Good Practice
Early Career Procurement Researcher Conference – London, March 4th

We’re back after the Christmas and New Year break – we hope everyone had a good holiday season and is back to work feeling refreshed and raring to go. 2016 will no doubt be an interesting year; will the UK hold a vote about whether to stay in the EU or not? What effect will the oil price have on the global economy? How about migration – that could well be the defining issue for Europe in the next 12 months.

Buy anyway, let’s start on a positive note. Our friend, Dr Pedro Telles from Swansea University is involved as an organiser (along with Dr. Ama Eyo of Bangor University and Dr. Albert Sanchez-Graells* of the University of Bristol) of “a one day conference for Early Career Researcher Public Procurement Conference at the Centre for Transnational Legal Studies in London on March 4th. Early Career Researchers will have the opportunity to present their research on a non-threatening environment, benefiting from presenting at a leading international conference early in their career and getting expert commentary on their research. We are looking for promising researchers passionate about public procurement and interested in engaging with a non-specialist audience”.

There will also be a “speed dating” mentoring session in the afternoon and a dinner; and speakers can get travel expenses paid up to £350, which is even better news.

So this sounds like a good opportunity for researchers to get some exposure and I assume feedback on their work. We’re not sure who will make up the “non-specialist audience” – I’m sure Dr Telles will  let us know. We would hope it might include some practitioners, as one of the disappointing aspects of the way the procurement world has developed in recent years is that we seem to have quite a gap between academia and the practitioner world.

Despite the fact that there are more procurement researchers and academics than ever, they often seem somewhat distant from the “real world” – and equally, the practitioners in the profession often are not as interested in the work that academics are producing as they perhaps should be. That work can be highly theoretical but can also be very applicable.

If this – and other events – can bring the communities together, then that would be to everyone’s benefit. And finally, for those interested in participating on March 4th, you need to produce a short abstract and a cv by January 10th, so you better get on with it! More details here.

(We did not know that Dr Sanchez-Graells had moved to Bristol – congratulations and good luck to him in his new role!)