UNU-MERIT at 25 years: How doctoral training at UNU-MERIT contributes to the community of scholars in the economis of innovation?

Semih Akçomak, Abraham Garcia & Fernando Santiago-Rodriguez

#2015-036

This paper contributes to literature on the emergence of innovation studies as a scientific field. This area of research documents the mechanisms, interactions and meeting spaces that innovation scholars have developed to give substance and legitimacy to their work. What role is there for the training of young scholars in the development of this scientific field? Based on a web survey of UNU-MERIT's PhD alumni, we explore the ways in which doctoral training at a major research institute has contributed to the formation of young scholars in the broad field of innovation studies. In line with literature on the creation of science and technology human capital, we find that doctoral training grants PhD holders the technical knowledge and skills, together with the relational skills that sustain their membership and scholarly contributions to innovation studies. The evidence likewise suggests that the contribution of UNU-MERIT's PhD programme on the building of innovation research capacities in developing countries is constrained by postgraduate decisions to stay in the developed world. Young scholars follow a career development strategy of linking to mentors and key senior researchers, while scientific interactions with fellow students are more limited. Social interactions tend to be more prominent for maintaining relations with the research community.

JEL Classification: D85, I23, O30

Keywords: UNU-MERIT, innovation studies, doctoral training, social capital

  


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