Transformative research for global social-environmental challenges

“Transformative Research for Global Social-Environmental Challenges” provides PhD candidates and early-career scholars with exciting concepts and methods to enhance the potential of their research to beneficially contribute to society and the environment. This course is taught by a range of scholars in Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) who will guide students through critical concepts, methodological innovations, and tricky dilemmas that have challenged and enabled their own work.

The course content focuses on the four main aspects of transformative research identified in the 71 Visions Report & further explored in the Transformative Dialogues @WUR series.

Learning goals

  • Explore different approaches to transformative research in case studies from WUR, SRC and beyond
  • Develop skills to evaluate how key aspects of research design, implementation, analysis and communication affect the contribution of research to addressing global social-environmental challenges
  • Build knowledge, confidence and ability to apply transformative processes/methods in your own present and future research and navigate emerging challenges to maximize its beneficial impacts
  • Connect with a growing network of diverse researchers within and beyond WUR & SRC to further your inspiration and capability to undertake transformative research in collaboration with others


The introduction to the course is split across two half-days to explore: what is “transformative research", and what roles does it entail? This will be followed by four full-day trainings and one final day of harvesting collective insights. The course involves the following main components:

  • Lectures and dynamic exercises that explore transformative concepts and methods, delivered by a broad range of scholars undertaking transformative approaches in their research
  • In-depth engagement with novel case studies of transformation that are relevant to your research
  • Crafting of your own personal narrative of how your research contributes to social-environmental change
  • Participation in peer-to-peer learning sessions and walks
  • Home study (readings, videos, writing) in between sessions
  • Informal social interactions with peers and teaching team


This course will run in person in Wageningen, Netherlands.

It spans 2 weeks (20 September to 1 October, including 36 hours of live sessions + 20 hours of self study). If Covid-19 circumstances do not permit in person sessions, we will transition to an online setting, with 12 half-day sessions.

Target group

PhD students (although MSc and post-docs may also enrol) – both WUR based and internationally based; We explicitly also invited PhD candidates with a more technical background to apply.

Course fee

(early bird registration deadline is June 15, 2021)

• PE&RC/WASS/EPS/VLAG/WIAS/SRC PhDs with TSP: €160 (early bird) / €200 (regular)
• SENSE PhDs with TSP: €320 (early bird) / €360 (regular)
• All other PhD candidates: €360 (early bird) / €400 (regular)
• Postdocs and staff of WUR Graduate Schools/ graduate schools mentioned above: €360 (early bird) / €400 (regular)
• All others: €400 (early bird) / €440 (regular)

Fee includes: lunch for 7 days; coffee and tea; 1 dinner on Wednesday 22th; drink on Monday 20th
Fee does not include: Accomodation, breakfast and dinners.

Accommodation is not included in the fee of the course, but there are several possibilities in Wageningen. For information on B&B's and hotels in Wageningen please visit Another option is Short Stay Wageningen. Furthermore Airbnb offers several rooms in the area. Note that besides the restaurants in Wageningen, there are also options to have dinner at Wageningen Campus.


Please register here.

Early bird registration deadline is June 15, 2021.

Note that we are aiming for a diverse group of PhD candidates; hence, places for the course will be decided based on the motivation of the PhD candidate when registering, and a good balance in disciplinary backgrounds. We will let all that registered know if they are accepted to the course in the first week of July. After June 15th, we cannot guarantee if there are still place left. We will list on this website whether there are still places left at the regular fee after July 10th.

Group size

15-25 participants

Intended credits




Self-study hours


Cancellation condition

Up to 8 (eight) weeks prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of early bird reduced fee will be charged.
After this date you will be charged the full registration fee, unless:

  • You can find someone to replace you in the course and supply the course coordinator with the name and contact information of your replacement. In this case you will only be charged a € 50,- cancellation fee.
  • You have a valid reason to cancel (illness or death in the family 1st or 2nd degree; Corona travel restrictions). In this case you will be charged the reduced fee and your supervisor/PI must send a mail indicating the reason for cancellation.

More information

Course flyer (PDF download)

Registration and organisation:
Peter Vermeulen

Josie Chambers

Maria Tengö (SRC)