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Apply for RSSIA 2018: Discover Your Research Potential

Every summer since 2007, the Center for Institutional Studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics has been organizing the annual Russian Summer School on Institutional Analysis (RSSIA). Students and researchers from around the world convene in Moscow to enjoy a whole week of lectures and consultations, presentations, discussions and networking, as well as the opportunity to be inspired by the experts.

This year, RSSIA will take place from June 30 to July 6. For the second time, it is supported by the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Programme of the European Commission. Entitled, ‘The EU Practices for Young Researchers: Studying Economics of Institutional Development’, it focuses on recent developments in new institutional economics (NIE) and the possibilities and challenges of applied research in related fields.

RSSIA participants’ interests cover a wide range of topics, including corruption and economic growth, banking and higher education. Here are some titles of research projects presented in 2017: ‘Eliciting Households’ Cooperation for Efficient Waste Management’ (Shivani Wadehra, TERI University), ‘Positional Externality with Multiple Brands: Why Market Structure, Societal Values and Good Regulation Matter?’ (Maciej Lisik, University of Oxford), ‘The Role of Social Networks and Health Behavior in Student Academic Performance’ (Margarita Prijmak, HSE) and ‘The “Company Towns” Phenomenon: New Applications’ (Adelia Fatikhova, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration).

RSSIA tends to adhere to a fairly traditional format: students attend lectures, present their projects and discuss them with their peers and the faculty. On the first day, participants face the first challenge: they are to present the main idea of their research in only three minutes and using only one presentation slide. Though speeches are short, follow-up questions are often probing and discussions are heated. Students are then left to think about the feedback they have received for a few hours. The next two days are devoted to face-to-face talks with faculty members and to improving their presentations. On the fourth and fifth days, participants present their projects yet again: the improved and extended versions. This time, they have 10-12 minutes to convince their audiences. Not only are they expected to explain what they’ve done, they also have to talk about their future plans based on the feedback they have received at RSSIA. And this is not the final test. They must then actively participate in group discussions. Needless to say, participants tend to leave exhausted on the final day, but with a lot of food for thought, thanks to our experienced experts and young peers.

RSSIA draws on the expertise of an entire faculty and this faculty is completely devoted to the students for the whole week. Faculty members give lectures, offer formal consultations on each project presented and provide informal advice to students who ask for it - in other words, they help students reach their potential.

Having taught at RSSIA for several years in a row, some faculty members have already become residents of RSSIA: HSE vice-rector Maria Yudkevich, Professor of Economics at Ghent University, Koen Schoors, Professor of Economic Policy at University of Padova, Paola Valbonesi, and, of course, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, John Nye, who opens the school every year with his legendary and memorable talk on how to present research results. This year, RSSIA will welcome Anna Kochanova (Cardiff Business School and Max Plank Institute) and Ricardo Perez-Truglia (UCLA Anderson School of Management).

The RSSIA traditionally invites a guest lecturer for one day in order to add to the diversity of research topics and perspectives on the research agenda. Previous guest lecturers include Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, Konstantin Sonin, Research Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra Ruben Enikolopov, and Research Fellow at Stockholm School of Economics Elena Paltseva. We aren’t going to tell you who’ll be our guest lecturer in 2018. At least, not for the moment. Come and find out for yourself.

Last, but not least, here’s another perk to being a RSSIA participant: in addition to all the hard work, there are also plenty of opportunities to hang out and enjoy the beautiful surroundings during breaks. RSSIAs are always held away far away from the Moscow hustle and bustle. ‘En plein air’, as the French say.

RSSIA is a great networking opportunity for young researchers. Many participants meet like-minded peers and this can be the beginning of fruitful collaboration.

After RSSIA, most participants succeed in having their papers published in well-known scientific journals. Sometimes, past students even return as experts, as in the case of Elena Shakina, who was a participant back in 2015. Elena is now a member of the faculty team and is the head of the International Laboratory of Intangible-driven Economy at HSE Perm, as well as the head of the Bachelor’s programme, 'International Business and Management Studies' at HSE St.Petersburg.

Every year, we aim to disseminate best practices of institutional change and effective institutional reforms to ensure their successful implementation in less developed markets and economies, during or immediately after economic transition. Over the last 11 years, we have been consciously moving towards realising this idea. We continue to attract more and more international participants who are pursuing research goals similar to our own. The school was initially held solely in Russian, but in 2010, English became the official language. This coincided with experts from the most distinguished research and education institutions around the world travelling to Moscow to deliver lectures at RSSIA, and since then, more and more overseas researchers have applied to join our ranks. In addition to researchers from the various regions of Russia, we also welcome participants from India, the Philippines, Nigeria, Indonesia, China, Japan, the US, and Europe (Austria, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and France). Many participants travel a long way to join us, and we are thankful that they do!

We have no doubt that RSSIA 2018 will be your golden opportunity as a young researcher to make a solid step towards a professional career and scientific expertise.

Even though RSSIA is held in summer, we are already (and always are!) on the lookout for the brightest and the most industrious from around the world to join us.

To learn more about the school and send us your application, visit https://rssia.hse.ru/

Join our community in order to be among the first to hear all the latest at https://www.facebook.com/rssiahse

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