Irish Social Science Platform Summer School, June 22-26, 2009
Course Description

Course Description
Participants across different social science disciplines will learn to evaluate the policy relevance of research and understand the role of innovation and social capital in promoting sustainable social and economic development in a rapidly changing global environment. Key questions to be explored during the summer school include:

• Does policy making have a role in reinventing the conceptualization of innovation and communities?
• How can innovation be fostered in challenging times and in the long term?
• What is the role of social capital in sustaining communities and regional economies?
• Can stalled policy-making systems offer an opportunity to reduce inter-regional disparities with more spatially-integrated approaches to development in future?
• After the Celtic Tiger, can Irish policy-makers innovate for social and economic development?

Learning Objectives
• Understanding of the basic principles of social capital and innovation
• Connecting the concept of innovation into the movement from theory to policy
• Introduction to case study approach , qualitative and quantitative interpretative techniques
• Understanding of the policy relevance of social science research
• Connecting interdisciplinary theoretical research questions with current policy debates in the context of the student’s own research
• Connecting research questions with current policy debates

The Summer School is structured in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and 10 ECTS are available to the awarded for this summer school based on multiple activities including directed reading, classroom contact hours, field trips, pre and post summer school assignments. ECTS credits will only be awarded to students who have completed all activities of the summer school. 

The credits for this summer school are calculated as follows:

• Pre Summer School Reading and Preparation

• Participants are required to attend all classroom session and field trips over the five days of the summer school. The teaching pedagogical for the summer school will range from masterclasses, discussions and debates, case studies and presentations from practitioners. During the course of the week participants will be required to keep a journal of the all of the concepts discussed during the period of the summer school. This journal should be submitted to the summer school organising committee within two weeks after the close of the summer school.

• Each participant is required to submit a research paper of between 3,000 to 5,000 words on theme of  ‘Connecting interdisciplinary theoretical research questions with current policy debates in the context of your own PhD research.’ This research paper should be submitted to the organising committee of the summer school by the 31st August 2009. Submitted research papers will be published in a summer school proceeding book (with ISBN) which will be published by the organising committee. 

Target Audience
This Summer School is open to national and international doctoral students in the social sciences and business doctoral students.