Summer Institute in Urban Studies

The fifth Summer Institute recently took place in Toronto, between the 22 and 26 May. It was jointed organised by the University of Manchester, the University of Toronto and York University, Toronto.

Summer Institute in Urban Studies 2023

With 20+ participants, it proved a generative space to consider the future (and the pasts) of urban studies, the challenges academics face in studying cities as we move towards the middle of the 21st century, and, perhaps closer to home for participants, how best to navigate an increasingly competitive set of university hiring and progression contexts.

Talks are currently underway as to the location of the next Summer Institute. Details will be advertised in due course.

About the Summer Institute

The Summer Institute in Urban Studies provides an opportunity to investigate leading-edge theoretical and methodological questions, along with a range of associated career development issues, in the field of urban studies.

After three Summer Institutes in Manchester in 2014, 2015 and 2016 it moved to a biennial footing, held around the world in partnership with other universities, with SIUS 2018 taking place in Singapore in July 2018, and SIUS2020 taking place in Toronto in May 2023.

Generally, we tend to receive 100 to 125 applicants for each Summer Institute.

The Summer Institute features contributions from internationally renowned academics from across urban studies, from inside and outside of the host university. The Institute comprises an intensive, four-day programme of activities and is open to:

  • Doctoral students (usually post-fieldwork);
  • Post-doctoral researchers;
  • And, recently appointed faculty and lecturers (normally within three years of first continuous appointment).


Source: Joe Daniels, 18 July 2018, #SIUS2018
Summer Institute in Urban Studies participants

The designing of programmes provides participants with an in-depth understanding of the innovatory developments and enduring controversies in urban studies.

Our programmes provide mentoring and support in the different aspects of the academic labour process:

  • applying for grants to designing courses;
  • editing books and special issues of journals;
  • key controversies and debates;
  • writing book proposals;
  • publishing in journals;
  • the challenges and opportunities of working at the academic/non-academic interface; and
  • the shifting boundaries of the field of “urban studies.

They consist of panels, lectures, reading groups and walking tours with participants involved in shaping the final programme.


The fee for the Summer Institute covers the organisational costs and includes accommodation for four nights, a welcome reception, a walking tour, lunches, and a Summer Institute dinner. Participant fees are normally around £275-£325.


Our funders are usually able to offer us three scholarships to those attending from countries classified as B or C by the ISA. Scholarships cover the cost of travel and the Summer Institute registration fee and are separate for each year. Scholarships cover the cost of travel and the Summer Institute registration fee and are separate for each year.