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Since winter 2007, the IEE has been offering the structured and interdisciplinary PhD programme in International Development Studies in cooperation with the Faculties of Geography, Law, Social Science, and Economics of Ruhr University Bochum. The PhD IDS combines training through research and coursework. Research training consists of working on individual PhD projects with supervision from experienced professors, regular exchange within the framework of one of the IEE's research cluster and includes an individual field research period of up to 6 months. Participation in coursework aims at contributing to research and transferable skills. IEE's traning offers are supplemented by offers of other departments of RUB and other cooperation partners.

The standard period of study is 3 years. The average time required to complete the programme including all examinations is around 4 years. Excellent candidates from all over the world can apply for the the programme annually.

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KEY FACTS

PhD in International Development Studies
180 Credit Points (CP)

3 years standard study period
(average duration until completion including exams is around 4 years)

up to 6-months
field research period

Application Deadline
31 March each year
Start
in November each year

Programme Structure

The PhD in International Development Studies combines working on individual PhD research projects with participation in taught modules. The variety of modules offered allows for tailor made qualification for each PhD candidate. Modules offered by the IEE itself, other faculties at RUB or external cooperation partners deal with developmental issues from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Interdisciplinary workshops on research related competencies and research management skills as well as a broad career preparation program are offered by the RUB Research School . Offers include a wide range of transferable skills courses in Research Related Competencies (Scientific Writing, Scientific Presentation and Professional (Scientific) Communication), Career Preparation, and Research Management Skills. These offers are complemented by funding opportunities for international research activities.

Adding to this, PhD candidates regularly report on the progress of their own research projects during meetings of the IEE Research Clusters .

A detailed overview of the structure of the PhD IDS is provided in the curriculum . The Doctoral Statutes (offical German and translated English version ) are also available. 

Schematic illustration of programme structure

  course work individual research projects
1st term seminars
according to
exposé theory and preparation of field research    
2nd term      
3rd term      
4th term       field research  
5th term curriculum       completion of
PhD Thesis
6th term      
      6th term: Viva

Financing Options

DAAD-GSSP Scholarships

The IEE successfully applied for the “Graduate School Scholarship Programme” (GSSP) of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and therefore has the opportunity to nominate two excellent international applicants of the PhD IDS for a DAAD-GSSP scholarship.

Criteria for nomination:

  • Excellent academic profile
  • The last final exam (Master Degree or equivalent) must have taken place no longer than six years ago prior to the nomination.
  • The applicants must not have resided in Germany for more than 15 months prior to the nomination.

Scholarship benefits:

  • a scholarship instalment of currently € 1,200 per month;
  • travel allowance;
  • payments towards health, accident and personal liability insurance cover;
  • a research allowance of currently € 460 per year (for scholarship holders from emerging countries), or € 230 per year (for scholarship holders from industrialized countries);
  • Field studies/stays abroad will be funded provided the overall period abroad does not exceed 25% of total funding period and provided that the field study/stay abroad does not take place at the beginning of your studies.

Only international applicants selected as a PhD IDS candidate can be nominated for a GSSP scholarship.Therefore, candidates need to apply for the PhD IDS until the regular application deadline via the online application portal which opens in autumn each year. They need to enter “GSSP” under “Scholarship donor” and must use and submit a specific template for academic recommendation letters.

Further detailed information is available in the "How to apply" section. If you are interested to find out more about the GSSP programme, have a look at the DAAD website.

Other scholarship options

Apart from DAAD, other organisations in Germany also provide support opportunities for foreign members of institutions of higher education. The DAAD scholarship database offers information not only on various kinds of DAAD funding for foreign students, graduates and postdocs but also on funding offered by other selected organisations.

Applicants are requested to contact relevant institutions directly for further information but keep us informed about any scholarship applications.

Self-financing applicants

A good source of information to estimate costs of studying and living in Germany is provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Additional information is provided by the International Office of Ruhr University Bochum.

How to apply

The application deadline for the PhD IDS is 31 March each year.
Applications have to be submitted via an online application platform, which opens in autumn each year.
The link will be provided here, once the application period started.

INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. It is the applicant's responsibility to check that the application is complete!

Minimum Entry Requirements

  • Qualified university degree (Master or equivalent) in Law, Social or Political Science, Economics, Development Management or related subjects from all over the world 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.

