Academic support for training and capacity-building: an integrated approach

The development of partnerships between the WTO Secretariat and the trade policy-related academic community in Member countries is at the core of WTO technical assistance and training. “Joined up” capacity building simultaneously enhances the capacity of the WTO to train government officials, builds institutional and human capacity for such training in developing countries, contributes to the development of WTO-related curricula in academic institutions of higher learning, and promotes WTO-relevant research intended to strengthen national and regional negotiating capacity.

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Regional trade policy courses (RTPCs)

Regional trade policy courses form a key component in building such partnerships, the main objective being to transfer and enhance local ownership and to build capacity at the regional level.


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How to participate


The University Programme

The University Programme seeks to implement an integrated and coherent set of activities aimed at strengthening and developing academic cooperation links, with a view to support institutional capacities in academic institutions at the national levels.


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Support programme for doctoral studies

The support programme contributes to a continuing renewal and enlargement of academic WTO expertise in developing countries.

The WTO finances and assists doctoral students from developing countries to conduct research at the WTO Secretariat for periods between three and six months, and provides mentoring/advice in close collaboration with the students' academic supervisors. Since this is a highly effective means of engaging young academics in WTO-related research of direct policy relevance to governments, up to 12 students are accommodated at any one time.


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Programme for visiting academics

The WTO facilitates visits of up to six months by practising academics who are working on WTO-related issues.

This programme allows the academics to interact with the Secretariat and the trade policy community more generally, and maximize the WTO relevance of their work.

Visiting academics are self-financed.


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Research collaboration

Research collaboration consists in the development of joint research initiatives on WTO-related matters with academics from developing countries.

The research collaboration increases engagement by the scholarly community in WTO-relevant research, to enhance the supply of region and country-based analysis of WTO-related policy issues.


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