The EMCDDA and the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) are pleased to open registration today for two upcoming joint events in 2021: the European Drugs Winter School (EDWS) and the European Drugs Summer School (EDSS) (1)(2).
EDWS 1–12 March 2021 (online): Following the success of the EDSS in 2020, taught remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers have decided to deliver the first virtual EDWS in 2021. The theme of the event will be Responses to, and preparedness for, health-related threats (COVID-19 lessons learned). Following a similar structure to the 2020 edition, the two-week course will feature live lunchtime lectures with experts and practitioners, followed by afternoon exercises. Virtual fieldwork tours will also be offered. Completion of exercises and an exam are compulsory for those wishing to obtain credits. The sessions will be recorded and available for subsequent viewing. Increasing the offer of online training is in line with the EMCDDA’s digital transformation objectives.
EDSS 28 June–9 July 2021 (Lisbon): This year, the two-week course will focus on Vulnerable groups. Sessions will include lectures on the prevention of drug-related problems; social determinants of drug use and interventions for vulnerable groups (homeless, prisoners, migrants). Study visits will be organised to one of the Portuguese commissions for dissuasion as well as a local harm reduction centre. During the course, students will participate in interactive workshops to discuss their own projects and views. The course will conclude with an open debate with guest speakers, followed by an exam for those wishing to obtain credits. All recommended COVID-19 safety measures will be put in place, if applicable. Deposits and fees will be reimbursed if the summer school is cancelled in case of force majeure, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The target audiences for the two events are: university students, researchers, professionals and administrators interested in working on drug issues. The previous rounds of the EDSS brought together students from the EU Member States as well as from Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Profiles of former alumni and their testimonials can be found on the official summer school website and their statements viewed in a promotional video (3).
The courses prepare professionals and students to meet the complex policy challenges that face Europe in the field of drugs. Involving scientific experts from the EMCDDA, university professors and policymakers, they provide a multi-disciplinary and inclusive approach to the study of the drugs problem in Europe and beyond.
In 2021, students will again be able to apply for scholarships. Agreements with the IPA7 and EU4MD projects will also be sought for bursaries targeting key national experts. ‘Early-bird’ reductions will be available. The EDSS will be run in English.