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  1. Date & Location
  2. Benefits & Funding for Successful Applicants
  3. Program Theme and Policy Relevance
  4. Participant Selection, Application Procedure & Requirements
  5. Complete Online Form
  6. Provide a Reference

Download the Call for General Applicants (PDF) and Download the Call for UN Call for Applicants (PDF)

1)  Date and Location
  • October 26 – November 1, 2015
  • Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Oslo, Norway

2) Benefits & Funding for Successful Applicants
  • Horizontal networking connections with rising scholars, practitioners and UN staff
  • Vertical networking connections with former Workshop participants from previous years
  • Intense collaboration and reflection on the ‘lessons learned’ from the sharing of innovative ideas and practices between and among the next generation of scholars and practitioners
  • Site visits, guest lectures and other forms of exchanges with The Hague-based agencies and organizations
  • Dissemination of workshop outcomes as published collections etc., will be explored but can not be guaranteed, otherwise papers will be archived and shared through the ACUNS online library and network
  • The selected participants will receive lowest-cost economy class return air travel between their location and the workshop site, accommodations and some meals for the duration of the workshop.

3) Program Theme and Policy Relevance

2015 is an important year for the United Nations. It has been 70 years since the signing of the UN Charter, 10 years since the establishment of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and 15 years since the Brahimi Report on Peace Operations. In this spirit, the 2015 ACUNS Summer Workshop will focus on “The Evolution of UN Peace Operations: Contemporary Challenges and Requirements”. “The world is changing and United Nations peace operations must change with it if they are to remain an indispensable and effective tool in promoting international peace and security,” Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General said in a statement October 31, 2014, when he announced the establishment of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, chaired by President Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste. The Panel is expected to present its report in May 2015.

The ACUNS Summer Workshop will reflect on the Panel’s recommendations, and the academic literature and policy recommendations that have fed into the Panel’s work, to take stock of the state of peace operations in 2015, and what it tells us about the role of the United Nations in the larger context of global goverance in an age of uncertainty. 2015 marks the 15-years anniversary of the report of the previous High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, led by Amb. Lakhdar Bahimi. The so-called Brahimi Report had a significant impact on the evolution of peace operations in the decade following the report. The report introduced a number of key lessons into peacekeeping policy, for instance that the secretariat must tell the Security Council what it needs to know, not what it wants to hear, and that the UN should not deploy peacekeepers where there is no peace to keep. In 2008 the UN developed its first peacekeeping capstone doctrine, largely on the basis of the existing principles of peacekeeping: consent, impartiality and limited use of force, as well as on the recommendation of the Brahimi Report and subsequent experience.

Now, just more than a half-decade later there is sufficient consensus again that the gap that is emerging between established UN peacekeeping doctrine and many of the contemporary missions that take place amidst on-going conflicts, warranted the formation of a new UN High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.

The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) provides an ideal host location within which the 2015 Workshop participants and guest speakers will have time and opportunity to exchange their ideas and experiences and to reflect on these critical challenges confronting post-conflict actors. NUPI has been engaged in research on UN peace operations since its establishment and today it is one of the top research institutes on this topic. NUPI has a dedicated Research Group on Peace Operations with approximately a dozen scholars, and has worked closely in support of the UN Peace Operations Panel, amongst others organising regional consultations for the Panel in Asia and Africa.

The Workshop is likely to address some of the following topics through lectures, participants’ presentations and discussions: mandates, doctrine and tailoring missions to country context; political frameworks, inclusive processes, including women’s participation in peace processes, and Good Officers; operating in volatile security environments; peacebuilding, stabilization and the restoration and extension of state authority, including the role of women in post-conflict peacebuilding; authority/accountability/responsibility; mission and contingency planning, start-up, transitions and exit strategies; partnerships, especially with the African Union, League of Arab States and European Union; Special Political Missions; resource and managerial requirements; promotion and protection of human rights and protection of civilians; uniformed capabilities to meet operational demands for peacekeeping; troop and police performance, accountability, rules of engagement and caveats; gender/women, peace and security issues, etc.

