Addressing the challenges posed by chemical and biological weapons: Intensive online introductory course for students of technical disciplines


SIPRI and the European Union Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium (EUNPDC) invite graduate and postgraduate students of the technical or natural science disciplines to apply for an intensive online introductory course on chemical and biological weapons—their proliferation, the efforts to eliminate them, the various mechanisms used to control their spread—and endeavours underway to reduce the risk of chemical or biological agents in terrorist attacks. The course will take place online, during four half-days on 2831 May 2024, 14:00 to 18:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST).

The course will cover the fundamentals of chemical and biological weapons as well as of missiles and other means of delivery; the history of chemical and biological warfare; the evolution of international norms against these weapons; the threats associated with potential terrorist uses of chemical and biological material; bioweapons and other related scientific advances; the current challenges posed by chemical weapons; arms control treaties; and mechanisms to curb the spread of dangerous substances, including export controls.

The course will also discuss the role of the EU institutions and industry to address the challenges mentioned above. The course will be instructed by renowned experts on non-proliferation, arms control, disarmament, export controls, verification and related subjects from SIPRI, other European research centres, think tanks and international organizations.

Eligibility and application

The course is open to students currently enrolled in a university and pursuing a graduate or postgraduate degree in any technical or natural sciences discipline, as well as to early-career individuals working with topics relevant to this course in their professional capacity. Persons that already participated in a EUNPDC online or in-person course in this series are not eligible for participating in this course. Applications from qualified women and under-represented communities are encouraged.

The language of instruction is English. There is no tuition fee. The deadline for applications is 1 May 2024. As space is limited, we recommend that applications be submitted as early as possible. Participants will be given access to preparatory materials.

Applications should be submitted in English via the 'Apply' button below. Please note that you will be asked to upload a cover letter and a curriculum vitae. Selected participants will be expected to take part in all sessions throughout the duration of the course, permitting exceptional circumstances.

Selections will be finalized by 7 May 2024, and applicants will be informed thereafter. All inquiries about the course should be directed to Vitaly Fedchenko, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme.

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