WTO Chairs Programme issues call for applications

Friday, December 18, 2020

The WTO Chairs Programme (WCP) issued today a call for applications for the third phase of this programme. Academic institutions in developing and least developed countries, as well as Article XII Members and observers to the WTO are invited to swiftly express their interest in participating in the programme, and to complete their application by 15 January 2021.
The WCP was launched in 2010 as a capacity-building programme. It aims to enhance the  understanding of the multilateral trading system among academics and policy makers in developing countries through teaching, research and outreach activities in academic institutions. The programme targets academic institutions established in developing and least-developed countries and Article XII Members or observers of the WTO.
The programme is implemented through partnership agreements between the WTO Secretariat and selected institutions. The WTO provides financial, scientific and technical support to its partners in three interdependent pillars: research, curriculum development and outreach activities. In previous editions of the programme, the WTO provided financial support to 19 institutions in developing countries. Up to 21 new chairs will be selected for this third phase of the programme. Priority will be accorded to LDCs and countries and regions currently not well covered under the programme.
The Chairs Programme streamlines the academic cooperation activities of the WTO by providing dedicated support to beneficiary institutions in their specific priority areas in the field of trade policy, international trade, international relations and international economic law. Financial support through the provision of a WTO grant for Chairs participating in phase I and phase II of the programme consisted of grants of up to 50.000 CHF per annum and Chair for up to four years. Specific amounts to be attributed in the third phase of the programme are to be determined at the beginning of the programme in light of the number of Chairs participating in the programme and funds available.
Chair holders will be chosen through a competitive selection process. In making their selection, the WTO Secretariat supported by the programme's Advisory Board will take into account a number of criteria, including:

  • potential for developing capacities at the host institution
  • relevance of research topics in relation to trade policy and WTO-related issues
  • quality of research proposals
  • expected results with respect to the offering of new and updated courses
  • potential for interaction with policy-making institutions (such as government departments)
  • expected results with respect to networking with other academic institutions
  • strategy for future human and financial sustainability
  • potential for maintaining a team of critical mass in the host institution to collaborate in Chair holder activities. 

For more information please refer to the call for applications webpage.