RSAI NEWS | February 2018

RSAI NEWS | February 2018





REMINDER | Nominations to RSAI Fellows – Deadline: February 28, 2018

The Stan Czamanski Prize | Deadline: March 31, 2018 (contact:

2020 RSAI World Congress | Request for Proposals


REMINDER | Nominations to RSAI Fellows – Deadline: February 28, 2018


Nomination and Selection Protocol of RSAI Fellows

  1. Each RSAI member – except RSAI fellows – is entitled to nominate candidates for the RSAI fellowship, but self-nominations are not allowed. Each nomination has to be done through a standard concise nomination form that follows a systematic template, which can be downloaded from the RSAI website.
  2. A nominee has to be RSAI member (or a member of any section recognized by the RSAI) and to meet the qualifications mentioned in Annex A.
  3. The selection of new RSAI fellows takes place only once a year, but nominations can be sent in at any time and will be considered for a given selection round, if they have been received before a given deadline. A nomination has a maximum life of two years.
  4. All nominations will be put on a list supplemented with non-elected candidates for the RSAI fellowship who were on the short list from the previous year.
  5. The short list will be screened by the RSAI fellows selection committee (in consultation with the RSAI director). This committee comprises 3 RSAI fellows appointed by the RSAI Council for a period of staggered 3-year terms. The selection committee has to seriously consider all available information on the candidates and can remove candidates (unanimous vote) who do not qualify.
  6. The selection committee can also decide to reduce the list of nominated RSAI members to a manageable number, so that candidates can be selected with a qualified majority. This short list should normally not contain more than 10 to 12 names.
  7. The short list is next circulated to all RSAI fellows, who have the exclusive right to vote for (a maximum of) 3 candidate-fellows. No ranking of candidates is allowed.
  8. The selection committee can put an upper ceiling on the maximum number of candidates to be selected in a given year, if circumstances dictate so.
  9. A vote of at least 1/3 will normally mean election, unless that would exceed the ceiling.
  10. The selection committee informs the RSAI Director of the final selection results, who will communicate these results to the selected RSAI fellows, the RSAI Council, and the home institutions of the newly appointed fellows.


Standard Nomination Form for RSAI Fellows

  1. Factual bio-data on candidate, including a proof for RSAI membership
  2. Professional career of candidate (max. 100 words)
  3. Substantive contribution to regional science (max. 200 words)
  4. Path-breaking publications on regional science (max. 5)
  5. Signs of international scientific recognition (max. 50 words)
  6. Reasons for nominating the candidate (max. 50 words)


To ensure full consideration by the committee, these materials should be provided in electronic format (pdf preferred) by February 28, 2018 to Diego Puga, Chair 2018 Fellows Election Committee


The Stan Czamanski Prize | Deadline:  March 31, 2018 (contact:

The Stan Czamanski Prize is awarded by the Regional Science Association International in memory of Professor Stan Czamanski, an early recipient of a Ph.D. in regional science (1963), a member of the University of Pennsylvania regional science faculty (1963-1966), a member of the regional science faculty of Cornell University (1966-1988), and a past-president of the Regional Science Association (1975-1976).

The annual prize is awarded to author of the best Ph.D. dissertation proposal judged to exemplify the philosophy and approach of Professor Czamanski, as described below.

  1. The US$1,000 prize is awarded to the student and a plaque to the student’s advisor.
  2. The selection will be made by a panel of three persons: a senior and long-standing member of the regional science community, a representative of the field of Regional Science at Cornell and a member of the RSAI Council.
  3. Students writing dissertations on problems in regional science from around the world are invited to enter the competition, in the spirit of Stan’s all-embracing philosophy.

To be eligible, the dissertation proposal must have been defended and approved during the past 12 months.


Each applicant will submit the following:

  1. A statement in six pages or less that clearly sets out the research question(s) and issues to be addressed, approach to be used, and product expected from the dissertation research. The six-page limit is exclusive of references, tables and figures. This text and references should be in 12 point or larger font and single-spaced. In addition, a summary (maximum one page) describing the intellectual merit of the proposed research and why the proposed approach may be regarded as implementing Professor Czamanski’s philosophy and approach, as described below.
  2. A curriculum vita of no more than two pages.
  3. Copies of the candidate’s transcripts for all graduate study. Unofficial copies are acceptable.
  4. A separate, confidential letter from the dissertation supervisor assessing the quality and significance of the proposed dissertation research.


