‘Thematic’ or ‘expert’ seminars and conferences are events organised either solely by ESPAnet or ESPAnet National Associations, and often jointly by ESPAnet and another organisation or network. Seminars and conferences tend to be devoted to a particular topic, theoretical perspective or methodological issue. Often based on invitations to speakers and discussants seminar organisers are generally open to additional participants interested in the seminar’s theme.
The ESPAnet Spring/Summer/Winter Schools are open to (post-)doctoral researchers with projects related to social policy from any discipline and vary in length. Topics covered during summer/winter schools are, for example, the origins and development of social policy, principles and practices of benefit systems and social services, European social policy, methods of comparative research, and the identification and use of available quantitative and qualitative data sets. Participants attend lectures, excursions and participate in discussions. They also present their projects and receive comments from senior researchers and other participants.
Workshops typically last between two to three days. They are normally organized under a specific theme and have a limited number of participants. All workshop programmes offer ample opportunity for academic exchange and networking.
Some workshops are targeted at doctoral students. In these Doctoral-workshops the students take part in lectures and discussions with experienced scholars in the field. They present their projects (theory, methods, findings, interpretations etc.) in small groups and receive comments from experts and fellow PhD researchers.