Resource Nexus for Sustainability Transformations (NEXtra)

The project supports doctoral students from the Global South working on sustainability transformations using a Resource Nexus perspective.

Date Published
6 Oct 2021
Expected Start Date
01 Dec 2021
Expected End Date
31 Dec 2032
Project Type
Capacity Development
Project Status



NEXtra, or “Resource Nexus for Sustainability Transformations” offers opportunities to conduct doctoral studies under joint supervision by experts from TU Dresden, UNU-FLORES and IOER. Under the EPOS (development-oriented postgraduate studies) funding programme, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will support doctoral candidates from the Global South. From 2023 until 2030, we expect an annual intake of 7 to 8 scholarship-funded candidates.



Scope of the Programme

Students from the Global South and with different disciplinary backgrounds will work on sustainability transformations using a Resource Nexus perspective.
The focus of the programme is on interlinkages between environmental resources, and synergies and tradeoffs in their management.
Doctoral students are expected to turn into “agents of transformation” who will contribute towards sustainable development in their home regions and beyond.



Scholarships, Applications and Deadlines


7 to 8 scholarships for doctoral candidates from the Global South will be available annually, starting from 2023. The call for applications for the first cohort (from 2023) is closed now. Please kindly wait for the updated information on the next cohort.


Topics for the first cohort



The following 11 topics were announced for the first cohort for your reference; please note that you will be able to apply for topics outside your home country or country of your current residence, as long as certain requirements (e.g. language competences, which will be described in detail in the vacancy announcements) are met.



Topics related to Africa


Topic 1: Economic potential and spatial economic effects of the green hydrogen industry in North Africa.


Geographic Scope: North Africa region


Topic 2: Synergies and trade-offs caused by current governance arrangements at the W-E-F-Forest nexus: Institutions, actors and power in the case of the Mungo Corridor landscape in Cameroon.


Geographic Scope: Cameroon


Topic 3: Healthy urban human-nature partnerships for sustainability transformation.


Geographic Scope: Sahel region


Topic 4: Changing land-cover patterns in southern Africa: drivers and implications for regional sustainable development.


Geographic Scope: Southern Africa



Topics related to Latin America


Topic 1: Digitalisation as a tool to accelerate agriculture transformation.


Geographic Scope: Dry Corridor of Latin America (El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala)


Topic 2: Pathways for resilient agri-food systems in Latin America – a Resource Nexus perspective.


Geographic Scope: Gran Chaco Americano (Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia)



Topics related to South Asia



Topic 1: Sustainability transformations in post-mining regions: applying the Resource Nexus to coal phaseout.


Geographic Scope: India


Topic 2: Extended cost-benefit approach for evaluating adaptation and mitigation measures in developing countries.


Geographic Scope: Pakistan



Topics related to Southeast Asia



Topic 1: Energy transition and regional resource nexus: the societal dimension and governance requirements.


Geographic Scope: Indonesia


Topic 2: Nexus dilemmas on urban-regional deep decarbonisation pathways: analytical perspectives and future place-based strategies.


Geographic Scope: Vietnam


Topic 3: Nature-based solutions by mangrove restoration – a new challenge for mangrove ecologists and coastal engineers.


Geographic Scope: Thailand



Required documents



If you consider an application to NEXtra, you may already prepare the following documents.

Completed application form for a DAAD scholarship (
CV that is dated and signed, preferably based on the Europass (; publications (if any) shall be listed at the bottom of the CV
Letter of motivation including signature
Summary of the doctoral research project (max 1 page)
Work schedule and timetable for the doctoral project, including details of any upcoming phases abroad/field research
Abstract of your Master thesis (max 1 page)
Letter of recommendation from your current or most recent employer, including a letterhead, stamp and signature
Certificate(s) of employment that prove a minimum of two years of relevant employment
Proof of language skills (normally IELTS or TOEFL for English; if the medium of previous academic education was English, please provide supporting evidence)
Proofs of internships (if any)
Copies of academic degrees and transcript of records (including an explanation of the grading scale)






If you have questions or would like to know more about this doctoral programme, please contact the programme coordination by email:





This project is funded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


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