Philosophy and Research Approach of Professor Stan Czamanski

In his Introduction to Regional Science (Prentice-Hall, 1975, p. 2), Walter Isard wrote:

In brief, regional science as a discipline concerns the careful and patient study of social problems with regional or spatial dimensions, employing diverse combinations of analytical and empirical research.

Professor Czamanski’s research exemplified the analysis of social and economic problems with regional and spatial dimensions. In doing so, he chose judiciously the right combination of analytical and empirical research methods from his tool box to address the specific issue at hand.

Dissertation proposals submitted for the Stan Czamanski Prize will be judged with regard to how the student proposes to bring an appropriate combination of analytical and empirical methods to bear on a social and economic problem with spatial or regional dimensions, and how this combination of methods is expected to deliver greater insights into the problem in question.


2020 RSAI World Congress | Request for Proposals



The Regional Science Association International (RSAI) aims to hold a world congress at least once every four years. Unfortunately, the last two planned congresses – in Bangkok in 2014 and in Istanbul in 2016 – had to be cancelled due to security concerns in the host cities at the time. The World Congress in Goa 2018 is expected to be a great success with more than 600 abstracts submitted so far. RSAI considers world congresses an important instrument for furthering its mission of global advancement of regional analysis and in Goa we would like to announce the World Congress for 2020. RSAI therefore calls for proposals to host a world congress in 2020. Potential hosts are RSAI Supra-Regionals, Sections or Members that have a proven track record of hosting conferences and related events. A world congress may be held concurrently with another event or as a standalone event. Proposals must be submitted by Friday April the 27th, 2018, 23:59 GMT.  Proposals are evaluated by a Committee of RSAI Council. Based the Committee’s recommendation, Council will make a decision in the Council Meeting of Goa by Friday June 1, 2018. This document outlines the application process, organisation and expected outcomes regarding the 2018 world congress.

26 January 2018



The World Congress of the RSAI was initiated in 1980, at a time when the organization had already established a tradition of annual supra-regional conferences in North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim through the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC), the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) and the Pacific Regional Science Conference Organization (PRSCO) respectively.  The purpose of the world congress is twofold: firstly, to create an opportunity for bridging the networks established by the supra-regional organisations (which since 2016 also includes the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Science Association, LACRSA), and, secondly, to provide a scientifically and socially attractive event for first entry into the RSAI networks for postgraduate students and scholars from parts of the world where the supra-regionals and their constituent sections have little or no representation.

RSAI congresses until 2012 have been held four-yearly since 1980 (with the exception of the one held in Israel in 1989 rather than 1988). The years and venues have been:

1980 1st – Cambridge Mass. (Harvard University), USA

1984 2nd – Rotterdam (Erasmus University), Netherlands

1989 3rd – Jerusalem (Kibbutz Ramat Rachel), Israel

1992 4th – Palma de Mallorca, Spain

1996 5th – Tokyo (Rissho University), Japan

2000 6th – Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland

2004 7th – Port Elizabeth, South Africa

2008 8th – Sao Paulo, Brazil

2012 9th – Timisoara, Romania

In 2012 Council appointed a working party, chaired by the then RSAI President Jean-Claude Thill, to review the world congress policy.  The working party made a number of recommendations, including holding the world congress every two years. Consequently, a 2014 world congress was organised to be held May 26-30 in Bangkok, Thailand. However, this congress had to be cancelled due to a military coup taking place just before the congress dates. Similarly, a 2016 world congress was organised to be held April 25-28 in Istanbul, but had to be postponed initially – and subsequently cancelled – due to safety concerns linked to terrorist activity in Turkey. It is clear that this very unfortunate sequence of events was impossible to foresee during planning of the last two congresses, given that both host cities had a longstanding reputation of being safe destinations for global events.

To meet its objectives and to ensure that its membership receives the services it expects from the organization, RSAI is now committed to running a successful world congress in 2018 in Goa and a World Congress each two years.


Criteria for a successful 2020 world congress

1.  Most importantly, the world congress should aim to have significant participation from members of Sections of all four supra-regional organisations – ERSA, LACRSA, NARSC and PRSCO.

2. The conference should also endeavour to attract regional scientists resident in countries in which no RSAI Section has yet been established. Subsidies may be available to selected applicants for participation through RSAI’s “Building Bridges” programme.

3. RSAI’s long-run objective is to organise a world congress with 1000 participants or more preferably every four years. There is the  expectation that the congress in Goa will have more than 500 participants.

