News

RES Junior Fellowship Scheme to be discontinued

  • Published Date: 22 December 2017

The Royal Economic Society is committed to supporting PhD economics students and offers a range of benefits for student members including:

  • A free-to-attend 2-day job market meeting held annually, attended by over 350 students and over 25 institutions, includes face-to-face meetings between potential recruiters and finishing students in addition to conventional paper presentations;
  • An annual Easter training school, enabling 25 participants to become acquainted with the latest developments in the selected fields of economics, to have the opportunity for advanced study and discussion with two internationally renowned experts in the topics covered, and to meet other early career researchers working in related areas;
  • A free-to-attend annual symposium for junior researchers, taking place immediately after the Society’s Annual Conference, organised by research students for research students and attended by 120 researchers in 2017, bringing students together to foster discussion and dissemination of research in all areas of economics;
  • Financial support (including travel, accommodation and conference fee waiver) for PhD students who present papers at the RES Annual Conference;
  • A heavily-subsidised £10 registration fee to attend the Annual Conference, including social events, for PhD students studying in the UK and nominated by their departments.

The Society contributes over £80k each year to fund these initiatives. In addition, PhD students qualify for a reduced annual membership fee of just £11, which includes online access to the Economic Journal and Econometrics Journal, while early career researchers (including PhD students) are prioritised for the award of travel grants to international conferences.

Since 1995 the Society has operated a junior fellowship scheme for students in the third and fourth years of research towards a doctorate. The scheme provided one-year funding for between 4 and 12 students annually. The scheme was suspended for administrative reasons in 2017, when the opportunity was taken to review the scheme’s past and future.

Although Junior Fellowship awards were valuable to individuals who received one and also to their departments, they were heavily concentrated in a few institutions. Since the scheme’s inception, over half the past awards went to individuals at just three institutions, and more than three-quarters to five institutions. Only 21 universities received any award, of which 12 received only one or two in more than 20 years.

After considering the costs and benefits of the scheme, and after consulting with a range of stakeholders including past RES Junior Fellows, the Society has concluded that the benefits of the scheme do not justify its costs. It has therefore been decided to discontinue the scheme. No Junior Fellowship awards will therefore be made in 2018 or subsequently.

The Society is committed to continuing to support PhD students through a range of activities and will continue to monitor the success of these. It is also committed to exploring ways it can raise awareness of the particular training needs and funding requirements of early career economists amongst those who influence funding decisions.

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