The school was initiated in 1994 by six academic institutions: the Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam, the Wageningen University and Research Centre, Erasmus University/Institute of Social Studies (The Hague), the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam), and the Radboud University Nijmegen.

Since the start CERES has established links with many other universities and research institutes in the field of societal transformation studies. At moment CERES’ main partners are:

Utrecht University (the administrative hub of the school)

University of Amsterdam

Wageningen University and Research Centre

Erasmus University/Institute of Social Studies (The Hague)

African Studies Centre (ASC, Leiden)

Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA, Amsterdam)

Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp (IOB)

School of Management and Governance (University Twente)

the Maastricht School of Management (University Maastricht)

CERES also cooperates with research groups and individual researchers, of a.o. the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Free University Amsterdam, the University of Groningen, and other national research schools whose research domains relate to the CERES research domain.