Admission

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

Required documents

  1. Application letter describing the motivation of your application for the PhD in International Development Studies.
  2. Research proposal of the planned PhD project of max. 5 pages (following the guidelines for writing a research proposal).
  3. Full Curriculum Vitae (please use the Europass CV tool).
  4. Higher education degree certificate(s) and full transcript(s) of records, including an explanation of the grading system of all previous studies. Certified translations are required if original documents are not available in English or German.
  5. School leaving certificate that shows all single marks and entitles the candidate to study at a recognized institution of higher education in the home country.
  6. Official certificate confirming applicant's English language proficiency equivalent to CEFR level C1 (e.g. IELTS Band 7 or TOEFL iBT 94 or above). If English has been your language of instruction since your secondary education, a proof of your English language proficiency is not compulsory but nonetheless highly recommended.
  7. Two recent academic recommendation letters including the official letterhead of the institution and the signature of the referee. 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. Applicants for the DAAD GSSP scholarship must use the DAAD template for recommendation letters.

SUPERVISION

All supervisors of the PhD candidates hold professorial posts and are well trained and skilled experts and professionals, having far-reaching experience in teaching, mentoring and research. The decision about supervisors is part of the application and selection process. It is therefore not necessary for applicants to contact potential supervisors before they apply. The table below provides an overview about current and past supervisors involved in the PhD IDS.

Ongoing PhD Projects

Dipl.-Ök. Christof Ruhmich
Entry: 2023
PhD Project:  Panzi's Holistic Model of Care for Survivors of Gender Based Violence in DR Congo: A Case Study of Localisation Along the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Dennis Dijkzeul (RUB)
Abstract  
Emmanuel Monyei
Entry: 2023
PhD Project:  Climate Displacement in Sinking States: Nationhood Loss and Protection Praxis in International Law - the Case of Maldives
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Heintze (RUB)
Abstract   
David Lefor
Entry: 2023
PhD Project:  Peace Education in Protracted Refugee Settings: Examining Resilience Development and Power Dynamics within Thailand's Refugee Camps 
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Dennis Dijkzeul (RUB)
Abstract   
Ricarda Rahn (assoc.)
Entry: 2023
PhD Project:  The inclusion and function of NGOs in the German supply chain law: Legal analysis of possibilities and boundaries in the textile industry
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn (RUB)
Abstract   
Phillip Riedel
Entry: 2023
PhD Project:  Development within a corridor: Urbanization und the Belt and Road Initiative
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein (RUB)
Abstract   
Simon Rahn
Entry: 2023
PhD Project:  Normative Agency of Regional Organizations in the Politics of Poverty Reduction
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Christof Hartmann (UDE)
Abstract  
Leonie Grunau
Entry: 2023
PhD Project:  Knowledge Sharing in Development Cooperation between Mexico and Germany
Supervisor:  tba
Abstract   
Ricardo Paris
Entry: 2021
PhD Project:  Assessing the influence of urban planning and territorial strategies on regional food systems
Supervisor:  Jun-Prof. Dr. Andreas Rienow (RUB)
Abstract   
Camilo Ucrós
Entry: 2021
PhD Project:  Collective Reintegration and Cooperativism of former FARC Combatants in Colombia
Supervisor:  PD Dr. Christian Gudehus (RUB) and Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach (German Institute for Global and Area Studies, GIGA)
Abstract   
Muhammad Saleh
Entry: 2021
PhD Project:  The Effects of Foreign Direct Investment and Official Development Assistance on Job Creation and Poverty Reduction
(The research project is part of ADAPTED, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme which is coordinated by the IEE.)
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein (RUB) and Prof. Dr. Rémi Bazillier (University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, UP1 )
Abstract   
Akua Martinson
Entry: 2021
PhD Project:  The effects of governmentally enforced minimum wages on formal sector employment
(The research project is part of ADAPTED, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme which is coordinated by the IEE.)
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein (RUB) and Prof. Dr. Rémi Bazillier (University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, UP1 )
Abstract   
Natalia Zakharchenko
Entry: 2021
PhD Project: 

Rights-based social assistance schemes

(The research project is part of ADAPTED, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme which is coordinated by the IEE.)

Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn (RUB) and Prof.Dr. Galina Cornelisse ( Kooijmans Institute for Law and Governance, VU Amsterdam )
Abstract   
Irene Among
Entry: 2021
PhD Project:  Building coherent social protection systems
(The research project is part of ADAPTED, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme which is coordinated by the IEE.)
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn (RUB) and Prof. Dr. Andrew Fischer (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Abstract   
Johann Langenbach
Entry: 2021
PhD Project: 

Cost/ Benefit of Climate Policies in the Context of Informal Economies

(The research project is part of ADAPTED, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme which is coordinated by the IEE.)

Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Mathilde Maurel (University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, UP1), Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein (RUB)
Abstract   
Luiza Leite de Queiroz
Entry: 2021
PhD Project: 

Mobilising International Law for Cross-Border Tax Justice

(The research project is part of ADAPTED, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme which is coordinated by the IEE.)

Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Galina Cornelisse (VUA), Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn (RUB)
Abstract   
María Moraga Fernández
Entry: 2021
PhD Project: 

Labour Regulation and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa

(The research project is part of ADAPTED, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme which is coordinated by the IEE.)

Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Rémi Bazillier (University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, UP1), Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein (RUB)
Abstract   
Petronilla Wandeto
Entry: 2021
PhD Project: 

Neopatrimonialism, Pockets of Effectiveness and Policy-Making for the Poor

(The research project is part of ADAPTED, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme which is coordinated by the IEE.)

Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Wil Hout (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. Dr. Christof Hartmann (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Abstract   
Caroline Spanaus
Entry: 2020
PhD Project:  The Women, Business and Human Rights- Nexus - the effect of international law in creating an accessible business climate for women in Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn (RUB)
Abstract   
Henrike Roth
Entry: 2018
PhD Project:  Structural Change in an Open Economy - the Transmission Channels between Trade, Growth and Poverty
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein (RUB)
Abstract   
Anja Habersang (assoc.)
Entry: 2018
PhD Project:  Globale Krisen und lokale Konflikte? Wechselwirkungen und Neupositionierungen am Beispiel von Landkonflikten in Chile und Argentinien
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Eva Gerharz (HS Fulda)
Abstract   
Corinna Land (assoc.)
Entry: 2018
PhD Project:  Displacement and Reactions from below: Migration, Resistance and Adaption
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Eva Gerharz (HS Fulda) and Prof. Dr. Heike Greschke (TU Dresden)
Abstract   
Zena Mouawad
Entry: 2017
PhD Project:  UN-UN Inter-Organisational Relations: The Governance of the Decent Work Agenda
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Christof Hartmann (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Abstract   
UK Mong Marma
Entry: 2017
PhD Project:  Forced Migration and Land: An Expulsion in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Eva Gerharz (HS Fulda)
Abstract   
Om Ki
Entry: 2017
PhD Project:  A Theory-based Impact Evaluation of a Development Intervention in Myanmar
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein (RUB)
Abstract   
Katharina Girndt
Entry: 2017
PhD Project:  Dealing with the Impact of Social Control: Strategies and Coping Mechanisms of LGBT+ People in South Africa
Supervisor:  PD Dr. Stefan Karduck (University of Cologne)
Abstract   
Ulemj Dovchin
Entry: 2017
PhD Project:  Foreign Investment Protection and Human Rights
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn (RUB)
Abstract   
Darina Pellowska
Entry: 2016
PhD Project:  Humanitarian Assistance and Conflict Economies: Analyzing Humanitarian Resource Networks in Darfur (Sudan)
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Dennis Dijkzeul (RUB)
Abstract   
Ruth Knoblich (assoc.)
Entry: 2016
PhD Project:  Rising Middle IP-Powers: National Interests and International Influence. South Africa as a Case Study
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Tilman Mayer (University of Bonn)
Abstract   
Andrew Boogaards
Entry: 2016
PhD Project:  Analyzing the Long Term Legacy of Corporate Social Responsiblity on Community Development
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Katja Bender (HS Bonn-Rhein-Sieg)
Abstract   
Laura Hofmann
Entry: 2015
PhD Project:  Cultural Heritage Preservation and Protection in Human Rights Law
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Pierre Thielbörger (RUB)
Abstract   
Salam Alhaj Hasan 
Entry: 2015
PhD Project:  The economic life of Syrian refugees in camps 
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein (RUB)
Abstract   
Maruf Lutfur
Entry: 2013
PhD Project:  Exploring the Socio-Cultural Impact of Migration: An Ethnographic Study of Migrant Workers from Bangladesh to Gulf States
Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Eva Gerharz (HS Fulda)
Abstract   