4. The 2020 World Congress may be held as a standalone event. Alternatively, proposals may suggest to organise it jointly or “back-to-back” with another event. Such a joint or back-to-back event could be an RSAI Section meeting, a supra-regional congress, or an event held jointly with other organisations with similar objectives or networks.

5. The proposed dates of the congress must be such that they do not clash with other events that aim to attract the same regional science community, unless a joint conference is envisaged. Therefore, if the proposed location is within or very close to the territory of one of the supranationals, the proposal should include a statement that this supranational supports the nomination.

6. The conference should be held at an easily accessible location in a globally accessible city.

7. Accommodation should be available at the conference venue (when the conference is held at a hotel or convention centre). Alternatively, a range of affordable accommodation should be available within 15 minutes walking from the venue.

8. The congress should include plenary sessions of interest to the global scientific community. The overall conference theme and the selection of keynote speakers should reflect this. Of course, local perspectives and concerns may be interwoven with global perspectives and concerns.

9. Proposals should include initiatives to encourage participation from developing countries and from other countries in which no RSAI Sections have yet been established. RSAI can assist financially in meeting this objective through its “Building Bridges” programme but other funding initiatives (e.g. subsidies for participating postgraduate students) are also encouraged.

10. The programme should include one or more workshops for professional development of emerging scholars and postgraduate students, who may not be in a position to contribute a full paper to the formal scientific programme.

11. The working language of the congress is English but proposals may include arrangements for simultaneous translation of plenary sessions where this is deemed to be desirable.

12. Proposals should include a risk assessment regarding contingencies that could impact on the viability and success of the congress. Ways in which potential risks can be managed should be outlined.


Conference Organisation

1. RSAI establishes a 2020 World Congress Executive Committee (WCEC20) which will have oversight over all aspects of the world congress. In accordance with Article 5, Section 3 of the RSAI Constitution, this committee is chaired by the RSAI Executive Director. Other members of WCEC20 are the chair of the Local Organising Committee (see below), the President of RSAI, who chairs of the Scientific Programme Committee (see below), and two other Council members. WCEC20 co-ordinates the various tasks and has overall responsibility for the scientific and financial success of the congress.

2. WCEC20 will establish a Scientific Programme Committee (SPC), which will be chaired by the President of RSAI. Besides the chair, the five-person SPC will consist of one senior scholar from each of the four supra-regionals. SPC will select offered papers and ensure the scientific quality of the programme. This committee may call upon a much larger number of RSAI scholars to assist in selecting papers for presentation.

3. The RSAI Supra-Regional, Section or Member submitting the world congress proposal will appoint a Local Organising Committee (LOC) and appoint its chair. The LOC is responsible for all logistical aspects of the congress and arrangements with local suppliers. The RSAI Office and the LOC will draw up a full budget for the congress and recommend a schedule of registration fees to WCEC18.

4. RSAI Office will provide the website on which all congress information can be found and downloaded, and the portal through which abstracts, papers, registrations and the programme can be managed.

5.  For the services it provides, RSAI Office charges a commission equal to 20% of all registration fees received. The remaining registration revenue is transferred to the legal entity representing the LOC. Any anticipated sponsorship monies will be included in the budget.

6. The RSAI supra-regional, section or member institution which makes the world congress proposal underwrites the financial viability of the congress. The disbursement of any funds held by the LOC after the congress has been held is a matter of negotiation between the parties concerned, with negotiations being co-ordinated by WCEC20.

7. All arrangements for the organising of the World Congress will be formalised in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU will be signed by the President of RSAI, the Executive Director, the Chair of the LOC and the person representing the legal entity through which the LOC operates.


Application Process

1. Proposals should address each of the 12 criteria for hosting the 2020 world congress outlined above. However, it is understood that some of the information provided by the congress proposers (such as names of suggested keynote speakers, sponsorship, etc.) will be tentative at the time the proposal is submitted.

2. Proposals should include a list of the key people involved in organising the congress, a draft congress plan (including dates, location and schedule), a detailed draft budget (including a schedule of registration fees) and a suggested range of accommodations and charges.

3. The acceptance of a proposal by RSAI Council does not constitute a binding agreement between the two parties. The subsequently drawn up MOU, which is guided by the proposal, will constitute a binding agreement.

4. Proposals should be submitted by email to  by Friday April the 27th, 2018, 23:59 GMT.

5. A decision regarding the 2020 World Congress will be made by Council by Friday June 1, 2018.


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