Written by Dawit Gebregziabher, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

Purpose of travel: to attend the summer school course in Freiburg at Schauinsland in the Black Forest

Dates:  September 12-15, 2017   

I was able to get the information about the IUFRO summer school on Facebook from IUFRO website. The course I was looking for was among the core courses for my PhD study (Forest and Resources Economics), which is Forest and Environmental Policy Research: From Theory to Method and Back. Although the deadline was passed, I requested the contact person if there was possibility of participation. Fortunately, some participants cancelled their participation and I was given the chance to participate in the summer school course.

After my participation was confirmed, I applied for mobility grant from IRSAE network and my application was granted. Thus, I would like to thank IRSAE for covering my expanses for my travel partially.

The composition of the resource persons who delivered the course was good, consisting of different disciplines ranging from philosophy of science, political science, social sciences with the focus on theory and method interlinkages.


In this summer school course, I was also able to get the opportunity to submit the draft paper. The submitted draft paper was read by one of the lecturers/resource persons or mentors before the start of the course. During the course, delivery time walk-and-talk format was designed as platform for discussion on the feedback of the submitted draft paper with one of the mentor who read my paper.


After getting the feedback on the draft paper and attending the series of presentation by the resource persons and several group discussions, I then presented my draft paper on the last day.

The other unique nature of the summer school was that all the presenters have submitted their presentation which is not common on other summer schools and each presentation was uploaded in a platform and the course participants were given access right to download the presentations and other literature resources about the course.

The summer school was held in the middle of the Black forest which is an ideal place to conduct such a course. It is amazing to study forests in the forest.

Finally, I strongly recommend PhD students in Forest and Resources Economics and related areas to attend this course whenever it is announced again.


If you are interested, have a look at my presentation on Governance of Exclosures: Practices and Performances of bylaws Evidence from Tigray Region, Ethiopia