The global COVID-19 outbreak in the first few months of 2020 has heavily tested our health systems and spurred major impacts on the socio-economic level. It provides marked evidence of the need for science in political decision-making, and highlights both the global benefits and the challenges of sharing data and scientific interpretations across borders. The pandemic has brought into stark relief a range of diplomatic practices, where public health information, expertise, technology and personal protective equipment are goods employed for well-being but also for influence and power.

Despite isolation measures there are still great opportunities to train in science diplomacy and build European networks. The EU Science Diplomacy Cluster projects InsSciDE and S4D4C are each unveiling major training courses very soon. Research insights and practitioner wisdom are distilled in curriculum materials destined to outlast any crisis. We are proud to announce these unique and complementary training approaches to building science diplomacy understanding and mobilising the practice. Our training courses are open for the European and global science diplomacy communities alike.

  • InsSciDE’s inaugural ‘Warsaw Science Diplomacy School’ has gone virtual – and is open for applications through 16 May 2020
  • On the S4D4C website, you can already browse through some preliminary information on the S4D4C ‘European Science Diplomacy Online Course’. With the end of May, when the course will be launched, you are invited to register and follow an extensive modular training program aimed at increasing your knowledge in science diplomacy at your own pace. Upon completion of the course, a personalised certificate is provided.

InsSciDE – Warsaw Science Diplomacy School (2020: Virtual)

Online | Synchronous, 22-26 June 2020

Application deadline: 16 May 2020

Cost: Free

Link: https://insscide.diplomats.pl/event/summer-school-2020/

Audience: All skill levels, all disciplines and professional areas across the sciences and international relations; competitive selection process

Description: In this first edition of InsSciDE’s flagship training program, trainees will transform lessons learned from four case studies of science diplomacy into strategies and skills applicable to the most pressing global challenges of today. Twenty selected participants, diverse in nationality, discipline, and professional experience, will work online with engaged researchers, senior experts and practitioners for 4 ½  days. The WSDS will offer intensive debates and elaboration of historical material, applying insights to present-day challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, and developing future scenarios with strategic directions for facilitating multilateral action.

A special module will undertake critical questions related to ‘Risk, Safety and Security within Science Diplomacy’. Students will become a part of a new interdisciplinary network of global science diplomats, as well as establish a connection with senior practitioners through consultations offered at the end of the school.  The 2021 school should take place, as planned, live in Warsaw, and our graduates as well as applicants will be welcomed to attend later InsSciDE open events (remote or face-to-face).

To ensure a shared foundation for all trainees, the Warsaw Science Diplomacy School will emphasise self-monitored preparation relying on S4D4C’s online course:

S4D4C – European Science Diplomacy Online Course

Online | Anytime, self-paced

Launch date: End of May 2020

Application deadline: None

Cost: Free

Link: https://www.s4d4c.eu/european-science-diplomacy-online-course/

Audience: Diplomats and scientists looking to enlarge their knowledge in science diplomacy, consolidate their practice and think about career options in the field, as well as students/trainees and the interested public

Description: This S4D4C European Science Diplomacy Online Course will introduce you to the field of science diplomacy. The course benefits from a theoretical as well as a practical dimension, as it gives you information about the conceptual framing of science diplomacy, the variety of stakeholders and networks involved, including a whole module focused on the European Union, different implementation strategies, skills needed in the field of science diplomacy and some case studies of science diplomacy in practice.

This course will be of your interest to:

  • Get familiar with the international science system
  • Get familiar with the international science policy system
  • Understand the complex interface between science, diplomacy, and international policy
  • Get exposed to current European and national practices of science diplomacy
  • Improve your soft and transferable skills

It is structured in six learning (2-7) and two guiding (1 and 8) modules:

Module 1: How Do We Get Started?

Module 2: What Is Science Diplomacy?

Module 3: Who Are the Science Diplomacy Stakeholders?

Module 4:  How Does the European Union Practice Science Diplomacy?

Module 5:  Which National, Regional, and Thematic Approaches of Science Diplomacy Exist?

Module 6:  What Set of Skills Do I Need to Be a Good Science Diplomat?

Module 7: Hands on! Case Studies

Module 8:  How Can You Dive Deeper into the Topic?

Although the course takes approximately 14 hours, you are the master of your own time! You will create your user and the system will save the progress of your learning, so next time you log in you just need to continue wherever you left it in your previous session. A certificate is offered when the training is successfully completed.


Depending on the further development of the pandemic, two more highly interesting on-site training programmes are offered by partners of the EU Science Diplomacy Cluster in Italy and Spain.

Italy: The AAAS-TWAS Course on Science Diplomacy classically held in Trieste each summer has already been postponed, but not cancelled.

Spain: Barcelona’s SciTech DiploHub Summer School so far remains open for registration:

SciTech DiploHub – Science and Technology Diplomacy Summer School
Barcelona | 6-10th July 2020

Application deadline: 12 June 2020

Cost: 1300 EUR (Scholarships available)

Link: http://www.scitechdiplohub.org/summer-school/

Audience: Mid-career scientists and technology experts, as well as diplomats and international relations practitioners

Description: SciTech DiploHub, the Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub and IBEI, the leading academic and research institution on global affairs from Barcelona, have partnered to train the next cohort of leaders of a field that is increasingly essential to tackle humanity’s global challenges.

Aimed at mid-career scientists and technology experts, as well as diplomats and international relations practitioners, the Summer School offers an immersive 40+ hour course that covers the most pressing issues on Science and Technology Diplomacy ranging from sustainable development to technology diplomacy, with a special focus on Europe, the Mediterranean and the role of global cities.


Editor’s note: This article is a joint co-production between the EU Science Diplomacy Cluster projects InsSciDE and S4D4C. Claire Mays and Daniella Palmberg have contributed to it for InsSciDE, Elke Dall and Philipp Brugner for S4D4C.

Learn the Practice: EU Science Diplomacy Cluster Announces Training Courses