Nordic ESPAnet-ReNEW workshop for doctoral candidates & early career researchers

Nordic ESPAnet is organising a workshop for doctoral candidates & early career researchers at the University of Bergen (Norway) on November 7–8. The theme of the workshop is "Life transitions in Nordic Welfare States: Youth, Work, Family, and Retirement" The call for the papers is now open! 

The workshop focuses on life course transitions within the Nordic welfare states and how welfare states frame and interact with important life-course transitions. Key topics include:

  • Youth-to-Adulthood Transitions, examining the educational pathways and the role of educational systems in preparing and integrating youth for the labour market; 
  • Work and Family Transitions including work-life-balance, family change, and the use of family benefits;  
  • Life transitions of migrants and their interaction with integration policies and welfare states;
  • Transitions into, between and out of social benefits, including health-related and unemployment benefits; 
  • Retirement transitions and the use of old age pensions.


In addition, we aim to discuss the role of welfare states and street-level bureaucrats in supporting individual transitions. A crosscutting theme will be how individual trajectories and public polices interact to shape societal outcomes.  

We welcome contributions within these themes drawing on qualitative and/or quantitative evidence from Nordic countries and beyond. We encourage comparative country analyses, but we are also interested in studies focusing on a single country, region, or sector. 

Please send an abstract of up to 500 words to Thomas Lorentzen ( by 30 of June 2024. We will respond to you by mid-August. The final version of your paper to be discussed at the workshop is expected by 15 October 2024. We welcome papers or chapters at all stages of your PhD or post-doc. 

Lunches and one dinner will be provided but travel and accommodation are at your own expense. 

The workshop will: 

*Provide doctoral students and early career researchers with an opportunity to present their current work and to receive constructive feedback from an international panel of professors and peer-doctoral-students and early career researchers. 

*Develop a supportive network of PhD and early career researchers with an interest in Nordic welfare research. 

*Provide you with eligibility for the ESPAnet and ReNEW early career prizes.  



7th November

10:00 Welcome and introduction
Professor Thomas Lorentzen

10:15 – 11:00 Keynote: Gendered Life Course Transitions
Professor Ann Nielsen

11:15-12.45 Parallel student paper sessions 1–3


14:00-15.45 Parallel student paper sessions 4–5 

16:15-17:00 Keynote: Transitions to retirement: trajectories, motivations, and the role of the pension system

Research Professor Anne Skevik Grødem 

18:30 Dinner  

8th November

09:00 – 09:45 Keynote:The linear gaze and the swinging
Professor Kristoffer Chelsom Vogt

10:00-11:45: Parallel student paper sessions 5-7 


13:00-15:00: Parallel student paper sessions 8-10 

15:00-15:15: Coffee Break 

15:15-16:30: Professional advice for early career scholars
Profs Rune Halvorsen, Janine Leschke, Thomas Lorentzen, and Georg Picot 

For the parallel sessions we will follow the “Korpi rule”: the discussant will present and comment on the paper (10 minutes), the author will then have the opportunity to give a brief comment before the Q & A. This is to provide you with the most in-depth feedback possible.

Local organizing committee: Professor Thomas Lorentzen (University of Bergen), Professor Rune Halvorsen (Oslo MET), Research Professor Anne Skevik Grødem (Institute for Social Research). 

Nordic ESPAnet board: Professor Caroline de la Porte (Copenhagen Business School), Professor Jonas Edlund (Umeå University), Professor Guðný Björk Eydal (University of Iceland), Professor Minna van Gerven (University of Helsinki), Research Professor Anne Skevik Grødem (Institute for Social Research), Professor Rune Halvorsen (Oslo Metropolitan University), Professor Jon Kvist (Roskilde University), Professor Janine Leschke (Copenhagen Business School), Professor Thomas Lorentzen (University of Bergen), Professor Kenneth Nelson (University of Oxford), Research Manager Paula Saikkonen (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare), Assistant Professor Kolbeinn Hólmar Stefánsson (University of Iceland) & Associate professor Mia Tammelin (University of Tampere)