ESR11: New workspaces in peripheral communities – factors of success and policy implications

Host: Leibniz-Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig, Germany, supervisor: Thilo Lang

1 PhD position, full-time

Duration: September 2021 – August 2024

The main objective of this ESR project is to explore factors and conditions of success through the sustainability and impact of new CWS initiatives in remote locations. The focus is on the long term implementation of initiatives, their advocates and their impact on the local socio-economic environment. Based on a qualitative comparative approach, the project will explore and monitor the development of approximately 6-8 current initiatives implementing new CWS in remote communities in Germany (namely Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein) and Greece. At the end the ESR project will contribute to the development of a set of policy conditions/ recommendations that could favour the further expansion and promotion of CWS in the periphery. In so doing, the project will investigate the impact of new CWS and new practices of work on local economic development.

The fellow will be integrated in the PhD-curriculum of the Graduate School Global and Area Studies of Leipzig University. Secondments are foreseen at the Saxon Association of Cultural & Creative Industries, Dresden, Germany  and the European Creative Hubs Network, Athens, Greece.


  • Development of theoretical and conceptual framework for the study bringing together new work spaces and practices in rural areas and local economic development
  • methodological design of case study approach and empirical implementation through participant observation and expert interviews
  • comparative context analyses at local, regional and national levels
  • development of conceptual, methodological, empirical and policy implications


  • Masters’ degree in social or economic geography, social sciences or another discipline corresponding to the topic of the project
  • basic knowledge about the governance of local economic development, the relevance of new work practices and innovation in peripheral, rural or structurally weak regions
  • good knowledge of qualitative research methods
  • fluency in English, preferably good knowledge of German and /or Greek
  • good knowledge of IT-based communication tools
  • readiness to participate in secondments, conferences and workshops
  • excellent communication skills
  • strong interest in interdisciplinary collaboration and in working in a cooperative and flexible team environment

The fellow should contribute to the outreach of the project, especially by:

  • Elaborating a PhD thesis
  • Active participation in progressing the ITN’s publications (WP monographs, journal articles)
  • Active participation in scientific conferences, policy workshops etc. at national and EU level
  • Participation in media communication, in the development of a web-based glossary, in creating video clips and podcasts and in disseminating project information at the EU level using the European Commissions’ communication tools 

For further information you may contact:

Dr. Thilo Lang,

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955907.