How to Apply

How to Apply

The next application deadline for the PhD in International Development Studies will be 30 April 2017. Applications for the intake 2017 can be submitted from August 1st, 2016 onwards. The selection process, however, will only start after the application deadline.

Candidates with an above-average advanced degree in Human Geography, Law, Social or Political Science, Economics, Development Management or related subjects from all over the world who aspire further scientific qualification through a research project related to "International Development Studies" and have a strong interest in interdisciplinary work are invited to apply for the programme.

Minimum Entry Requirements

  • Qualified university degree (Master or an equivalent to the German Diploma or Staatsexamen) with an overall grade equivalent to 2.7 (fully satisfactory) in the German grading system after completion of relevant studies with a duration of at least 4 years.


  • Qualified degree with an overall grade equivalent to 1.7 (fully good) in the German grading system after completion of relevant studies with a duration of at least three years plus preparatory studies for the PhD of usually three semesters.


For international degrees the equivalence will be judged during the application process. Candidates who have to follow preparatory studies before admission to the PhD in International Development Studies can be accepted for such preparatory studies at the Ruhr-University Bochum.


Admission to the PhD IDS is based on a competitive selection process. The major criteria are:

  • Quality of research proposal
  • Supporting academic references
  • Overall grades of previous studies
  • Proficiency in English

Documents That Have to Be Submitted for Application

  • Application form (PDF)
  • Application letter which should give an idea about the motivation for applying to the PhD in International Development Studies
  • Research proposal of PhD project of max. 5 pages (Guidelines for writing a research proposal - Download)
  • Full Curriculum Vitae (see templates as PDF, Word)
  • Certificates and transcripts of university studies, certificate of secondary education
  • English language proficiency certificate (IELTS Band 6 or TOEFL 550 paper based / 213 computer based / 80 internet based), for exemptions please see short info
  • Two academic recommendation letters

Postal Address for Application

Please submit your application to:

Ruhr University Bochum
Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Dr. Martina Shakya
Universitätsstr. 105, Room 2.02 
D-44801 Bochum - Germany

Or via e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PhD IDS: Contact

ShakyaDr. Martina Shakya
Coordinator PhD IDS


Phone:  +49 (0)234 / 32-25149
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

PhD IDS - How to Apply: Downloads

Application Form:
- PDF format

Guidelines for Writing a Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae Template:
- PDF format