Wednesday, September 4, 2019

PhD Scholarship Positions for Developing Countries, PhD Positions Scholarships

ICDD is funded under the programme “exceed - Higher Education Excellence in Development Co-operation” launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Under its Graduate School of Socio-Ecological Research for Development, ICDD invites applications for 20 PhD scholarship positions for students from DAC countries at the following internationally renowned universities:

ICDD's objective is to create and transfer knowledge on how to create and improve work and income opportunities in rural and urban regions of developing countries in light of globalization, climate change and urbanization.

ICDD encompasses various disciplines such as agricultural science, political science, sociology, economics, and has a network of partner universities in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

ICDD closely co-operates with International Labour Organisation and NGOs.

One of ICDD's core structures for the inter-disciplinary generation of knowledge is the Graduate School of Socio-Ecological Research for Development.

PhD projects within this school may be rooted in either the natural or social sciences and should be focused on actor and problem oriented research on sustainable human-environmental relationships and decent livelihoods.

ICDD promotes three research clusters as a common framework for the design of prospective PhD projects:

Sustainable Value Creation for Decent Work. This cluster focuses on strategies to increase value creation by developing technologies for more efficient and sustainable use of resources and by improving human skills, preferably along agricultural commodity chains.
PhD applicants should be interested in analysing spatially and sectorally detailed urban-rural linkages to address the mobility of people, goods, services, money transfers, information, and associated flows of nutrients, energy and water.

Instruments for Promoting Decent WorkThis cluster focuses on the effectiveness of existing instruments in enforcing minimum standards for labour as formulated by the International Labour Organization (ILO) such as public procurement, supply chain governance, and national minimum wages.
PhD applicants should be interested in analysing such instruments and their effective implementation in different state contexts. A special focus should be directed towards their impact on or relevance for informal labour relations and particularly on the working conditions and lives of temporary labour migrants.

Strategies of Empowerment for Decent Work. This cluster focuses on the advocacy of good working conditions within economic and political decision-making processes against the background of eroding capacities of workers to engage in collective action due to the growing informal nature of work.
Thereby special Attention is directed towards particularly vulnerable groups, such as domestic workers.

PhD applicants should be interested in exploring possible sources and forms of organisations to foster empowerment strategies within informal labour relations.


PhD students of the Graduate School will be based either at the University of Kassel or at one of ICDD's international partner universities (see above), and will be enrolled in the respective university's PhD training programmes.

Please indicate in your application at which university you wish to be located.

A joint international workshop programme on subjects of the ICDD, research methods, the linkage between theory and empirical research and for the presentation of the prospective PhD projects will take place every year within the Graduate School.

Scholarships will be awarded for four years under the precondition of a successful extension after one year.

The scholarships will cover a country-specific monthly allowance according to DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) standards.

All scholarships will include travel expenses for south-north and south-south mobility if necessary and funding for field research and the participation in Graduate School and ICDD activities.

Application Requirements

Cover Sheet (cf. attachment)
Above average MA/MSc degree in a disciplines related to the above topics / fields
Proof of English language proficiency
Academic or vocational experience in one of the disciplines related to the thematic field of development and decent work
Letter of recommendation from a professor of the ICDD network

Summary of master thesis (1500 words), if applicable
Preliminary PhD project proposal including topic, research question, short overview of the relevant literature, theoretical approach, research design and methodology (2.000 words)
Please submit your detailed curriculum vitae and scanned copies of the following documents with your application:

Certificate and transcript of records of your recognised bachelor and master degrees in the original language, listing all subjects and grades (If you have not yet completed a Masters program, please include a letter from the person responsible for the program testifying the likelihood of successful completion of the program);
Certificates / proof of English language proficiency;
University entrance examination certificate listing all subjects and grades (in the original language);
Certificates of additional studies and completion of studies listing all subjects and grades (in the original language);
Translations of all of the above-mentioned documents, if the language of the mentioned certificates is not German, English, French, Spanish or Portuguese.
Certificates of previous professional/vocational experience (if applicable).
Officially authenticated photocopies of all documents and translations will have to be presented, if selected for admission.

Countries eligible for Official Development Assistance of the OECD as approved by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
Please assemble all items for your application in one single pdf document with the completed cover sheet as the front page and preferably with a list of contents as the second page.
Applications consisting of multiple files will not be accepted

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