School of Modern Diplomacy 2021

The art of diplomacy has evolved. In an age where 280 characters from a world leader on Twitter can give a green light to foreign military action or move markets, there is no denying that the classic notions of diplomacy – backroom handshakes between decades-long counterparts with a tinge of cigar in the air – no longer reflect reality.

What has taken its place is a modern, multi-level and multi-faceted approach that encompasses all the tools of the international and interconnected global sphere. Effective diplomacy now relies on the ability of a government to engage on numerous fronts and in numerous departments.

This programme, organised by UNU-CRIS and Vienna School of International Studies and in collaboration with Department of Foreign Affairs of Flanders, Ghent University and the Brussels School of Governance (BSoG/VUB), aims to present the most comprehensive, in-depth analysis of and training in modern diplomacy, gaining insights from practitioners, academics and policymakers at the forefront of their fields and operating at 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.

How will the new methods of modern diplomacy change the art of it? Educate and prepare yourself for this new age of diplomacy at the School of Modern Diplomacy.


"I liked the general organisation by the UNU-CRIS team, and most importantly the high calibre of experts who lectured during the school. Even the selection process of the participants was well thought-out, consisting of a vast array of professionals from all walks of life, and a true representation of the world."

- an alumnus of the School of Modern Diplomacy



This programme will be run virtually from 23 August 2021 to 03 September 2021 between 10:00 - 16:30 CEST (UTC+2) with breaks included.

It includes four sessions of 70 minutes, with morning sessions providing an academic foundation followed by more practical sessions in the afternoon. 

There will be several virtual social events, as well as discussion sessions at the end of each day so the group can talk through the main topics and themes of the presentations. 



Applications are accepted on a rolling, first-come first-served basis until 23:59 on 14 August. When the capped number of participant positions are filled, no more applications will be accepted, however strong applications after the cutoff has been reached will be placed on a waiting list and contacted should positions open up. Applications will begin being assessed from 1 June 2021. 

The target audience for the School of Modern Diplomacy is primarily those in the diplomatic service or with aspirations to do so, policymakers, and academics.

Applicants must hold at least a master's degree. There is no time limit as to when the degree was obtained. 

The programme will be conducted in English, and as such participants are expected to have a good command of the English language

Applications (in English) must include:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • A motivation letter (max 2 pages)
  • Contact details of two referees


The tuition fee for the School of Modern Diplomacy is €1000.

A non-refundable deposit of €250 is required within two weeks of acceptance.

Full payment must be made within four weeks of receiving the acceptance confirmation email.

Both the deposit and the remainder of the fee can be paid together. 

Alumni of previous UNU-CRIS Summer Programmes (2019/2020), students from Ghent University, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, any United Nations University education programme, and the College of Europe are entitled to a €150 discount on the full tuition fee. 

Discounts are offered for groups - for more information please contact



There are a strictly limited number of scholarships available to applicants of outstanding professional or academic standing. To be eligible, please clearly state your wish to be considered in a separate paragraph in your letter of motivation, outlining why you believe you should be awarded a scholarship.

The organisers wish to reiterate that these are extremely competitive and limited in number, and therefore should not be counted upon when applying. 


Evaluation & Certification

Participants will be asked to undertake a written evaluation, the format of which will be announced in the week prior to the commencement of the programme. 

These written assessments will be evaluated by academic personnel from both UNU-CRIS and the DA Vienna, with those adjudged to have satisfied the criteria awarded a certificate.  


Cancellation Policy

More than 45 days before commencement date: no cancellation charges - deposit lost
Between 45 and 30 days before commencement date: 50% cancellation charges
Between 30 and 15 days before commencement date: 75% cancellation charges
Less than 15 days before commencement date: 100% cancellation charges


All questions regarding the should be directed to the programme coordinator Andrew Dunn ( with Pascale Vantorre ( in Cc. 


*speakers to be confirmed shortly. For an idea of what to expect, take a look at last year's edition.