Innovation Policy (PHD402)

The course will run one week, 30.01-03.02.2023.

In order to apply for the course, students are requested to write 200 words (half a A4 page) with some reflections on why you want to take this course, how the course relates to your PhD, and why the timing to take this course is suitable. NOTE! The link for the application will be distributed in the beginning of the fall semester.

The course will run every 2 years, alternate with Partner course:  NORSI » Geography of Innovation - International PhD course on Economic Geography Utrecht University, with Professor Ron Boschma. Where: University of Stavanger

Course description for study year 2022-2023


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  • You will get an introduction to innovation theory, and innovation policy more specifically and become familiar with different theories and approaches to how public policy can promote innovation and economic development. Herein particular attention will be placed on the regional level. 
  • You will work on real-life practical policy problems. 
  • You will provide research-based policy recommendations to policymakers. 
  • You will plan, organize, and execute the solving of these issues jointly with other students. 
  • You will present your recommendations and write a policy brief. 

The purpose of the course is to equip PhD candidates with a thought-provoking and fruitful combination of theory and application. The course will be taught through combining introductory lectures to core innovation theory and policy topics, and project group work on practical problems. The students will be presented with a real-world policy case at the beginning of the course and will work on this case throughout the week with guidance from a dedicated faculty member for each group. At the end of the course, they will present their findings and discuss them. After the course, they will write a policy brief comprising their recommendations. This will also be the basis for the final assessment.

Learning outcome

Upon completion of the course, you will:


  • Have a profound overview of the most central theories and debates in the research literature on innovation policy. 
  • Have a comprehensive overview of the policies at different levels used to promote innovation and regional development. 
  • Have advanced and broad knowledge of how to assess a problem from an innovation policy perspective. 


  • Be able to plan and execute projects in a timely manner 
  • Be able to discuss policy problems and provide policy recommendations.  
  • Be able to develop evidence-based policy solutions. 
  • Have developped/improved skills in terms of developing policy briefs. 
  • Have improved your analytic skills and your ability to communicate them in a holistic manner. 

General competencies 

  • Have improved your interpersonal and collaborative skills. 
  • Have improved your ability to work across disciplines and with a diverse group of people. 
  • Be able to write policy briefs and communicate the results in a professional manner. 
  • Be able to engage in discussions with stakeholders and communicate research-based evidence to a non-academic audience. 

Required prerequisite knowledge

Participants must be enrolled in a PhD program.

Recommended prerequisites

Master's degree in economics or similar.


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Presentation and policy brief 1/1 Passed / Not Passed

Coursework requirements

Group presentation

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher:

Silje Haus-Reve

Course coordinator:

Rune Dahl Fitjar

Course coordinator:

Tom Brökel

Method of work

The course will last one week, with physical attendance.

Open for

Health and Medicine - PhD Programme PhD programme in Social Sciences Educational Sciences - PhD Programme


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