PGR/ECR Grant (2019) XXVIII European Society for Rural Sociology Congress (ESRS) 2019 theme is ‘Rural Futures in a Complex World’

Conference Overview

The XXVIII European Society for Rural Sociology Congress (ESRS) 2019 theme is ‘Rural Futures in a Complex World’ offering a platform to unpick the complexities of current and future global challenges facing rural geographies in the 21st Century. Held in Trondheim, Norway, the Conference themes are: (1) Innovation, artificial intelligence and digitisation; 2) Social justice and rural spaces and places; and 3) Knowledge production, policymaking and research agendas builds well on the RGS (with IBG) 2018 theme ‘Changing Landscapes’. 

Conference relevance to RGRG

The ERSC is a major ‘melting-pot’ for knowledge exchange for rural geographers and has many synergies with the RGS IBG cohorts.  Many topics spill over between the two, and this conference offers solid opportunities for collaboration and building networks capacities.  Rural Geographers and their positionality in the Global Research are facing huge opportunities and challenges in grappling with global issues.  Meeting these challenges in our current thinking, including theoretical and methodological approaches, and ensuring we are at the forefront of new research opportunities is pivotal to our success.  These challenges and opportunities present spaces for PGRs/ECRs to bring in exciting and innovative ideas on how to tackle these, whilst developing themselves as world leading researchers for ‘tomorrows world’.  The ERSC Conference builds on RGS Conference themes (2018) but offers a very specific platform for rural geographers to unpick and contextualise topics such as climate change, migration, ageing, depopulation, and the impact of technological innovation. 

Developing Ambassadors and Future Researchers

It is our intention to use this Conference as a conduit to extend the RGS themes, build upon these, and develop an inclusive approach in developing our PGRs/ECRs in number of ways.  First, by ensuring we have experienced and young academics from the rural geographers’ cohort.  Second, by ensuring prior to the event that all sponsored attendees have a full and comprehensive understanding of their role as presenters and ambassadors for the RGRG at the Conference.  This will be shared via emails and other means during and prior to the event. Finally, at the event we will ensure experienced academics from the RGRG and colleagues’ mentor our PGRs/ECRs, build in collaboration opportunities throughout the Conference to enhance their experience, building their networks and skills.

Conditions for funding

The ESRS Congress offers significant collaboration opportunities, in addition to the RGS, for experienced and PGR/ECRs in developing collaborative and inter disciplinary opportunities.  It is our intention to sponsor three ambassadors for this Conference, one experienced academic, and two (maximum) PGRs/ECRs who lack funding to attend. Applicants will be invited from within the RGRG’s membership, in the form of a 1-page expression of interest, in which an outline of a proposed seminar paper should be included. We are looking for very specific research areas and skill development opportunities for these candidates outlined as follows:

The successful candidates should be able to evidence:

  • They are not an ESRS sponsored researcher and show a financial need for support
  • Be accepted as a presenter in a relevant subject
  • Experience as a collaborative researcher
  • Experience in cross and inter disciplinary research
  • Ambition to create impact in a globally relevant subject (i.e. advance sustainable development goals or be in a subject considered relevant in this area (i.e. food insecurity, technology impact on rural, global health and rural etc).
  • Understand and be able to convey research impact and how they will act as ambassadors for the RGRG

We will follow-up with the RGS feedback in the form of written reports and twitter on the RGS twitter account of how the funding has enhanced learning and skills development. 

Expressions of interest will be circulated via the RGRG members list and, if ported over timeously, our new website which will now be on the RGS platform. The RGRG Committee will initiate a timetable for reviewing the expressions of interest and allocate the travel funds to those applicants deemed to most closely fit the criteria.