Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Grasping Sustainability

Date: 11 March 2019 - 16 March 2019
Location: StayOK, Soest

Short Course Description

Explore and understand sustainability, the different concepts, objectives and methodologies to improve the impact of your research.


To date, many different scientific concepts and approaches of sustainability exist. What are the differences and what do they entail? What is your role as a scientist in achieving sustainable develop-ment? How can you apply sustainability in your own research? And in doing so, how can you deal with facts, uncertainty, values and opinions?

This on-site course will enable you to think about the ‘bigger picture’, grasp sustainability and to apply concepts and approaches to your own research, in a collaborative learning environment, away from ‘office’.

To ensure that the content of the course is aligned to your own research, the content of the course will also be determined by the research topics of the participants.

General information

Target groupThe course is meant for PhD candidates, MSc students of the WIMEK Graduate Programme, and other scientists who want to understand and achieve sustainable development and innovation, and are interested in ways to incorporate sustainability in their research.
Course levelBeginner
Intended credits2 ECTS
Course frequencyOnce a year
Course fee• SENSE/PE&RC/WASS PhDs with TSP: €250 (early bird) / €300
• All other PhD candidates: €540 (early bird) / €590
• Postdocs and academic staff of the above mentioned graduate schools: €540 (early bird) / €590
• All others: €790 (early bird) / €840
Cancellation conditions• Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
• Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of 50% of the full costs will be charged.
• In case of cancellation within two weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of 100% of the full costs will be charged.
• If you do not show at all, a fee of 100% of the full costs and a fine of 100 euro will be charged.
Lecturer(s)Dr. Kris van Koppen (Environmental Policy Group, WUR)
Dr. Peter Vermeulen (WIMEK, WUR)

Dr. Brian Dermody (coordinator complexity lab, UU)
Prof. Klaas van Egmond (Env. Sciences and Sustainability, UU)
Dr. Eva Kunseler (Neth. Env. Assessment Agency, PBL)
Drs. Sandra van der Hel (role of science in governance for sustainability, UU)
Prof. Ernst Worrell (Energy, Resources & Technological Change, UU)
More informationPeter Vermeulen
tel: +31 (0) 317 48 5090
> Flyer 2019 
Registration URLGo to registration form
Registration deadline   Extended early bird: 4 February 2019
Final deadline: 23 February 2019

Learning goals

  • Be acquainted with and understand different concepts, objectives and approaches of sustainability
  • Be aware of and be able to deal with the science - policy interface
  • Be able to relate world views to goals and issues of sustainable development
  • Be able to describe ways of enhancing societal and environmental impact in research phases and in relation to societal change processes
  • Be able to apply sustainability concepts, objectives and approaches to your own research
  • Effectively and successfully deal with group processes

Course programme

12 March

‘Sustainability’ the bigger picture

Kris van Koppen


13 March
Lectures and discussion

Lectures and discussion
World views: values and perspectives

Sustainability and the science - policy interface
Klaas van Egmond

Eva Kunseler and Sandra van der Hel
14 March
Lectures, exercise, discussion

System Complexity: systems thinking

Assignment on methods to understand complexity
Brian Dermody

Brian Dermody
15 March

Self-study in groups
Transdisciplinary approaches

Applying what is learned to your own research

Ernst Worrell

Peter Vermeulen

16 March
PresentationsParticipants input: ‘Sustainability in my research’Kris van Koppen and Peter Vermeulen

Former occurrences of this course


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