• Train participants to acquire future competency skills to help them play active roles in the sustainable development of their home countries.
  • Train participants in entrepreneurship and guide them in creating sustainability projects.
  • Practice-oriented capacity building to improve the personal and leadership competencies of participants.
  • Increase networking among international young researchers in Freiberg and expose them to prospective collaborators globally.


In addition to opportunities in academia, participants will become better leaders to foster good social governance, become entrepreneurs, and take leadership roles in development-oriented NGOs and consulting firms.


EMPOWER is a two-year practice-oriented training program that focuses on the below thematic areas;

  • Entrepreneurship training
  • Good leadership / Good governance and human relations coaching
  • Communication skills
  • Project management
  • Time and self-management
  • Conflict management
  • Workshops with professors, politicians, development economists and business captains
  • Practical project development (in teams)

Entry level and prerequisite

Prospective applicants must, amongst others, satisfy some of the criteria below.

  • Must have two (2) or more years before finishing their PhD programme┬áin Freiberg.
  • Can be someone who comes from a developing or conflict-affected country or where dictatorship exists.
  • Can be someone who comes from an indigenous tribe/group in a developed country and wants to contribute to the conservation of their cultures.
  • Must show higher desire and commitment to make a change beyond their PhD studies.
  • More women with the desire to cause positive change in society are very well encouraged to apply.

Application Procedure

Applications were open until 2nd November 2022.

To apply send your Curriculum Vitae (CV), Motivation letter (one page), a reference letter from your doctoral supervisor, and your enrolment certificate to 

The last cohort started on 17th November 2022 in Freiberg and runs for 2 years.

Programme framework