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Dr. Gabriele Bäcker informs us about the new EU-funded European Joint Doctorate programme (ADAPTED)

New EU-funded European Joint Doctorate "Eradicating Poverty: Pathways towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals" (ADPATED)


In the role of coordinator, the IEE has successfully submitted a proposal for the implementation of a European Joint Doctorate (EJD) on the topic "Eradicating Poverty: Pathways towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals" (ADAPTED). The proposal has been evaluated within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Innovative Training Networks (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020) and reached a top result of 98%. With a funding volume of 3.9 m. Euro, ADAPTED has a duration of four years and will start at the beginning of 2021.

15 PhD researchers will join the IEE and our partner institutions in the EU and Turkey (International Institute for Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam; Kooijmans Institute for Law and Governance, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Department of Economics, Boğaziçi University; and the Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne) in autumn of next year. Each PhD – called Early Stage Researcher (ESR) within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – will be supervised by research directors from two of the partner institutions.

The starting point for the ADAPTED research programme is the top of the seventeen sustainable development goals (SDGs): reducing absolute poverty and ending extreme poverty. Since 1990, there have been considerable efforts to reduce absolute poverty in most developing countries. However, progress has been slow, especially in Sub-Sahara Africa. Literature shows that the academic debate on the determinants of poverty reduction takes place in disciplinary silos, where approaches that work well for high-income economies but that ignore structural differences between high-income and developing countries are applied and deliver ambiguous results. ADAPTED will address this apparent research gap by offering high-level training for early-stage researchers, aiming to avoid the existing silos, integrate developing country realities into poverty reduction approaches, and bridge the attested knowledge gaps. Research is organized in three “working packages”, which will (1) validate pathways towards poverty eradication, (2) analyse interactions between poverty reduction and other policy areas, and (3) contribute to optimise the impact of poverty reduction policies.

ADAPTED complements high-level research training of ESRs with excellent transferable skills training, supporting the dissemination of innovative theoretical and methodological approaches and fostering communication with the wider public. Tailor-made research training offered by the academic consortium partners will be combined with ESRs’ exposure to developing country realities during fieldwork implemented together with African partners, and with secondments in major European development finance institutions and think tanks.

17 dedicated experts in SDG and poverty reduction-related research will provide academic training and supervise the 15 ESRs. The 5 cooperating universities from the EU and Turkey, will – based on cotutelle agreements embedded in institutional contracts –grant European Joint Doctorates. All 5 ADAPTED partners are home to award-winning graduate schools that will cooperate in delivering skills training. 6 African partner universities will facilitate the ESRs’ fieldwork.

The consortium – and the supervisory teams – will also include high-level partners from development practice (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungs-GmbH, Agence Française de Dévelopement, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes), and six universities from five African countries.

We will shortly announce the publication of the call for application of the 15 open ESR positions via the IEE website, our partner network, and EU platforms. Over the coming years, we will regularly report on the progress of the ADAPTED project.

BaeckerDr. Gabriele Bäcker
Executive Director


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