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Doctoral Programme on Global Change, Innovation and Sustainable Development

English title Doctoral Programme on Global Change, Innovation and Sustainable Development
Applicant Hurni Hans
Number 123177
Funding scheme ProDoc
Research institution NCCR North-South Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.10.2008 - 31.12.2011
Approved amount 472'588.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Social geography and ecology
Veterinary Medicine
Political science

Keywords (11)

global change; syndrome mitigation; development studies; technological innovation; sustainable development; governance; conflict transformation; livelihoods; human well-being; natural resource management; regional development

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Enhanced research cooperation has proven to be a highly suitable tool for reducing global disparities. To ensure that achievements to date can endure, institutional and structural anchoring of North-South-based partnerships is needed. Against this background, the programme intends to strengthen formal education on Global Change issues in a network with the Universities of Bern, Basel and Zurich, and the associated institutions Swiss Tropical Institute and swisspeace.BACKGROUNDWorldwide, ecological, social and economic changes have accelerated significantly in the last decades and pose a considerable challenge for technological, political and social adaptation and innovation towards sustainable development. Developing and transition countries have been particularly affected by these changes because they have fewer options to address these challenges. In our present-day global knowledge society, these countries are particularly disadvantaged because they have less infrastructure and personnel capacity in education and research compared to industrialised countries. Enhanced international cooperation is indispensable for shaping a common future, particularly through higher education and research partnerships, which have proven to be highly suitable tools for reducing global disparities. OBJECTIVESThe overall goals of the Training Module are to help build formalised inter-university cooperation for research and education by creating a common graduate school, first at doctoral, but later also at post-doc level between the Universities of Bern, Basel and Zurich, and including the Swiss Tropical Institute and the Swisspeace Foundation. Through its four research modules comprising 8 PhD students, this doctoral programme attempts to enhance potentials for mitigating the negative and strengthening the positive effects of global change. The following research questions are addressed in this doctoral programme: (a) What core problems of non-sustainable development form persistent clusters in different contexts observed? (b)Which conditions and processes in the different contexts show a potential for sustainable development? (c) How can local efforts to enhance sustainable development and achieve the Millennium Development Goals be supported in different contexts? The four research modules coordinated within this training module are the following: 1.)Biofuel production: spatial impacts and normative powers2.)Negotiating rural development in South Asia's periphery3.)Morbidity patterns and transmission dynamics of neglected tropical diseases in semi-arid and humid Africa4.)Making peace, constructing states. Peace agreements and the dynamics of statehood in post-conflict AfricaWithin the doctoral programme a total of 50 ECTS are offered to PhD students over 3 years in 3 modules, whereof 20 ECTS have to be successfully completed by each candidate.RELEVANCE AND EXPECTED OUTCOMESThe vision of this doctoral programme is to contribute to mitigating syndromes of global change through research partnerships that support the problem-solving competence both in Switzerland and in the South. In addition, this doctoral programme seizes the opportunity to enhance the current inter-university cooperation of the NCCR North-South, particularly in view of establishing a long-term Research Network North-South. This would anchor partnership-based development studies in the Swiss academic landscape.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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