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EnergyTransitions - header
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Course date
May 25–June 18, 2021
Application deadline
Application for this course is closed
ECTS Credits
Cultural studies
Environmental science
Political science
Urban studies
SUN Packages
Tuition Waiver

Online course format 

The course is organized around three main units   that creatively work with different aspects of energy transitions in the form of lectures, workshops as well as individual and team projects.

Unit 1, May 25: selected applicants begin to develop their case studies before coming to the course. After submitting a short description of a case study of a localized energy transition  in the application package, selected participants take part in a preparatory online session to assist pre-course fieldwork. The starting point of the fieldwork is observation and primary interpretation of how a specific expected or current energy shift is faced by urban actors (in governance, civil society, business, cultural sector, etc.) and how urban actors respond. How are the specific meanings of energy generation instrumentalized in this process? How do relations between institutions change? What kind of spaces in cities and beyond become prioritized or marginalized? Which urban development and planning paradigms are fostered and which are criticized? 

Unit 2, June 7 - 11: Concepts and Methods
Lectures: The focus is to provide participants with a deeper knowledge of energy cultures and assist development of their own case studies to highlight conceptual framings. The first week provides the conceptual framings to understand the bigger picture in energy transitions.
Individual consultations and workshop Teams: Course participants bring their fieldwork material to CEU and develop it into finished case studies – written or audio (podcast), in cooperation and critical dialogue with peer participants. There will also be individualized mentors from the program’s faculty assisting students developing their own case studies. The team of the course tutors and lecturers are guiding this process in the format of lectures, workshops, discussions of readings, examples, and drafts' presentations. The goal is to relate the variety of [ideally conflictual contradictory] arguments about cases of energy transitions from different places and to inform each argument by the wide variety of others.

Unit 3, June 14 - 18: Case Studies and Development
Lectures: The focus of this week is to provide students with developed case studies on the energy transition. These will serve as examples for their own work. The lectures will include how the research was conducted and decision-making on developing the case studies.
Workshop Teams: Work will be carried over from Unit 2 with further refinement and the finalization of the case study. Skill development will focus on finalizing the medium and narrative storylines. Student work will be presented at the end of the session.


Unit 1: May 25:  13:00 – 15:00 CET: Pre-session thematic module
Unit 2: June 7 – 11: 12:00 – 13:30 CET: Lectures; 14:00 – 15:30 CET: Individual and Group Project consultations
Unit 3: June 14 – 18: 12:00 – 13:30 CET: Lectures; 14:00 – 15:30 CET: Individual and Group Project consultations12:00 – 13:30 CET: Lectures; 14:00 – 15:30 CET: Individual and Group Project consultations

A graduate of this course will be equipped to do case centered and comparative multiscalar urban studies of energy shifts (with awareness of conceptual apparatuses needed, ability to identify empirical fields and organise fieldwork, ability to make participatory alliances with local development organizations, urban planning, cultural sector, etc.).


Applicants must have completed a BA degree (or equivalent) and be fluent in English. A well-articulated and empirically grounded case study from the applicants professional or personal life needs to be described in the application package. 

Target group

The course is open to advanced Masters and PhD students in environmental science, social science and anthropology, political science, cultural studies, urbanism, multimedia, arts and design; as well as early career stage practitioners (employees and interns) working with issues of energy shifts (especially from urban development, communications and cultural sectors).

We also invite applications from advanced undergraduate students who have adequate prior study or engagement experience on the subject and make a compelling case in their application/statement of interest.

Below is the list of the documents you need to fill out or arrange for submission:

  1. Completed online SUN Application Form (see notes below)
  2. Full curriculum vitae or resume, including a list of publications, if any ), work and civic engagement experience.
  3. Statement of Purpose - a local story of energy transitions a participant wants to develop into a project in consultations with the Course tutors and peers (up to 600 words).
    The Statement of Purpose should be based on applicant’s desk research and preparatory field work. It should include observation and primary interpretation of how a specific planned or current energy transition is faced by local urban or rural actors (in governance, civil society, business, cultural sector, etc.) and how local actors respond. 

    The observation should be structured as the description of 
    a) the issue involving people or the environment as directly connected to changes to the energy system; 
    b) description of actors which promote, criticize or defend energy technologies, ways-of-life, or experiences and relations (e.g. cooperative or conflictual).

    The interpretation should be guided by the questions
    - How are the specific meanings of energy generation instrumentalized in the analyzed energy transition process?
    - Which visions of urban or rural development become prioritized or vice versa criticized in this process? 
  4. A name and contact email and phone number of a person (a faculty member, job supervisor, etc.) who can be contacted by the course directors to attest to your abilities, qualifications, and academic/professional performance.

Optional attachments:

You can upload further optional documents on the Qualifications page such as academic documents that you think may be relevant to support your application in the ‘Other Supporting Documents’ section. All documents should be merged into a single PDF file not exceeding the size 2 MB. No passwords and encryption are allowed.

Completed CEU Summer University Application Form

We strongly advise the use of Google Chrome to enable the full functionality of the form.


  • You may apply to a maximum of two summer courses. In case of being admitted, you can only attend both if the two courses do not overlap in time. Financial aid, if available, is only granted to attend one course.
  • If you applied to CEU before, please use your existing login and password to start a new application. If you do not remember your password from last year click on Forgotten Password. With technical problems, bugs, or errors related to the online application forms please contact the CEU IT Help Desk.
  • Right after login, please select ”Summer University” radiobutton from the "Type of course" list, and leave all other fields empty.
  • All application materials must be submitted with the online application form(s). Materials sent by postal mail, electronic mail, or fax are not considered.
  • The maximum allowable file size for upload is 2MB per file and the acceptable file formats are PDF, JPG, and JPEG. Ensure all security features (e.g. passwords and encryption) are removed from the documents before uploading them.
  • Applications cannot be edited after submission. Please submit your application only when it is 100% final and complete.
  • Further user instructions for the online application are included in the form itself. Should you have questions regarding the application form, check the relevant Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


If you need help or more information during the application process, please feel free to contact the SUN staff via email.


The SUN Office will notify applicants about the selection results in April. Please check the 'Dates and deadlines' section on the relevant course websites for notification deadlines planned earlier or later. The final decision is not open to appeal.