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Planetare Gesundheit

Summer School Planetary Health 2024

Call for Application is open: Apply until June 22, 2024 for this year´s Summer School Planetary Health (September 13-22, 2024) in Würzburg

We welcome

  • 35 international participants with diverse professional backgrounds - past participants were from the fields of:
    • public health
    • nutrition
    • pharmacology
    • medicine
    • physiotherapy
    • education
    • biogeochemistry
    • midwifery
    • anthropology
    • geography
    • veterinary medicine
    • dentristry
    • health promotion
    • psychology
    • health economics
    • nursing
    • environmental studies
    • biology
    • economics
    • and more! 
  • from various countries
    (in the past from Germany, Italy, Poland Austria, Kenya, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Libya, Nigeria, Gambia...) 

We will share perspectives from Eastern Africa as well as Europe and explore different global as well as local challenges in the context of climate change and other planetary boundaries. By applying a planetary health lens the aim was to identify solutions for mitigation and adaptation relevant in European and African contexts but also beyond.

Why do we offer our Summer School on Planetary Health?

Our well-being is heavily dependent on healthy and resilient ecosystems, however, the impact of human disruptions on earth and climate change is severely affecting all living species. Planetary Health is studying these interactions, asking for collaboration across disciplines to address climate change and to develop and apply strategies to safeguard our health. 

The Summer School does not only aim at educating participants on planetary health concepts and the interconnections and interdependences between human health, the environment and ecosystems but focuses on teaching how to acquire practical skills to address planetary health challenges. It is is a solution-oriented, transdisciplinary event willing to contribute to societal change

Therefore, developing an own project idea tackling a self chosen planetary health issue is a core element of the course. Its intention is to empower participants, and to increase their confidence in taking transformative action.

The summer school offeres a mix of educational methodologies and activities inside and outside the classroom with local and international experts, empowering participants to become agents of change and develop their own projects for transformative change. The aim of the summer school is to help students gain and develop knowledge, attitude, skills and confidence.

The aim of the summer school is for students to

  • explore different topics from a planetary health perspective, such as nutrition, biodiversity, agriculture, mobility, sustainable health care, heat and urban planning, ethics, and many more
  • get inspired by case studies in a variety of settings
  • develop analytical and communication skills to engage with different stakeholders and trigger change
  • develop their own ideas and projects & exchange and network with other participants
  • develop their own transformative potential and become an agent for change in climate change mitigation, adaptation and planetary health whereever they study, work, and live.

The Summer School is organized by the University and the University Hospital of Würzburg, the Catholic University for Health and Allied Sciences (CUHAS) Mwanza, Tanzania and the University of Eldoret (UoE), Kenya in cooperation with the German Alliance Climate Change and Health e.V. (KLUG) and the Else Kröner Center Würzburg-Mwanza. It is part of the project SOPHEA (Strengthening One Health and Planetary Health In Eastern Africa), a project running 2022-2025 with many different (educational) activities in Eastern Africa, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The Summer School will take place in 2024 from September 13 (afternoon) - September 22 (noon) in Würzburg on the campus of the University Hospital (UKW) and out in the nature.

The programme 2024 is still being finalized.
To get an impression, please check out the programme 2023 here: https://www.med.uni-wuerzburg.de/planetaregesundheit/summer-school-planetary-health/programme-on-site-2023/

To gain a deeper understanding of planetary health we recommend to have a look at the final report of the Lancet Commission on Planetary Health from 2015 and yearly updates of the Lancet Countdown on Climate Change and Health

We also strongly encourage you to participate in our webinar series in June/July !

In previous years, the webinar series was part of the Summer School, but we have now decided to offer the webinar series before, to allow more time for project work inside the Summer School. It is of importance to familiarize yourself with the major concepts before you come in September, and partipicipating in the webinar series is a great opportunity!

Application is open now! Please send your application until June 22, 2024 to planetaryhealth@ukw.de. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

The application document (one PDF) shall include:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Motivational Letter
  • Your own Planetary Health project idea
    • How could you contribute to the transformation we need? In your community? In your job ? In your network?
    • Make sure the project idea is feasible and not too huge, even though we are facing huge planetary problems, we have to start with feasible steps  
    • Please use this concept note to structure your project idea(New application deadline is June 22nd, unlike in the document)

Participation is free of cost, including lunch and refreshments during breaks and expenses for excursions.

As seats are limited, we reserve the right to select participants based on the applications. We have to raise a cancellation fee of 80 Euros for cancellations after August 1st, in order to be fair to those people on the waiting list.

We are trying to minimize the carbon footprint of our summer school as best as we can. We discourage you from flying to the summer school if you can prevent it, as airplane travel is associated with a huge amount of carbon emissions. The summer school is primarily aimed at participants from all over the world currently residing in Europe, other educational activities of the SOPHEA project take place in Eastern Africa or online. However if you still decide to fly, we encourage you to compensate for the carbon emissions, find more information here.

From Würzburg Main Train Station to the University Hospital Würzburg

After your arrival at Würzburg Main Station, the university hospital can be reached within 15 minutes by tram. After leaving the station building, keep to the left to get to the tram stop "Hauptbahnhof Ost". At the tram stop watch out for tram "Line 1 or 5" heading to "Grombühl". Trams usually arrive every 5 min on weekdays and every 10 min on Saturdays. For more detailed information about the tram schedules, look out for information at the tram stops. To get to the Lehrklinik at the University Hospital leave the tram at tram stop "Uni-Klinikum Bereich D". Then turn right into Josef-Schneider-Straße and go a bit downhill. You will see the main gate (Josef-Schneider-Str. 2) at the opposite side of the street. Once you have passed the car barriers keep walking straight through the small gate and still straight until you find the entrance to building D5 on your right. 

You will be responsible for your accomodation in Würzburg, you can find some options here. One inexpensive option among others is the youth hostel in Würzburg. If you would like to get in touch with other participants to look for joint accomodation after you have been accepted for the Summer School, and agree for us to share your contact information with other participants, please indicate this in your application.

Free lunch will be served as well as refreshments during the breaks, on some nights dinner will be included.

Watch this 10-minute video from our colleagues the Planetary Health Alliance at John Hopkins University for a short introduction to the concept of Planetary Health: