• +49-(0)234 32-22418
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PhD IDS: The 8th Year of the PhD in International Development Studies

In its 8th year of existence the PhD IDS has welcomed new PhD students, looks back on and forward to stimulating PhD conferences and can proudly present new and deepening partnerships.

In November 2014, the PhD Programme in International Development Studies (IDS) moved into its 8th year of existence. The IEE welcomed eight new members while the applicant pool for the PhD IDS Intake 2014 reached a record high of over 200 applications. The new PhD IDS students come from Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Italy, Malawi, and South Africa. Two of the new doctoral candidates started their studies at the IEE as associate members of the PhD IDS, while another two came to Bochum through the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 Project "EUSA_ID", which is coordinated by the IEE. Furthermore, three of the new PhD candidates are funded by the DAAD Graduate School Scholarship Programme (GSSP), while another one was granted a scholarship by Bread for the World.
The PhD IDS is an English language programme offered since winter term 2007 at the IEE on behalf of the Faculties for Geography, Law, Social Science and Economics. Every year up to 10 PhD candidates are accepted as new members to the Programme. The Programme lasts three years and requires PhD students to take part in structured and interdisciplinary course work including empirical methods, statistical analyses and different theoretical approaches of development besides working on their own research projects. Scientific skill trainings are mainly provided by the RUB Research School.

New PhD IDS Members

The PhD IDS currently hosts more than 40 full and associate members. 31 members from more than 20 different countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

AgbaamAmong the PhD IDS Intake of 2014, Callistus Agbaam from Ghana is already a well-known face at the IEE. He was a member of the Master of Arts in Development Management Programme at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa, and the IEE from 2010 to 2012. Callistus' doctoral research project focuses on social protection and the determinants of public support for reforms in this area with Ghana as a case study. He is supervised by Prof. Dr. Katja Bender, Professor of Economics at the Centre for Sustainable Development, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences.

GonelliMichele Gonnelli from Italy, new associate member of the PhD IDS, is a PhD fellow at the School of International and Intercultural Communication (SIIC) at the TU Dortmund. In his PhD thesis he looks at the Somali Diaspora in Italy and investigates whether and to what extent its members could be regarded as "unofficial Development Agents" in their country of origin. His thesis will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Jens Loenhoff, University Duisburg-Essen.

KhafagyAmr Khafagy from Egypt investigates the decision-making behavior of savings and credit cooperatives in East Africa and its institutional context, in his doctoral research project. Amr's thesis is supervised by Prof. Dr. Volker Nienhaus.

MasilelaTumelo Masilela is one of the doctoral candidates who joined the PhD IDS thanks to a research mobility grant offered to students from South Africa in the framework of the Erasmus Mundus Project EUSA_ID. His research project seeks to determine how consumers valuate the Wetlands in South Africa and to design strategies for as sustainable use and management of the Wetland's resources. Tumelo's project is supervised by Dr. Gabriele Bäcker.

Themba Nyasulu from Malawi, the third candidate aside from Callistus and Amr, whom the IEE succeeded in nominating for a GSSP scholarship for their studies at Bochum University, assesses the impact of foreign direct investment on economic growth comparing the cases of Zambia and Malawi. His thesis will be supervised by Prof. em. Dr. Dieter Bender.

PenxaThe second doctoral candidate who joined the PhD IDS within the framework of the IEE's participation in the Erasmus Mundus Project EUSA_ID is Lungile Penxa from South Africa. In his doctoral research project, he analyzes "Spaces of Participation" in housing projects in South Africa. His supervisor is Dr. Abdulrazak Karriem at the Institute for Social Development, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

HariHari Purna Tripura from Bangladesh investigates the meaning of peace and development from the perspective of the marginalised indigenous people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. His doctoral research project will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Eva Gerharz. Hari's doctoral studies are funded by Bread for the World.

VilmondesLast, but not least, Mariana Vilmondes Alves, similar to Michele, is a new PhD IDS associate member. In her project, she takes a critical look at the "Framework of Good Governance in Housing Delivery" comparing programs of social protection in Brazil and South Africa. Her supervisor is Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn.

PhD Conferences 2014 and 2015

In 2012, the IEE and its partners in the UA-Ruhr Graduate Centre, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) and the Institute of Political Science (IfP) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, as well as the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL, and the School of International Development (DEV) at the University of East Anglia, UK, started to organize PhD Conferences on International Development on an annual basis. In 2014 the 3rd conference in this series took place at the ISS in The Hague, NL, in combination with the 12th ISS Development Dialogue featuring the topic of "Rethinking Democracy".
2015 is the year marking the 50th anniversary of RUB, and it is the IEE's turn to host the annual joint PhD Conference again. The 4th PhD Conference on September 24 – 25 at RUB offers PhD students with various academic backgrounds the possibility to present and discuss their specific PhD projects with experts, senior academics and fellow students. It coincides with the conference "The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences" jointly organized by the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO) and the Islamic Studies Section of the German Oriental Society (DMG) at RUB.

Cotutelles and Partnerships

Beyond the annual PhD Conferences, the IEE has stepped up its efforts in deepening cooperation with the ISS at the Erasmus University Rotterdam by signing a Partnership Agreement in October 2014, covering the establishment of a joint PhD programme. The ISS is also a partner of the IEE in the EUSA_ID Project. In November and December 2014, the IEE hosted ISS PhD student Sarah Hardus. In the summer term 2015, Dr. Karen Siegmann from the ISS will come to Bochum and offer a course on Qualitative Data Analysis in the framework of the PhD IDS course programme.
Additionally, the IEE succeeded in gaining the approval of funding for a German-Arab Joint Research, Training and Networking Programme in the framework of the DAAD Programme "Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World". This project under the title "From Responsibility to Protect to Responsibility to Assist: Conflict, Reconstruction and Sustainable Development in the Middle East" aims at fostering inter-cultural dialogue primarily, but not exclusively via joint supervision of PhD candidates with the IEE's new partners, covering the University of Jordan, Amman, the Lebanese-American University, Beirut, and the Carnegie Middle East Center, Beirut. For the IEE, Wilhelm Löwenstein, Eva Gerharz, and Helmut Karl are involved in the cooperation with Hans-Joachim Heintze from the IFHV, as well as Tobias Debiel and Christof Hartmann from University Duisburg-Essen. The project has been designed by and is directed by Anja Zorob, coordinator of the PhD IDS, with the assistance of Raffael Beier, research fellow and PhD candidate at the IEE.

ZorobDr. Anja Zorob
Coordinator PhD IDS
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-25149
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294


Institute of Development Research and Development
Ruhr University Bochum
Room 2.04
Universitaetsstr. 105
D-44789 Bochum
E-Mail: ieeoffice@rub.de
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-22418