The SENSE PhD Summer School will help students to better understand the causes of global change in an integrated manner and at the same time to develop options for the governance of a transition to more sustainable development paths at the national and global levels. The Summer School will consist of intensive lectures and seminars by our international faculty, as well as PhD Master Class sessions giving participants the opportunity to present and discuss their own research.

This year’s PhD Training School focuses on Earth System Governance. In the face of large-scale changes in the natural environment, actors and institutions are faced with new challenges. The Training School will familiarize participants with some of the key questions and concepts of Earth System Governance. In particular, the training school focuses on the issues of accountability and agency in Earth System Governance, discussing not only theoretical developments but also presenting examples of case studies in these areas. A third focus will be the relationship between Earth System Governance and Sustainable Development.

The Training School will be held at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Department of Environmental Policy Analysis (EPA), VU University Amsterdam. IVM was created in 1971 and has built up considerable experience and expertise in dealing with complex environmental problems. The institute consists of about 140 staff members divided over 4 departments: Environmental Policy Analysis, Environmental Economics, Spatial Analysis and Chemistry and Biology. IVM researchers are very experienced in conducting interdisciplinary policy relevant research, addressing challenging environmental problems and offering pragmatic, innovative solutions. The institute has repeatedly been evaluated as the best Dutch research group in the environmental research field.

To apply, please send an abstract (max. 300 words), a CV and a short cover letter (max. 1 page) by email to both Dr. Philipp Pattberg ( and Eleni Dellas ( before April 15, 2011. Selected candidates will be informed by June 15, 2011, and are expected to send full papers by September 1, 2011.

A registration fee of €250 (reduced fee of €190 for SENSE participants) will be requested as a contribution to organizational costs. The fee covers four full days of seminars by the international faculty, lunches and coffee breaks, a final dinner as well as a social event. Please note that participants must cover their own travel and accommodation.