COMPLETED PHD PROJECTS

PhD IDS completed in 2024

A practical approach to Refugee Protection in Southeast Asia

Fiza Lee Malhotra
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Heintze
Abstract

PhD IDS completed in 2023
PhD IDS completed in 2022
PhD IDS completed in 2021
PhD IDS completed in 2019
PhD IDS completed in 2018
PhD IDS completed in 2017
PhD IDS completed in 2016
PhD IDS completed in 2014
PhD IDS completed in 2015
PhD IDS completed in 2013
PhD IDS completed in 2012
PhD IDS completed in 2011

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OF PHD IDS APPLICANTS

How can I apply for the PhD IDS?

The only way to apply for the PhD IDS is via the online portal.

What are the admission requirements for the PhD IDS?
What are the requirements for the English proficiency prove?
Can my expired IELTS / TOEFL test be accepted as an English proficiency certificate?
Yes, but only in case your subsequent and consecutive studies were in English.
Who can write a letter of recommendation for me?
Do you have any special form or template for the recommendation letters?
My referees want to send their letters directly to you. Where should they send them to?
Do my certificates have to be translated into German or English?
What is a school-leaving certificate?
What are the requirements for the PhD proposal?
What is the study duration?
Can I study PhD programme as a distant learner or online?
I submitted my Master's thesis shortly before/shortly after the application deadline and therefore no certificate has been issued so far and cannot yet be sent. Can I hand it in later?
Is there an age limit for the application?
Is it possible to have a consultation interview?
How can I check the status of my application?
Do I have to pay any student fees?
Study fees are not being charged for PhD students. All students have to register as regular students of the Ruhr University Bochum. The registration fee is around Euro 341 per semester and includes the right to use public transport facilities (semester ticket).
Do you offer any scholarships for the PhD IDS programme?
I need a letter of acceptance for my scholarship application. Can you provide it?
How do I open a bank account?
How do I get health insurance?
How do I get my accomodation?

There are a number of student dorms around the university. You will also get a check list of organisational issues after being admitted which includes different options for the arrangement of accommodation. Our staff will assist you on request, but you can also apply for accommodation yourself online. See AKAFÖ for details.

Flat shares (“Wohngemeinschaften”, acronym “WG”) are a very common way for German students to find housing at affordable prices. Be aware that in most cases you need to be in the city in order to present yourself to your future flatmates. This guide can help you find your way through private house-hunting in Bochum.

You can change your accommodation after the expiration date of your contract. In the meantime, you can apply for a new accommodation at AKAFÖ or a private hostel. But have in mind that there is a waiting list and that you must wait about six months from the date you have applied. Most hostels offer semester contracts. Depending on your contract you have to inform the administration of the hostel 1-3 months in advance in writing that you would like to cancel the contract.

How much does the accomodation cost?
How do I register at the Residents' Registration Office?
How do I get to Bochum University?
The nearest airport to Bochum is Düsseldorf. It is linked by rail to Bochum Main Station (“Hauptbahnhof”). You can take a regional train by buying a ticket from the fare zone D (Euro 16,50) through the VRR App, at the ticket machines or in the Deutsche Bahn Service Centre. The train ride takes around 40 minutes. If you arrive at the airport in Frankfurt, you can buy an ICE-ticket with Deutsche Bahn to get to Bochum. The train ride takes around two hours. Arriving in Bochum, frequent subway services operate between Bochum Main Station and Ruhr University (line U35). Take the direction Hustadt and you will arrive at the Ruhr University.
Where can I find a map of the University?
Where can I find out more about the city of Bochum?
What does the Ruhr-University Bochum offer for international students?

Downloads

General Information
Programme Structure
Doctoral Statutes
Application

Contact

Dipl.-Ök. Britta Niklas

Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Room 2.02, Universitätsstr. 105
44789 Bochum/Germany

Phone: +49 (0)234 32-25148
Email: ieephd@rub.de

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Contact

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