Capacity Building

Aim and Purposes

UNU-CRIS capacity-building activities are aimed at enhancing human resources and strengthening institution-building for regional integration (especially in developing countries). This implies human capacity-building, mainly through teaching for higher university programmes that involve students from developing or transition countries, and institutional capacity-building through training of public officials. The aim is to raise awareness of the potential beneficial effects of regional integration with a view to incorporating regional integration in national development strategies of developing countries, but also to warn against the related challenges, such as those linked to policy implementation. All capacity-building oriented activities of UNU-CRIS are based upon the principles and guidelines of the UNU system as embodied in the UN Charter.

UNU-CRIS Summer School

Each year, UNU-CRIS holds a two-week summer school in Bruges and Brussels built around a different thematic area. The programme includes a cultural and touristic side programme, and visits to multilateral institutions in Brussels. In 2020, together with the Vienna School of International Studies (Diplomatische Akademie Wien), the summer school was held virtually from August 24 – September 4, and was titled “Modern Diplomacy: Across Levels, Actors and Tracks”.

This summer school offered the unique opportunity to learn from distinguished diplomats, academics, and policymakers from the highest levels on the different facets of modern diplomacy and how they are being employed the world over to shape ideas, discussion and the world we live in.

Read more about the current and previous versions:

2020 - Modern Diplomacy: Across Levels, Actors and Tracks 

2019 – The United Nations and the European Union in Global Governance

Doctoral School on Latin American, European and Comparative Regionalism

The Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (UASB) and UNU-CRIS co-organise a Doctoral Summer School entitled Latin American, European and Comparative Regionalism. The aim of this one-week, bi-lingual (English-Spanish) Doctoral School is to bring together PhD students and other promising young researchers to hear a series of lectures by leading academics in the field of Latin American, European and Comparative Regionalism, and afford the next generation of researchers the opportunity to discuss and develop their research projects in tutorial sessions. The Doctoral School seeks to establish a new network of researchers dealing with regionalism, based at universities and other research institutions all over Latin America and beyond, and has been organised in collaboration with a range of partners, including the Inter-American Development Bank, GIGA, OBREAL and LATN. For further information, please contact Andrew Dunn or take a look at this year's edition here

UNU-CRIS Simulation Game

The UNU-CRIS Simulation Game is designed for in class use by teachers to offer a better learning experience to their students, and can be used as part of a course (thus bearing credits), or simply as an exercise for students to practice their knowledge in class.

The participants are placed at a urgent special meeting of the European Council, tasked with preparing an agenda of how the EU proposes to tackle the ongoing refugee crisis. The Simulation Game can be played as either a one-day or three-hour session, and can be tailored depending on class structure, format and size. 

Download the Simulation Game here.

Visiting Fellowships

Every year, UNU-CRIS gives the opportunity to PhD candidates and holders, as well as to researchers with a background or interest in regional integration to spend a research period in Bruges. Visiting Fellows are welcome to stay at UNU-CRIS from a minimum period of one month up to one year, and may conduct their own research on a topic related to the academic research programmes of the Institute, or contribute to the training and capacity-building initiatives linked to the broad area of regional integration.

For more information, consult visiting fellows.


UNU-CRIS offers students with an interest and background in regional integration/governance studies the opportunity to experience life within the UN's academic arm and join a team working to produce policy-relevant research on some of the most pressing issues of our time.

For more information about the application procedure, consult the internship page.