CERES is the national Research School for Resource Studies for Development. The school was established in 1994. Its main objective is to provide first class PhD training and stimulate research aimed at understanding processes of social transformation in the context of an increasing global interconnectedness and interdependence. CERES is a member of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) and provides the current president of EADI. In 2011 the school was reaccredited by the Dutch Royal Academy of Science (KNAW) as an interuniversity research school. CERES developed its own valuation system to ensure the quality of scientific output. In 2011, this system was adopted in Europe under the aegis EADI.
The classic field of development studies (‘development’ in the form of aid to ‘Third World’ countries through planned development programmes) has radically changed. Global economic capitalism, integration in world markets and governance initiatives by (global) NGOs are often more powerful agents of change than state-sponsored interventions. Power relations are shifting with the rise of Emerging Economies such as China, India and Brazil. These shifts are reflected in CERES’ research focus on global social transformations. Such transformations are occurring through flows of people, ideas, and changes in production and labour markets, rendering redefinitions of legal and regulatory frameworks necessary. In these new interactions, new identities and cultural forms emerge and others are renegotiated. Furthermore, global environmental change and issues of sustainability raise fundamental queries about the pace and nature of economic growth and globalization and the way that societies develop and allocate resources between social groups – from the local to the global level. By providing a network for researchers and through the PhD training, CERES seeks to foster scientific analysis and discussion of these issues, and to promote dialogue with policy makers, practitioners and civil society.