United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.


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UNU-EHS Intensive Summer Course 2015 "Advancing Disaster Risk Reduction to Enhance Sustainable Development in a Changing World” (formerly known as: UNU-EHS PhD Block Course)

UNU-EHS invites young scientists and practitioners to apply for the 2015 Intensive Summer Course (1-12 June 2015).  This course focuses on the role of vulnerability with regard to planning for/during, mitigating against, and adapting to natural hazards.  By the end of the course participants should leave with a better understanding of how to work towards resilience in the fields of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA).

The main objectives of the course are to:

  • increase awareness about the complexity and importance of vulnerability and resilience in DRR and CCA; 

  • explore options to reduce vulnerability and risk by improving adaptation capacities;

  • understand the principles and approaches of ecosystem based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (EcoDRR/CCA); 

  • increase awareness of synergies with development planning processes and biodiversity conservation; 

  • increase awareness of Geospatial technologies and Early Warning Systems for Disaster Risk Management; 

  • learn about Coordinated Assessment and Information Management within the United Nations System;

  • increase understanding of human-made hazards in relation to urban vulnerability and eWaste; and

  • learn about empirical research on environmentally induced migration, legal aspects of climate change and loss and damage.

2015 Call for Applications

Who can apply?

The course is open to academics and practitioners working in fields related to DRR and CCA who have already obtained or are working towards a Master’s level degree. Preference is given to candidates who are currently working towards a PhD. Applicants should have an interdisciplinary focus and work on research or dissertations related to vulnerability and resilience in the context of disaster risk management.

As the course is taught in English, participants must have at least a B1/2 level of English proficiency to be able to understand the topics discussed.  

Date & venue

1-12 June 2015

UN Campus Bonn, Germany

Please note:

While there is no fee to attend this course, participants are responsible to cover all their own costs.  Travel expenses, local transportation, hotel accommodation and daily subsistence will NOT be covered by UNU-EHS. There are no scholarship opportunities offered by UNU-EHS for this course.


How to apply

Please send:

  • Completed Application form  

  • Resume/CV (including any research related to the Course’s theme)

  • Letter of Motivation (outlining reasons for applying to the Course)

  • One letter of recommendation  

  • For non-native English speakers, an English language proficiency certificate is recommended


All documents submitted must be in English.

Deadline: 7 March 2015

(applications received after the deadline will not be considered)