Urban Futures Research School

Mistra Urban Futures’ Gothenburg platform (GOLIP) has initiated a Research School on transdisciplinarity and co-creation in response to current and future urban challenges.

In close interplay between researchers from all disciplines and practices, the Research School aims to address the research agenda of Mistra Urban Futures, that is, Realising Just Cities. The school encompasses the PhD students that are currently tied to the Gothenburg platform and builds on the experiences by previous PhD students connected to the centre as a whole.

Academy and society 

The Research School attempts to create a collaborative environment, and will call for research pairs – as a constellation of two doctorial students, where one of them also has a current position in society – who jointly will formulate their research project in relation to urgent societal challenges. The themes which will be addressed will be developed early 2017.  


The mission of the Research School is to:

Produce research of international excellence and to train PhDs with a solid experience and knowledge of transdisciplinary co-creation for just and sustainable cities.  

To make the knowledge-creating processes interact with the urban processes, so that innovative ideas and sustainable practices are developed.  

To contribute to urban development, by adapting and rendering access to the Research School for professionals through educational activities.

To produce relevant knowledge and tools in order to enhance understanding of what shapes Accessible, Green and Fair cities. 

To integrate and communicate co-produced research projects in the international network of Mistra Urban Futures.  

To have an international impact on the research field of transdisciplinary sustainable urban development and become leading within the field. 

To accumulate research networks in realising just cities competencies, in academia as in the wider society.

Programme set-up – courses, workshops and seminars 

The Urban Futures Research School will offer courses on transdisciplinary methods and epistemology, scenario methodologies, holistic thinking and visualization, as well as thematic courses relating to the research topics of study. The research school will also provide activities on critical reflection on co-production as well as the role of the PhD student in processes of co-production in relation to scientific methods, quality, relevance and social utility. International seminars will be held connected to the Mistra Urban Futures’ international network and platforms. The participants of the school will be invited to take part in Mistra Urban Futures’ annual international conference. Workshops and courses for both academia and society/industry in co-production and reflexive support will also be offered.

The set-up for supervisors and PhD students  

For each PhD-pair there will be two supervisors that are academic qualified and positioned at a Swedish university. The qualifications to supervise is assessed according to the institutional affiliation. There will also be a co-supervisor from the public sector or civil society, employed by a Swedish public authority or active within Swedish civil society. These co-supervisors will have an advisory and supporting role and will be assessed according to their practical experience.

The supervisor team will together apply for the funding of the two PhD students and the intention is build partnerships where PhD students are funded 50% by the university department and 50% by the Urban Futures Research School via various funding agencies. 

The set up for the PhD are: 

•    The PhD students should have a master’s degree 
•    PhD student coming from practice should also have a number of years of working experience (Municipal PhD or Industrial PhD)
•    The PhD students have to be accepted at the department of one of the supervisors 
•    Graduation is according to the regulations and research plans of each department 
•    The research plan of each university department should allow for the PhD student to participate in the Urban Futures Research School 
•    Both supervisors and PhD students are expected to attend in joint workshops, seminars and courses arranged by the Research School 

The admission process 

Applications to the Research School will be evaluated by at least three external experts with scientific qualifications from different fields. The scientific quality and relevant qualifications from practice and/or transdisciplinary research qualifications will be evaluated. The scientific and practical qualifications will also be evaluated in relation to academic and practice experience 

The Research School will open for admission during fall 2017 with clear guidelines on how to apply and further information how the applications will be evaluated. 


The Research School has the following organisational set up: 

Organisation Urban Futures Research School

Management group 

The Management Group is responsible for guiding the development of the Urban Futures Research School and for developing activities that are in line with the overarching goals. 

Scientific Co-production Committee 

The Scientific Co-production Committee is responsible for the development of themes of the Urban Futures Research School in relation to the surrounding society and the framework of Mistra Urban Futures. 
It also evaluates the scientific quality of the Research School. 

International Advisory Board 

The International Advisory Board consists of the international partners of Mistra Urban Futures. The Board are responsible for assuring the international relevance and impact of the research school. 

Research School Director 

The Urban Futures Research School Director has the academic responsibility and research leadership towards the PhD students and for the research school. The research school Director is appointed by the Gothenburg Platform Director. 

Coordinator for the Research School 

The coordinator is responsible for the management of the Research School on a daily basis.  


Information on coming courses, workshops and seminars will be communicated here on Mistra Urban Futures website. 

Henrietta Palmers, Research School Director and Deputy Scientific Director, Mistra Urban Futures, henrietta.palmer@chalmers.se, phone: +46-76 60 55 307. 

Ulrika Hynell, Acting Coordinator for Urban Futures Research School, Chalmers Professional Education ulrika.hynell@chalmers.se, phone: +46-31 772 4208.  

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