Institutions, Innovation and Societal Change

WINIR PhD School

Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands

12-14 September 2017

Venue: University College Utrecht Campus

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Download the call for applications

The WINIR PhD School on “Institutions, Innovation and Societal Change” was held at Utrecht University from 12 to 14 September 2017. The School was open to postgraduate and doctoral students interested in developing their knowledge and understanding of institutional research and its applications to key contemporary topics, including entrepreneurship, the sharing economy and social innovation.

The School featured interactive lectures by internationally recognized academics from the US, Europe and Asia, workshops dedicated to the presentation and discussion of the attendants’ research projects, and social events.

Lectures were given by:

Rense Corten (Utrecht University)
José van Dijck (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences & Utrecht University)
Hong Lin (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
Peng Lu (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
Johanna Mair (Hertie School of Governance)
Frank van Rijnsoever (Utrecht University)
Juliet Schor (Boston University)
Erik Stam (Utrecht University)
Dian Yang (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

To help students make the most of the programme a required reading list was circulated in advance of the event.

Learning outcomes

Students completing the course gained (a) an understanding of key research approaches to institutions in an international context, (b) an appreciation of their application to issues of innovation and societal change, and (c) an ability to apply these insights to their own research projects.

How to apply

Applicants were required to submit an outline of their research project (400 words max.) and upload a short resume (1 page max.) via the online submission portal before 1 June 2017. Notifications of acceptance were sent out by 8 June 2017.

Research projects had to be on institutions and/or institutional research, from any discipline, theoretical perspective or methodology. Submissions were not required to be on the specific theme of the WINIR PhD School.

Registration fees

Accepted students were required to register for the Fourth WINIR Conference on “Institutions and Open Societies” held immediately after the PhD School at Utrecht University from 14 to 17 September 2017. The registration fee covered attendance in both the School and the conference, all lunches and refreshments throughout both events, and the conference dinner on Saturday 16 September. All attendants had to become WINIR members. Reduced-rate memberships were available, and had to be purchased separately. Travel and accommodation expenses were not covered.


A limited number of scholarships of €500, funded by Utrecht University’s strategic theme “Institutions for Open Societies”, were available for students otherwise unable to cover expenses. Students wishing to apply for scholarships were requested to outline their circumstances (200 words max.) when completing the online application form. 

Local organisers:
Rense Corten (, Frank van Rijnsoever ( and Erik Stam (