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:
- Plenary presentations from each of the featured contributors, typically focused on major debates or advances in the field or reflections on the economic geography research “process” itself (embracing issues research design, ethics, access, dissemination, links with non-academic interests and constituencies, and so forth).
- Thematic discussions, debates, and conversations, dealing with major issues confronting economic geography, including defining the “boundaries” of economic geography; the relationship between economic geography and its sister disciplines; questions of social and policy relevance; and methodological training in quantitative and qualitative research.
- Skills-based sessions on writing for journals, successful grant applications, working with the media, and combining academic and consultancy or policy research, and teaching economic geography. Featured speakers at the Summer Institutes possess broad experience of publishing and journal editing, of writing and evaluating research proposals, of working and teaching in various institutions and national “systems,” and of different kinds of research practice.
- A day-long fieldtrip provides an opportunity for participants to spend some time outside the seminar room, getting to know their host region.