Applicants also are invited to propose other relevant topics as appropriate in their applications.

The SWIOS is an advanced-level research seminar; all selected participants are expected to prepare and present individual research papers and to participate actively in the discussion of others’ research presentations.

SWIOS ’15 will take place at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, and is intended to include meetings and guest lectures. Where possible, the revised research papers of participants, or summaries of the discussions, will be made available following the workshop through the ACUNS web site and global network of scholars and practitioners. Other forms of dissemination such as published collections etc., will be explored but are not guaranteed

Learning Objectives

Participants in the workshop will gain scholarly and practice-based knowledge and applied skills in the analysis of a number of issue areas related to the workshop theme. In some measure, the specific issue areas will be determined by the research proposals of the selected participants, but more broadly the themes and skill-sets to be addressed may be anticipated to include (but not be limited to):

  • Achieving strategic coherence between the political, security, development and human rights dimensions of peace operations;
  • Managing and balancing the roles and interests of actors at the local, national, regional and global levels, including intergovernmental, non-governmental, and civil society parties, and across military and civilian policy sectors;
  • The current state of knowledge regarding ideas and norms, policies, doctrine and practices, strengths and deficiencies, needs and resources, and ‘lessons learned’ related to UN peacekeeping and Special Political Missions;
  • Identifying and reflecting upon the ‘lessons learned’ from the sharing of innovative proposals, ideas, and practices, between and among the next generation of scholars and practitioners, and how these best might be used to promote positive policy outcomes.

4) Application Procedure & Application Procedure

Participant Selection

  • Up to 20 participants will be selected by a review committee for the Workshop.
  • Normally, approximately half of the participants come from within the United Nations.
  • Those selected will be expected to submit a ten-page draft of a research or policy paper to his or her director (directly via Dropbox) no later than 4 weeks in advance of the workshop – terms of references will be provided. Following the workshop particpants are asked to submit a revised version of their paper presentation to the director within 2 months’ time (by the end of August 2015), which will be made available on the ACUNS web site.
  • The working language of the workshop is English.
  • The workshop is designed to promote collegial exchange and networking in an intense program. Participants are expected to take part fully in all aspects of the program. For this reason, participants are not encouraged to be accompanied by spouses, children or other dependents. Neither ACUNS, the host institution nor any other associated

Through presentations by young scholars and practitioners (that is, you!), case studies, guided research, special lectures and innovative pedagogies geared towards post-graduate level professionals, this workshop will encourage participants to improve their own skills and capacities for engaging constructively at different stages and in varying environments in the complex but critical areas of the governance of global justice.

Application Procedure

Scholars in international relations and international law, and from other fields relevant to the workshop e.g. development, international public policy; and practitioners from NGOs and government institutions in all countries are encouraged to apply. All applications are due by Monday, June 8, 2015.

Applicants will be notified of the Selection Committee’s final decision by July 6, 2015. Due to the high number of applications, the Committee is not able to provide individual explanations of its selection decisions.

Application Requirements

General Applicant

  • A brief (~1,000 words) statement of research interests apropos of the workshop themes
  • A curriculum vitae
  • One letter of reference
  • Online Application Form
UN Secretariat Applicant

  • A brief (~1,000 words) statement of research interests apropos of the workshop themes
  • A curriculum vitae
  • One reference letter
  • The Application Form for UN Secretariat Staff

5) Complete Online Forms
General applicants and UN Secretariat applicants have separate application processes.

6) Providing a Reference

The applicant receives an email upon submission of his/her application. This email contains essential information for referees to use to submit a letter of recommendation. It also contains a link to the webpage where referees can upload a letter of recommendation. If he/she has not done so already, please contact the applicant you are referring to have the email forwarded to you.


Download the Call for General Applicants (PDF) and Download the Call for UN Call for Applicants (PDF)

Further Reading

NUPI research-based recommendations – United Nations Peace Operations