School of Modern Diplomacy 2023

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 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, the Vienna School of International Studies and the Foreign Services Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs of Flanders, Ghent University and the Brussels School of Governance (BSoG/VUB), trains its participants on how to enact effective diplomacy in today’s turbulent world. It gives participants direct access to the practitioners, academics and policymakers at the forefront of their fields and operating at the highest levels, with modules covering 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.


"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 online for one day per week (every Thursday excl. 02 November) for 10 weeks, on these dates:

  • 28 September
  • 5 October
  • 12 October
  • 19 October
  • 26 October
  • 9 November
  • 16 November
  • 23 November
  • 30 November
  • 7 December

Each day will cover a different thematic focus, with each module running from 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. 


Deadline for Applications and Selection Process

Applications are accepted on a rolling, first-come-first-served basis until 23:59 on 22 September. When the capped number of participant positions is filled, no more applications will be accepted, however strong applications after the cut-off has been reached will be placed on a waiting list and contacted should positions open. 

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

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

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

Applications (in English) must include:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • A motivation letter (max. 2 pages)



The tuition fee for the School of Modern Diplomacy is €600. Applications received before 14 July qualify for an early bird discounted rate of €500.

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 (2019/2020/2021/2022), students from Ghent University, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, any United Nations University education programme, and the College of Europe are entitled to a €100 discount on the full tuition fee. 

Discounts are offered for groups of more than five participants - please contact for more information.


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, and those adjudged to have satisfied the criteria will be awarded a certificate.  


Cancellation Policy

Less than 15 days before commencement date: 100% cancellation charge

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

Modules and Speakers

We are working to put together an outstanding group of experts to develop your diplomatic skills and knowledge and will be announcing the full line-up shortly. Previous instructors include:

  • Cecilia Malmström
  • Karel De Gucht
  • Linda Yueh
  • Nancy Snow
  • Lee Yoong Yoong
  • Ulrike Ritzinger
  • Jovan Kurbalija
  • Mehari Maru
  • Richard Higgott
  • Luk Van Langenhove
  • Noé Cornago