European Study Research: Barcelona

ESR Barcelona; an amazing week full of companies, culture and clubs!

This year's destination of ESR Fall will be Barcelona! From the 26th of November until the 3rd of December, a group of 25 bachelor and master students, 2 professors, 6 committee members and 1 board member will join together for a week to visit this amazing Spanish city and conduct research. The trip will consist of a combination of cultural activities, company visits with the aim of finalising our research, and chances to experience the amazing nightlife and culture that the city has to offer.

European Study Research is an amazing experience for students. It’s an opportunity to bring something unique to your university experience, a chance to broaden and diversify your skill set, a way to improve your research skills and an amazing way to create memories and new friendships. All of this in the exciting city of Barcelona!

The ESR experience begins with an opening dinner, followed by 7 weeks of lectures, dinners and socials every Monday night. A variety of different topics, lecturers and points of view will be discussed each week. After we return, there will be another 2 weeks of lectures before the final dinner in order to put the finishing touches on our work.

The total cost of joining will be €225,-, which includes plane tickets, accommodation and transportation during our stay, as well as various other activities to take part in.

The ESR experience is one that is unique, and should not be missed! In order to take part in this amazing project, click on the register button! Applications open on the 6th of September and close on the 18th of September, 23.59! This is also the deadline for sending your CV and motivation letter.

The applications are open to bachelor students of the FEB with at least 45 ECTS and (pre-)master students.

For any questions about this trip, feel free to contact us at

ESR Timeline

Application deadline

Sunday the 18th of September, 23.59

Interviews and selection

Monday the 19th of September until Thursday the 29th of September

Introduction dinner 

Monday the 3rd of October

Weekly lectures, dinners and socials (7 times)

Every Monday at 17:00 from the 10th of October until the 14th of November

Theme party

Monday the 21st of November

Research trip to Barcelona

Saturday the 26th of November until Saturday the 3rd of December

Lecture, dinner and social after the trip (2 times)

Monday the 5th of December and Monday the 12th of December 

Closing dinner

Monday the 19th of December

ESR Workload

In the 7 weeks prior to the trip there will be a lecture (5-7pm), dinner (7-9pm) and a social (9pm onwards) every Monday which you will be expected to attend. In the lectures we will discuss how to conduct research, there will be presentations by the various subgroups, guest lectures about the Spanish culture and several workshops. The dinners and socials are a great way to get to know everyone. Next to these activities you are expected to actually prepare your specific research together with your subgroup, which will mostly be done during the preparatory phase of the trip. In total ESR will cost you about 6-10 hours per week.

ESR Research

Main research theme: "The diversified economy of Barcelona as an instrument for Spanish economic growth"

The Spanish economy is one of the largest in the world, ranking in place 14 with a Gross Domestic Product of $1.45 trillion in 2021. Barcelona, the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia, accounts for more than a quarter of Spain's GDP. It is Spain’s most significant business hub and is considered to be Spain’s economic center. Barcelona and Catalonia, as a larger sphere, have consistently outperformed the rest of the country from an economic perspective. Benefiting from tourism, exports, manufacturing, and industry, Catalonia is the most prosperous of Spain’s 17 regions. Furthermore, the overall unemployment rate is significantly lower compared to the national average (13.2% for Barcelona and 17.2% for Spain). 

This economic success is a result of the diversified nature of Barcelona’s economy. Barcelona has a highly diversified economic structure, in contrast with other major cities that are heavily reliant on one or two sub-sectors. For incoming companies this diversification represents a hub of high value-adding industries and a perfect location for the services industry, making it easy to find suppliers for any specific area of business and markets for their products. 

To conduct research on the research theme ‘The diversified economy of Barcelona as an instrument for Spanish economic growth’, you will be divided into five subgroups. In these subgroups you will investigate research questions and conduct research specific to your subject. Every subtheme is linked to the main research theme. During the lectures and the preparations, you will get the chance to acquire the necessary skills to conduct business research and to come up with a theoretical framework and conceptual model. Together with your subgroup you will discuss your findings during the lectures and get the chance to get feedback from either the committee or the professors. The final product will include advice from every group to the companies. All companies we visit in Barcelona will receive your report. With the main research theme in mind, we have established five sub themes by which we want to investigate our main research theme in a more detailed manner. The five subthemes are Innovation, Digital Tranformation, Risk Management, Business Climate, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

  • Innovation

This subgroup’s main focus is the way companies in Barcelona stay ahead of their competition via innovation. How and in which areas do companies innovate their business? You’ll investigate the innovation strategy of different companies and compare companies. 

  • Digital transformation

As the internet becomes more and more complex due to ever new players on the market such as TikTok or BeReal, companies need to adapt to the new environment. How do companies overcome these changes in the digital world? Another aspect of the changing digital world is the growing importance of data. How could this data be used to benefit companies? You will research this in the subgroup digital transformation.

  • Risk management

Doing business always involves a level of risk. Risks can make or break business activity. How do companies assess these risks and what do different companies do to certain levels of risk? 

  • Business Climate

Companies all have an individual personality of norms, values, and share beliefs. How do companies attract new talent and keep their knowledge and skills within the company? What are the key factors that attract new Business to Barcelona’s companies?

  • Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility has gained tremendous traction in recent years and is not only a way to engage in ethical business behavior, but can furthermore promote a firm’s brands or demonstrate a significant strategic advantage. How can firms engage in ethical behavior and give something back to society? Or how can businesses utilize CSR as a competitive advantage?


ESR Partners

 Land van Kokanje - Horeca Groningen