Since its establishment in 2005, the purpose of SUM's Research School has been to give students theoretical and practical experience in undertaking interdisciplinary research and to:
- Provide high quality Ph.D. courses of international standard.
- Combine academic quality within a particular discipline with an openness and knowledge of other disciplines so as to provide critical and innovative perspectives on topics within the field of development and the environment.
- Support research with a critical approach, challenging dominant values and perspectives – whether based on gender, culture or disciplinary orientation.
- Cooperate closely with other departments at the University of Oslo, as well as international institutions through SUM's International network.
The Research School is further designed to inspire and strengthen Ph.D. students commitment and research by bringing the students together in a circle of like-minded and engaged professionals, through both academic and informal events.