School for Thinktankers 2024

Organised by On Think Tanks and Bruegel
Event type Courses
Location Brussels
Start date 28 January 2024
End date 3 February 2024
Develop skills in the multiple dimensions of thinktanking and prepare for or strengthen leadership roles.

We are excited to bring you an engaging learning  and networking experience at the School for Thinktankers 2024 in Brussels, the hub of European policymaking. This year’s School is brought to you in partnership with Bruegel.

The School is designed to enhance your think tank skills and empower you to excel in leadership roles. By joining the School, you will get access to invaluable networking opportunities and practical knowledge in areas that are vital to the success of any think tank. These include fundraising, governance, policy engagement, communications and more.

Register your early interest for the 2025 School.

What to expect

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to think tanks
  • Governance and management
  • Policy relevant research
  • Communications
  • Fundraising and financial management
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning 

The programme includes:

  • Insightful lectures and collaborative group work led by think tank leaders and experts
  • Site visits to local organisations and institutions, such as the European Parliament.
  • Networking activities integrated throughout the week.
  • Opportunities to present your work and interests with a diverse cohort. 
  • Access to learning materials, background notes, presentations, and curated reading lists.
  • A certificate of participation upon successful completion of the School.
  • The chance to join a global alumni network of over 200 thinktankers. 

See the 2023 School agenda to get an idea of what awaits you.

Who can join?

The School is open to all. Each year, we welcome a diverse range of thinktankers, from early/mid career to senior leadership positions, and from research, communications, human resources, fundraising and project management roles. We also welcome policy entrepreneurs interested in setting up their own think tank. See our alumni network.

Confirmed trainers


‘What I liked most about the School was the richness and breadth of content covered, as well as the opportunity to network with leaders from across the world.’ 2019 

‘I felt it was a very well thought out agenda with great speakers! So much expertise from the speakers but also from the participants in the group. Would recommend to others!’ 2020 

‘The content is rich, systematic, thorough and very well planned. Not what you traditionally get to learn in the regular academic training.’ 2021 

‘I really valued the richness of the programme,  the visits to other institutions and the chance to meet and share our ideas and projects with other thinktankers.’ 2023 Hear more from past participants.

Key dates & costs

Application deadlines
  • Early bird applications: 15 September 2023
  • Visa-dependent applications: 13 November 2023*
  • Standard applications: 19 December 2023

*We urge participants who require a visa to apply as early as possible to allow sufficient time for visa arrangements. 

School fee

We offer a partial scholarship for participants from selected countries to enable and encourage participation from across the world. Early bird applications are eligible for a 5% discount (limited spaces).

Group A countries/regions: 1,900 €

Group B countries/regions: 1,500 €

The School fee covers: 

  • A 7-day in person programme including expert lectures, group activities, networking events and site visits.
  • Access to the online School platform and resources.
  • A study pack which includes a programme overview, background notes, a city guide, and a learning journal. 
  • Coffee breaks and a light lunch every day of the School.
  • Two group dinners.
  • A city walking tour.  
  • Access to the OTT alumni network. 
  • A certificate of participation on completing the course

The fee does not include travel and accommodation. Participants are responsible for arranging and covering these costs. We are happy to advise on suitable accommodation if needed.


The School for Thinktankers is delivered in partnership with Bruegel. The School for Thinktankers is also made possible by the long-standing support of the Hewlett Foundation and the Robert Bosch Foundation. Past school partners and supporters also include Southern Voice, Universidad del Pacífico, foraus, The Think Tank Hub-Geneva, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Think Tank Initiative, and IDRC.

Get in touch 

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Early bird applications close on 15 September

Visa-dependent applications close on 13 November

Standard applications close on 19 December