How to Apply

How to Apply

The application period for the 2018 intake of the PhD in International Development Studies expired.
Selection results will be communicated until August 2018.

Applications for the 2019 intake (starting in November 2019) can be submitted online from 1 August 2018 onwards.
The next application deadline will be 30 April 2019. 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 1.3 (still very 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
  • Relevance and overall grades of previous studies
  • Proficiency in English

Documents That Have to Be Submitted for Application

  • 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
  • Official certificate confirming applicant's English language proficiency equivalent to CEFR level C1 (e.g. IELTS Band 7 or TOEFL iBT 110 or above)
  • Two recent academic recommendation letters. At least one of the letters has to be provided by a lecturer of the study programme which qualifies for the PhD application, e.g. Master or equivalent.

Online Application

Applications have to be submitted directly to the IEE via the online application platform. Before you process your application online make sure that you have read all the short info and the guidelines how to write a research proposal. Also prepare the relevant documents before you start the online application process. It is not possible to save data halfway through the application form. Once started, the form must be completed. The online application platform will be open from 1st August 2018.

PhD IDS: Contact

BaeckerDr. Gabriele Bäcker

BeierRaffael Beier

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PhD IDS - How to Apply: Downloads