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Certificate of advanced studies in disaster risk reduction


EPFL is pleased to announce the Call for Applications for the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Disaster Risk Reduction (CDRR).

The 3rd Edition of the CDRR proposes a continuing education course to professionals and specialists from both Southern and Northern countries who already have significant experience in disaster risk reduction or a related field such as climate change adaptation or development.

The CDRR aims to strengthen the capabilities of participants in the field of disaster risk reduction, especially hydrometeorological disasters and/or those related to climate change. To achieve this, the program favors an integrated and interdisciplinary approach, focusing on the reduction of vulnerabilities and strengthening the capacities of populations at risk. The program provides participants with a theoretical component to improve their knowledge of the issues complemented with a field-oriented approach to develop their skills in practice.

Upon completion of the program, participants will be familiar with natural disaster risk management. They will be in a position to:

· Identify and asses disaster risks using risk management approaches;
· Interpret the current results of scientific research on climate change and its challenges to natural hazards, and identify appropriate measures in a specific situation;
· Apply methodological tools to assess vulnerabilities and strengthen adaptation.
· Improve their comprehension of the role and the challenges of science and technological innovations in disaster risk reduction, in an interdisciplinary manner.

The program will be held in Switzerland and Bangladesh and thus offers a unique chance for sharing the different standpoints and experiences of Europe and Asia regarding the risk issue.

The program is structured in four parts, all which are compulsory. Part 1 (3 - 30 September 2012) involves a preparatory phase of e-Learning with access to compulsory and mandatory reading material to understand the basic concepts. Part 2 (8 - 19 October 2012), will be held at EPFL in Switzerland and will cover such modules as: Disaster Risk Management, Climate Change, Vulnerabilities and Capacities, Science and Technology in DRR. Part 3 (24 November - 2 December 2012) will be held in Bangladesh and mainly focus on field activities. Part 4 (3 December 2012 - 31 January 2013), consists of a personal project.

The program uses a wide range of tools including: Lectures, Case Studies, Workshops, Group Work, Field Trips, Individual Project.

Subject areas

Disaster risk reduction – climate change adaptation – north/south and south/south scientific partnerships – interdisciplinarity – innovative technologies for risk reduction - vulnerabilities, mitigation and resilience.

Target audience

The course is primarily intended for professionals, researchers or managers specialising in natural risks or called upon by their profession to make decisions concerning risk situations. Participants are required to have a university degree or equivalent. Their background could be in environmental sciences, civil engineering, architecture, physics, or mathematics, but also human sciences, such as sociology, geography, and international relations. This list is not exhaustive.

In order to make this training programme as attractive as possible, and taking into account the keen interest on the part of participants to benefit from shared experience, the group will again be deliberately mixed:

-It will be composed of representatives of NGOs, international organisations, academics, national or local administrations, and the private sector.
-Participants will come from both developing and emerging countries (citizens of India, Bangladesh and other Southern countries) and developed countries (Switzerland and other Northern countries).
-Participants of any age will be welcome, but priority will be given to those who already have a few years of work experience.
-The organisers will try to ensure that gender balance is respected within the group.

Admission Requirement

Applicants must have a graduate or undergraduate degree and good English.

Geographical coverage



The course will be organised in 4 parts:

-The first part: preparatory phase, e-learning from 3-30 September 2012.
-The second part will be held at the EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland from 8-19 October 2012.
-Third part: Field work, Banlgades; 24 November - 02 December 2012
-Fourth part: Individual project: 03 December - 31 January 2013

Application procedure

For full information and application procedure refer to the program's website at Please note that only applications submitted via the online submission system on the program webpage will be accepted.


Full and/or partial grants may be offered to participants from developing and emerging countries that are not able to meet the total costs involved.

Tuition & cost

The total tuition fee is CHF 3,400.- (enrolment fee: CHF 680.- plus course contribution: CHF 2,720.-).

Please note that travel, board in Switzerland and Bangladesh (during weekends) as well as lodging expenses are not included.

Enrolments are considered official only after payment of the tuition fee to the institution responsible for the participant's acceptance.

In case of withdrawal after official enrolment on the course but prior to the beginning of the course, an administrative fee of CHF 1,000.- will be charged.

No refunds will be made to participants after the course starts.

Deadline for application

10 Jun 2012


EPFL - VPAA - CODEV; Station 10; CH-1015 Lausanne; +41 21 693 6048; Email:

Last updated

03 Apr 2012

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  • Type University programme
  • Level Certificate/Diploma
  • Location(s) Bangladesh, Switzerland
  • Language English

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