event 07 мар. 2021 time 00:00 12 мар. 2021 time 00:00 UTC+2

Virtual Summer School // Analysing Transformative Processes for the Management of the WEF nexus and the Advancement of the SDGs in Sub-Saharan Africa

Young researchers based in or originating from sub-Saharan Africa together with young researchers from Germany are invited to apply for this virtual WEF Nexus summer school. The event will take place online and run from the evening of March 7th to March 12th 2021. It is organized by Osnabrück University (DE), Rhodes University (SA), University of Cape Town (SA) and University of Kwazulu-Natal (SA), Co-hosted online by The Integrated Assessment Society e.V. (DE) and sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation’s program Knowledge for Tomorrow – Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Date: 07 - 12 March 2021 // Application Deadline: 26 January 2021


For the past two years, Osnabrück University in Germany together with Rhodes University, University of Cape Town and University of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa have been sharing knowledge, approaches and experiences on transformative processes in the context of the WaterEnergy-Food (WEF) nexus and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa and Germany. The project seeks to better understand transformative processes associated with implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of the WEF nexus approach.

As a culmination to its transformational learning cooperation, the project partners invite applications from young researchers based in or originating from sub-Saharan Africa together with young researchers from Germany interested in joining its summer school in March 2021. The event will take place online and run from the evening of March 7th to March 12th.

Young academics and practitioners from Africa and Germany will have the opportunity to learn from the expertise and related case studies of highly experienced academics. The summer school will cover conceptual and methodological experience and which have been applied and tested in cases in South Africa. Specifically, the summer school will:

  1. strengthen understandings and capacity for enhancing socially transformative processes at the WEF nexus and for inter-sectional SDG engagement;
  2. present the newest knowledge consolidated in the two workshops in 2019 and 2020 as well as pre-existing knowledge;
  3. facilitate the development of new networks and/or linkages with existing networks; and
  4. strengthen international exchange and collaboration by further expanding this research
  5. community and its activities among young academics.


The summer school is aimed at researchers in the early stages of a scientific career. They may be those who, after completing doctorate or post-doctorate research, go on to work for governmental, non-governmental or private sector organizations concerned with natural resources/environmental management. These individuals have the potential to play an important role in supporting decision making as academics or as future managers of natural resources. This summer school is intended to boost the opportunities of these individuals to succeed in their work and influence positive transformations. Emphasis will be placed on attracting female researchers.

Participants attending the live session during the week of March 7th 2021 (opening session in the evening) will receive a certificate of completion.

Main Outputs

In addition to knowledge and practical experience, the most important outcomes of this event for participants will be a Sub-Saharan African network of experienced researchers and young academics concerned with processes of transformation in the WEF nexus. Furthermore, the slides and potentially the recordings from the presentations will be made openly available and promoted online. The workshop will contribute practically to the development of the research network and establish stronger links between Germany and the Association of African Research Universities (ARUA) leading energy, climate change, water and food security.


The Transformative Processes Summer School will take place remotely as an online event. The majority of presentations will be prerecorded and made available to registered participants approximately two weeks prior to live online sessions in March during which there will be summaries of their sessions by the presenters, Q&A and discussion sessions and small group work and exercises. A virtual field trip in one or more of the case study areas is also planned.

Application process

The number of participants is limited and will rely on a selection process based on a number of criteria including region/country of origin or current study/employment (with priority given to sub-Saharan Africa & Germany), education, relevant research area, knowledge and experience, interests, gender and English proficiency.

Interested individuals are asked to send a curriculum vitae and letter of motivation with a maximum of 300 words to Caroline van Bers (cvanbers@uniosnabrueck.de) and Larissa Koch (larissa.koch@uni-osnabrueck.de) by Tuesday 26 January, 2021.

There is no fee for participants.


15.12.2020: Applications accepted

26.01.2021: Application deadline extended

29.01.2021: Confirmation of participation to selected applicants

17.02.2021: Access to prerecorded lectures and slides

07.03.2021: Summer School live sessions begin

12.03.2021: Summer School ends


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Cecilia Vey

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