2017-2018 Regional Academy on the United Nations: “Women and Girls in a Changing World – Prospects and Challenges”

Course Description: 

ONLY for 2nd-year MPA students registered in 2016/17! 


Mentor: Dr Bernhard Knoll-Tudor, Adjunct Professor
Semester/term, year: Spring term 2017 – Winter term 2018
Course level (MA, PhD): MA
# of credits: 4 CEU credits (to accrue in winter term 2018)
Course e-learning site: http://ceulearning.ceu.hu/
Office hours: to be scheduled in advance

The Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN) is an international and multi-disciplinary program that trains young scholars in issues related to the United Nations and international affairs. Since 2012, RAUN provides young scholars with a platform to broaden their knowledge about the UN and to contribute to policy discussions through recommendations from their topical research projects that are directly linked with UN priorities. RAUN allows participants to work closely with UN experts, representatives of governments, civil society and academia and offers a forum for networking and intellectual exchange.

With its program of meetings in several countries and its flexible multi-national teams of a total of 40 students working together to address challenges for global governance, RAUN is a model of how to encourage collective solutions to global problems. In addition to the academic program and their team work on topics selected by UN clients, students will also sharpen specific transferable skills (e.g. policy analysis, presentation and communication skills, teamwork, working in an international intercultural environment, accuracy and brevity of writing, accessible writing styles).

 RAUN theme 2017-18

The 2017-2018 RAUN sessions will contribute to the ongoing debate and discussion on the contribution of women and girls in achieving global peace and security. It will discuss the efforts of implementing relevant targets of the Sustainable Development Goals; the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy; the United Nations Secretary General Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism; Resolution 1325 and its subsequent reviews; Other United Nations’ instruments related to involvement of women and girls in global peace and security.

Once selected from among five Central European universities, student teams may wish to center their research on one of the following themes (subject to further specification also depending on the interests of the cooperating UN Agencies):

  • women and girls as victims of conflict;
  • contribution of women to conflict resolution;
  • women and sustainable development;
  • women and the environment;
  • gendered impacts of drug policy;
  • women and disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control;
  • gender representation in natural and social sciences;
  • gender parity in the United Nations.

 For more on the RAUN 2017-18 theme see here.

Session venues, dates and organizers

The Academy follows a unique format combining special lectures and interactive workshops with practical hands-on research experiences. The program consists of three sessions per academic year starting in May until January. The sessions take place in different participating countries and include lectures and interactive workshops on various topics relevant to the United Nations. All lectures are given by high-ranking experts and practitioners who also share their rich experience with participants in an informal setting. Apart from course-work during the sessions, participants will work on research projects in cooperation with different UN agencies on the 2017-2018 theme. Through their group work, participants will be able to develop their research skills and to form strong networks with like-minded peers, academics, and experts from various fields in an environment that fosters diversity, tolerance, cultural learning and understanding.

The 2017-2018 RAUN will be held in three sessions that will take place in Bratislava (SK), Prague (CZ), and Vienna (AUT).

  • 10-12 May 2017 (Bratislava);
  • 4-6 September 2017 (Prague);
  • 16-18 January 2018 (Vienna).

During the program, participants get the opportunity to visit UN institutions in Vienna as well as Permanent Missions and embassies in other countries. The results of the research projects will be presented during the final RAUN session at the UN Headquarters in Vienna in January 2018. At the end of the program, participants receive certificates of successful completion of the Academy.

RAUN 2017-2018 is open to participation from students of the following universities where the program is already accredited:

  • University of Vienna
  • University of Economics Prague 
  • Comenius University Bratislava
  • University of Szeged
  • Central European University, Budapest


Learning Outcomes: 

The academic responsibility for the program will be carried by the project manager headquartered at the UN Vienna. Guest lecturers will provide input and mentoring support for projects. The course will provide a firmly research-oriented framework within which specific subjects will be approached under the guidance of academic mentors and UN agencies.

The composition of guest lecturers from the IR and international legal community will reflect the interdisciplinary aspect of the Academy and change from session to session according to the composition of the group and their field of research. Lecturers will be current and former high-ranking representatives of UN agencies and various international organizations specialized in different fields of international system and representatives of foreign ministries. Current experts for research include:

  • UNIDO experts specialized in inclusive and sustainable industrial development and entrepreneurship;
  • UNODC experts in trafficking of humans and drugs;
  • UNWOMEN experts in women rights;
  • IOM experts in migration;
  • UNHCR experts in rights of refugees;
  • IAEA specialists in nuclear energy and technologies;
  • UNOOSA experts in outer space applications;
  • CTBTO experts in nuclear testing;
  • UNCITRAL specialists in international trade law;
  • SE4ALL experts in energy access;
  • Members of the Austrian National Defense Academy on military matters.

 More specifically, at the completion of this course, students will

  • have developed advanced knowledge in respective fields, as related to their field of study and the field of governance and international affairs;
  • have connected and integrated theoretical knowledge and conceptual complexity on policy situations that require advanced practical thinking;
  • have practiced and developed methodological tools for specific research questions in inter-national affairs and global governance depending on subjects of study; and
  • have reflected and analyzed on an advanced level ethical considerations with regards to re-search for different settings in policy oriented environments;

Upon successful completion of the research tasks, students’ papers will be reviewed by experts in the field, which gives them a competitive edge when publishing their papers in peer-reviewed journals. 


Course grading

The course will be assessed through

  • attendance (10% of overall mark - obligatory attendance of all three workshop sessions as well as the ACUNS Vienna UN Conference);
  • written individual session reports (20%);
  • written group project (30%);
    • oral presentation of group projects in front of an expert group (40% of the overall mark).


Lectures, group discussions, group research project and group presentations, site visits, guest speakers, student presentations, expert guidance, and expert counseling. Participants are also provided with the opportunity to participate in various conferences in Vienna and abroad on issues covered by the academy.


Readings are selected in advance according to the annual RAUN theme. Generally, these include texts of resolutions and conventions, outcome of high level conferences, articles from well-known publishing institutions on the topic, working papers, and books in related fields.



Interested 1st year SPP MPA students should send the following documents to gpa@spp.ceu.edu by 27 March 2017:

  • Updated CV (2 pages) in English with photo;
  • Motivation letter (one page) in English;
  • Completed expression of interest form (download it here);
  • Sample of written academic paper (in English): this could be a BA or MA thesis, a course or con-ference paper, a proposal for a MA or PhD thesis, etc.;
  • Transcript of records/overview of university grades;
  • Two names of professors or former employers as references who may be contacted.

Before submitting the required documents for your application, please read carefully the information provided in the RAUN handbook for applicants. All documents should be put together and sent as one single PDF file to gpa@spp.ceu.edu. The name of the file should be named and sent as “Country you are applying from_first name_last name_RAUN application.pdf”. Example: Hungary_Bernhard_Knoll_RAUN application.pdf.

Shortlisted SPP applicants will be notified and invited to participate in a final round of Skype interviews. Once accepted into the course, they will be added to Infosys.