Free United Nations University NEXtra Doctoral Scholarship Program in Germany

Free United Nations University NEXtra Doctoral Scholarship Program in Germany

About United Nations University (UNU)

UNU is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU’s work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’ full breadth, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

About United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)

UNU-FLORES develops strategies to resolve pressing issues in the sustainable use and integrated management of environmental resources such as water, soil, waste, energy, and other geo-resources that are of concern to the United Nations and its Member States – particularly in developing and emerging economies. Based in Dresden, Germany, the Institute engages in research, capacity development, postgraduate teaching, advanced training, and knowledge dissemination to advance the Resource Nexus. 

Opportunities for Doctoral Research

Under the EPOS (Development-Oriented Postgraduate Courses) funding programme, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will support doctoral candidates (scholarships for 42 months, plus entitlement for a two-month German language course) in the NEXtra doctoral scholarship programme. The successful candidates of the NEXtra doctoral scholarship programme will have the opportunity to conduct research work to advance the Resource Nexus and support the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Selected students for the NEXtra Doctoral Scholarship Programme will be jointly supervised by experts from Technische Universitaet 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, and/or the Dresden Leibniz Graduate school of IOER. Additionally, students will collaborate with and support the work of the United Nations.

Applicants should design their research so that it contributes to actionable sustainability transformations and SDG achievement. In addition to the academic recruitment criteria, applications will be assessed on responsiveness to regional/sub-regional contexts and evidence-based needs.


  • Excellent academic profile including a Master’s degree with an equivalent grade of 2.5 or better according to the German system;
  • The Master’s degree must be completed at the beginning of starting the scholarship but should not be older than six (6) years at the beginning of the doctoral research;
  • At least two years of related work experience after the first academic degree (typically, a Bachelor’s degree);
  • At the time of the application deadline, applicants may not have been in Germany for longer than fifteen (15) months;
  • Sound scientific background knowledge and methodological competencies that specifically relate to the selected topic;
  • First experiences in conducting preferably trans-/interdisciplinary research (e.g., research-oriented master thesis, research, or consultancy-related employment);
  • Strong interest and previous academic/ work experience related to at least one of the following three fields: (1) sustainability/ sustainable development; (2) development cooperation and/or (3) the Resource Nexus;
  • Capacity to structure complex tasks; strong analytical abilities;
  • Excellent writing skills and presentation skills;
  • Strong planning, organisation and time management skills, with the ability to communicate clearly and efficiently in different contexts (e.g., academia, UN system);
  • Must be flexible with the ability to establish priorities and work within prescribed timeframes;
  • An excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in English is required;
  • Proficiency in the official language of your envisioned target country or region (in addition to English) would be highly advantageous;
  • Knowledge of German and/or another UN official working language is an asset.

The NEXtra Doctoral Research offers the opportunity to study under one of the three programs in Germany. Explore the programs and apply.

Resource Nexus for Sustainability Transformations – NEXtra Doctoral Scholarship Programme (Nature Topics)On-site

  • Dresden, Sachsen, Germany

Resource Nexus for Sustainability Transformations – NEXtra Doctoral Scholarship Programme (People Topics)On-site

  • Dresden, Sachsen, Germany

Resource Nexus for Sustainability Transformations – NEXtra Doctoral Scholarship Programme (Technology Topics)On-site

  • Dresden, Sachsen, Germany

Also check: Free Durham University Sir Harry Evans Global Fellowship (£4,444 monthly salary)!

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Article by: Ngonge Meiva

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