Summer Trainings in Disaster Risk Reduction for Students and Young Professionals

Apr 11, 2017

UNDP Serbia - Project: ‘Strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Serbia through community volunteer-based solutions’

Call for MA/PhD Students and Young Professionals/Recent Graduates for the DRR Summer Trainings 2017 and the Roster for Placement in National and Local DRR Institutions in 2018

UNDP Serbia and UNV announce the call for interested MA/PhD students and young professionals/recent graduates to apply for the DRR Summer Trainings in 2017 and become part of the roster for UN Youth Volunteers working placements in national and local DRR institutions in 2018.

The call is open until May 3, 2017. An information session for interested candidates will be held on April 26 - for more information please contact:    

DRR Summer Trainings, with a component on community resilience, will take place in May and June 2017 and are free of charge. Reimbursement for travel expenses (bus tickets) will be provided. Trainings will cover the following topics:  

o   Serbian Experience with Natural Disasters: Floods 2014 and Subsequent Legislative and Institutional Achievements;

o   Climate Change and Related Disasters: Adaptation measures for DRR;

o   Early Warning Systems and Emergency Management for Various Hazards;

o   Financial Instruments for DRR and their effects;

o   Open Data, Data Management and Spatial Data.

Trainings will be organized in two sessions: May 31/June 1 and June 22/23. It is obligatory to attend both training sessions to obtain the opportunity for working placement in 2018 and receive the certificate of successful DRR training completion.

In September 2017, trained MA/PhD students and young professionals/recent graduates will have the chance to take part in the DRR challenge prize competition, organized by the UNDP Serbia. Innovative approaches to DRR will be encouraged for further development into project proposals, and the winning team of the best DRR idea will be awarded with the grant for implementation. Moreover, best students and young professionals will attend an advanced DRR training course in fall 2017.

Trained and empowered MA/PhD students and young professionals/recent graduates will comprise the Roster for Placement in National and Local DRR Institutions as UN Youth Volunteers in 2018. UNDP/UNV will support recruitment of recent graduates identified from the roster in cooperation with up to five national institutional beneficiaries and three municipalities. While working for the beneficiary institution, the tasks of the youth volunteers would be to transfer the skills obtained in 2017 through the UNDP/UNV supported trainings and capacity-building events to the national DRR institutions in scope. UNDP/UNV will issue a certificate of DRR youth volunteering completion at the end of the project, to support the further employability of these volunteers.

The benefits for the successful candidates are as follows:

o   Access to specialized knowledge and trainings, valuable for profiling as DRR professionals,

o   Opportunity for working placement in 2018, with appropriate percentage of a Volunteer Living Allowance – VLA, highly competitive on Serbian labor market.

Moreover, the selected candidates will have additional benefits:

o   Access to the most recent information on national and international DRR actions,

o   Familiarization with the UNDP/UNV system and work,

o   Opportunity for advocacy on the Serbian Law on Volunteering, through open discussion and preparation of amendments;

o   Info sessions on Horizon 2020 calls for proposals and Info sessions for youth on various calls in the sector of environment;

o   Support for self-organization, proactive actions and new project proposals preparation (e.g. for the Ministry of Youth and Sport calls, Erasmus + calls, IPA CBC calls, etc.).  

MA/PhD students and young professionals/recent graduates from the following disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply: civil engineering (incl. hydro-engineering), IT engineering, geology, geography, architecture and urban planning, forestry, security studies, organizational studies, economics, law, sociology, medicine, psychology, communications and media. Students from other disciplines interested in DRR and motivated for UN Youth Volunteering are welcome to apply as well.

Balanced geographical/regional representation is aimed to be achieved – students and young professionals from all parts of Serbia are encouraged to apply, with a special focus on young female professionals to become youth volunteers.    

Summer DRR trainings may bring additional ECTS points to MA/PhD students.

Selection Criteria:

The candidates will undergo two phases of selection. The first one is eliminatory stage, which will be based on the evaluation of submitted documents. The second phase involves an interview in person at UNDP premises in Belgrade and may involve testing of certain skills, such as English language proficiency.

Eligible candidates:

·         MA/PhD Students and young professionals/recent graduates born after 31.12.1988. On an exceptional basis (very strong motivation and proven experience in DRR), senior year BA students are also encouraged to apply.

·         Students must continue to be enrolled during the period of service as a University Volunteer, namely during the entire academic year 2017/2018.

·         Candidates must possess a level of English language knowledge which allows them to actively participate in a training conducted in English and to be able to read and comprehend texts in English independently.

·         Proficiency in using MS Word, Power Point and the Internet is required. Experience with using MS Excel and other software from the Microsoft package, image-processing software, and experience with a content management system is a plus.

·         Interest in the topic of disaster risk reduction, climate change, emergency management, etc.

·         Previous experience or demonstrated interested in community volunteering.

Required documents:

·         Document issued by the University certifying candidate’s academic status, or certified copy of the Diploma/Graduation Certificate.

·         CV/Biography in Serbian language (up to 500 words), which should include, among other information that the candidate finds important, the following:

o   Contact-information of the candidate (e-mail, mobile phone);

o   Date of birth;

o   Information on the stage of the studies for MA/PhD candidates.

o   GPA (so far) during the studies.

o   Information on the MA courses attended that the candidate has a particular preference for and provide a brief explanation why.

o   References to published academic articles if applicable.

o   Information on any work experience, including unpaid work, freelance work or internships.

o   Information on computer proficiency.

o   Information on English language proficiency (How do you assess your knowledge of English? Are you able to follow a training in English and actively participate in it? Do you read material in English and understand the main points?)
Note that the level of English language proficiency may be tested at the interview, and that additional documentation may be requested.


·         Letter of Motivation in Serbian language (750-1000 words) explaining:

1)      General motivation for participating in the program:

o   Why the candidate is interested in participating in this program.

o   What the professional and what the personal motivations are for the above.

o   What the candidate hopes to gain and learn from the program.

o   What the candidate can offer in terms of motivation, interests and skills to the program.

o   Any other information the candidate finds important.


2)      Your perception of the role of the youth in DRR and fight against climate change.

Grading of submitted documents:

The minimum number of points needed for the candidate to be invited to the interview is 70.


Maximum no. of points

Grading criteria

1.       Biography



Quality of the candidate based on the provided information and assessed compared to other candidates’ biographies.

2.       Letter of Motivation



Why the candidate is interested in participating in this programme. – 8


What the professional and what the personal motivations are for the above. – 8


What the candidate hopes to gain and learn from the internship. – 8


What the candidate can offer in terms of motivation, interests and skills to the internship. - 8


Any other information the candidate finds important. – bonus points (up to 8)


Explanation of the candidate’s perception of the role of the youth in DRR and fight against climate change - 20


Total no. of points




Application procedure:

Please submit the required documents electronically to the email address:, no later than May 3, 2017.


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