Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Professional Certificate

What is the SDG Professional Certificate?

The Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) is proud to announce the new SDG Professional Certificate, a one-year programme providing innovative training and international collaboration on how to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For the launch of this new programme, four GPPN member schools (Columbia SIPA*, Sciences Po School of Public Affairs, Hertie School of Governance and LKY School of Public Policy National University of Singapore) will be sending a select group of students to participate in the first cohort.

As part of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda, having specialised knowledge and hands-on experience on how to meet the SDGs is in high demand from government agencies, international organisations and private companies. The UN 2030 Agenda and SDG partnerships truly represent a global effort from the public and private sectors, at the international and local level, to respond to the most challenging questions of our time.

The SDG Professional Certificate will allow you to develop entrepreneurial skills, work with public policy students from our GPPN partner universities, and showcase your projects to an international audience of academics, practitioners and policymakers.

*Columbia SIPA participates as the GPPN SDG Fellows programme

What does participation in the SDG Professional Certificate programme include?

As a global joint programme, the first SDG Certificate includes (i) SDG-focused courses at home institutions, (ii) an opening seminar hosted by the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs in Paris, (iii) the SDG Bootcamp organized by Columbia SIPA in New York, (iv) and attendance at the annual GPPN Conference at one of the seven member schools.

  • October/ November 2017: Application period and announcement of selected students
  • 11 December 2017: Official launch of the programme at Sciences Po, Paris (participants invited but not required to attend)
  • February/March 2018 - Paris: SDG Leadership Seminar
  • January - June 2018: SDG Course at home university
  • May 2018 - New York: SDG Bootcamp at Columbia University
  • August - December 2018: SDG Course at home or at exchange university
  • February 2019: Annual GPPN Conference (at one of the seven GPPN member schools) and certificate graduation

You will be given the opportunity of presenting your certificate project during our GPPN Annual Conference. As a recipient of the SDG Professional Certificate you will also receive recognition as a GPPN Fellow: representing one of the top students selected from GPPN member schools to represent your university and participate in the professional certificate programme.

*Activities and dates may be modified over the course of the programme

What is the GPPN?

More information about the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) can be found here.

Who can apply?

As SDG-related course work is required in the 2nd and 3rd semester, the Certificate requires full-time student status in the academic years 2017/18 and 2018/2019. Therefore, students intending to follow a professional year may not participate in the GPPN Professional Certificate. Students intending to participate in an exchange or dual degree are welcome to apply, but must follow an SDG related course at the partner institution and continue working with their teams. 

How to apply?

Send us your CV and a letter of motivation explaining how you would benefit from participating in the programme and what skills and experience you would bring to your student cohort (maximum 2 pages) by Sunday, 5 November 2017 to Hanneli Ebding at ebding[at]hertie-school[dot]org.

Pre-selected students will be invited to an interview with a member of the faculty and a staff member. Interviews will take place the week of 20 November 2017 in Berlin.

What does it cost?

Participation in the SDG Certificate is currently free of cost. The students selected from each participating GPPN member university will be reimbursed for transportation costs of up to 500 euros (maximum) to attend the SDG Leadership Seminar in Paris as well as the SDG Bootcamp in New York during the summer (upon presentation of travel receipts). Students will be responsible for their own accommodation and any additional travel costs.


Don’t hesitate to contact Hanneli Ebding if you have any questions about the SDG Professional Certificate, the GPPN or how to apply!

More information about the SDG Professional Certificate can also be found on the GPPN website.


This project is supported by Stiftung Mercator, GPPN and the Hertie School of Governance.