Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Professional Certificate

What is the SDG Professional Certificate?

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

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 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 workshop accelerator organized by Columbia SIPA in New York, (iv) and attendance at the annual GPPN Conference in London.

  • 4 November 2018: Application deadline
  • 9-16 November 2018: Interviews with shortlisted candidates
  • End of November: Announcement of selected students
  • 17-20 January 2019 - Paris: SDG Leadership Module (Arrival 16 January 2019)
  • January - June 2019: SDG Course at home university
  • 28-31 May 2019 - New York: SDG accelerator workshop at Columbia University
  • August - December 2019: SDG Course at home or at exchange university
  • February 2020: Annual GPPN Conference in London 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.


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 2018/19 and 2019/20. Therefore, students intending to follow a professional year or leave of absence 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?

The Hertie School will select up to 5 students which will then form the Hertie Team. Therefore, when applying, you do not need to make an outline for a specific project already, since the project will be formed by the students once they are chosen. This edition’s SDG focus will be on climate and specifically on “just transitions” towards phasing out coal use globally, taking into account specific regional examples (e.g. coal exit in German Ruhr area, and other regions worldwide).

Send a letter of motivation (1 page maximum) and your CV explaining how you would benefit from participating in the program and what skills and experience you would bring to your team and to the project  by Sunday, 4 November 2018, midnight, to mccarty[at]hertie-school[dot]org. Pre-selected students will be invited to an interview with Prof. Christian Flachsland and Juliane McCarty. Interviews will take place 9-16 November 2018 in Berlin.


What does it cost?

We are happy to announce that this cohort’s participation in the SDG Certificate will be free of tuition fees. Students will receive a stipend of 600 Euros to partially cover accommodation and travel costs throughout the programme upon presentation of receipts and in line with the Hertie School’s travel regulations. As students are responsible for all of their additional expenses, please only apply to the programme, if you will be able to cover these costs.



Don’t hesitate to contact Juliane McCarty 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.