Global challenges can only be mastered through cooperation. This belief is the basis of the DAAD’s programme to promote the establishment of eight Global Centres dedicated to climate & the environment, as well as health & pandemic prevention, using funding from the Federal Foreign Office. International and inter-disciplinary networking among the Centres, collaboration with stake holders from the areas of politics, business and the civil society, and the transfer of research findings into practical applications are the key focus areas of the programme.
International scientific collaboration across disciplines is particularly important when it comes to mastering global challenges, especially between developing and emerging nations and nations that are exceptionally strong in the field of research. Challenges such as climate change and containment of pandemics must be approached by education and research institutions in a networked way, and solutions must be developed taking various levels of development into account and which promise success in a wide range of contexts. Acute issues related to reducing and fighting crises and handling long-term effects for the society, for example from an economic or a socio-political point of view, are of central importance here. Planning provides for the Centres to be located at higher education institutions in developing and emerging countries, and for them to cooperate with partner institutions from industrial nations and to be networked among each other, giving rise to a global network of scientific collaboration.
The longer-term objective of the two programmes is to promote the generation, transfer and circulation of knowledge in issues related to human health and the climate and to increase the level of performance and internationalisation of higher education, research and innovation systems. The programmes encourage close cooperation between higher education and research institutions and stake holders from outside the academic sphere. In doing so, they contribute to achieving the global sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the 2030 agenda. This is particularly true for SDG 3 (health and well-being), SDGs 13 to 15 (climate action, life below water and life on land) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals). Depending on the respective focus area, other SDGs may also be addressed (such as SDG 6, 7 or 11). As facilities of international scientific exchange, they are also contribute to the foreign cultural and educational policy (AKBP) of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Centres give rise of relevant study and doctorate opportunities for local and international students and junior scientists. They aim to qualify their graduates for the scientific and non-scientific labour market in the areas of climate & the environment, as well as health & pandemic prevention. In addition to this, they encourage the establishment of research and teaching capacities and the transfer of knowledge into practical use.
To reach these goals, the Centres can draw upon a wide range of measures that are eligible for funding, such as creating a visiting professorship or short-term lectureships, developing master’s and doctorate programmes, or granting scholarships to students, doctoral candidates, postdocs and researchers. Digital and hybrid teaching, research, cooperation and transfer formats are to be taken into account wherever it is expedient, to allow for project implementation to be as climate and resource-friendly as possible.