Profile of Summer Institute in Economic Geography participants, 2003-2014

Total participants 266
Madison 2003 36
Bristol 2004 39
Madison 2006 37
Manchester 2008 35
Vancovuer 2010 45
Zurich 2012 39
Frankfurt 2014 35
Female 45.5%
Male 54.5%
Graduate students 57.9%
Postdoctoral researchers 16.5%
Faculty/lecturers 27.8%
Nationalities represented  
By birth 45a
By institutional affiliation 26b

a By country of birth (aggregate number of participants): Argentina (2), Australia (8), Austria (1), Belgium (2), Brazil (5), Bulgaria (1), Cambodia (1), Canada (34), Chile (1), China (6), Colombia (2), Czech Republic (3), Denmark (3), Germany (22), Greece (2), Hungary (2), India (8), Indonesia (2), Iran (1), Ireland (3), Israel (1), Italy (7), Japan (1), Macedonia (1), Malaysia (2), Mexico (2), Netherlands (4), New Zealand (7), Norway (3), Poland (3), Portugal (1), Romania (1), Rwanda (1), Singapore (2), South Africa (1), South Korea (6), Spain (2), Sweden (2), Switzerland (1), Taiwan (2), Tanzania (1), Turkey (3), UK (32), USA (74), Zimbabwe (1)

bBy country of academic affiliation (aggregate number of participants):  Australia (8), Belgium (4), Brazil (3), Canada (36), China (4), Czech Republic (3), Denmark (3), Germany (8), Greece (2), Hungary (1), India (2), Ireland (4), Italy (3), Malaysia (1), Netherlands (4), New Zealand (1), Norway (2), Poland (1), Singapore (5), South Africa (1), South Korea (2), Sweden (2), Switzerland (6), Turkey (1), UK (67), USA (106)

Steering Committee

A Steering Committee oversees the development of the Summer Institute, pursues funding opportunities, and plans the schedule of meetings. The Steering Committee comprises the following members:


Funds are raised for each meeting to cover the local costs of the meeting for all participants. Travel stipends are available to those that require them. A modest registration fee is usually charged.

The Summer Institute has benefited from the support of Economic Geography since its inception. Financial support from the National Science Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Hallsworth Fund at Manchester University, the Office of UBC's Vice President for Research, Sage Publications, the Worldwide Universities Network, the University of Zurich, and the Goethe Universitaet is gratefully acknowledged.

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last revised August 2, 2015