- PROJECT STATUS :
2022/05/05 Dresden, Germany
As a follow-up to the release of the “Our Common Agenda” report of the United Nations, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated, “Our world is suffering from the impact of unprecedented emergencies caused by the climate crisis, pollution, desertification and biodiversity loss, the COVID-19 pandemic, by new and ongoing conflicts, and by the ungoverned development of new technologies.” UNU-FLORES, having served as a go-to think tank to develop strategies to resolve pressing issues in sustainable resource use and conduct research programmes on integrated resources management closely connected to the overarching priorities of the United Nations, strives to contribute to the solutions to these complex and interconnected global challenges. In this context, a recent grant by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the Development-Oriented Postgraduate Courses (EPOS) programme will support approximately 60 doctoral students to work on science-based and impact-oriented strategies towards greater sustainability.
In the context of the “Resource Nexus for Sustainability Transformations” (NEXtra) programme, successful candidates will have the opportunity to conduct doctoral research to advance the Resource Nexus and support the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. Selected students will be jointly supervised by experts from Technische Universität Dresden, UNU-FLORES, and the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), and enrolled in one of the joint doctoral programmes of TU Dresden with UNU-FLORES or the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School of IOER. Under the EPOS funding programme, DAAD will support doctoral candidates with scholarships for 42 months, plus entitlements for a two-month German language course. From 2023 to 2030, an annual intake of 7 to 8 scholarship-funded candidates is expected.
One unique feature of NEXtra is that students and their supervisors will collaborate with and support the work of the United Nations Development System (UNDS) in geographic area(s) their research covers. In particular, doctoral candidates and experts from academia will connect to the United Nations Development Coordination Office (UN-DCO) as well as regional offices and country teams. In this way, research will be demand- and impact oriented. Selected students will, for example, design their research in consideration of its impact on communities, and strive to translate their findings into policy advice and real-world application. The anticipated collaboration with UNDS will thereby ensure that results will be taken up by the UN and its Member States to support SDG achievement. With the focus of the programme on interlinkages between environmental resources, and synergies and tradeoffs in their management, doctoral students are expected to turn into “agents of transformation” who will contribute towards sustainable development in their home regions and beyond.
With strong scientific collaboration across disciplines particularly important when it comes to overcoming global challenges, the NEXtra doctoral research initiative, which currently has several open vacancies (see vacancies for Africa; vacancies for Latin America; vacancies for South Asia; vacancies for Southeast Asia), would enable education and research to tackle the pressing global problems in an interconnected way and at the same time develop solutions that are promising in the respective local contexts.