Apply NOW: ZEF doctoral studies program (BIGS-DR) 2018/2019

Application Deadline: August 31, 2017.

The Bonn International Graduate School for Doctoral Studies aims at attracting young scientists from all over the world with an outstanding master’s or equivalent degree in economics, social sciences, sociology, political science, economics, development economics, agricultural and resource economics, agronomy, biology, ecology, forestry, mathematics or earth sciences. Candidates preferably have work experience in national or international research institutions, governments, or the private sector. Interest in interdisciplinary research is a prerequisite.

Selection Criteria

Academic qualification: an excellent master or equivalent degree (G.P.A. higher than 3.0 in the American system, or a grade higher than 2.0 in the German system or equivalent).

Innovative research ideas: Application must contain a Graduate Research Statement. The statement should describe a development problem applicants consider interesting and important; include the main research questions and the proposed methods linked to them; and have literature references. The statement should have a maximum of 4 pages. The Graduate Research Statement may relate to ZEF’s research areas in a broad sense of may address a topic in another development research area. The selection committee will assess all research statements on the basis of orgininality, analytical rigor, and relevance.

Language proficiency: ZEF’s doctoral program is conducted in English, therefore require the following English language skills:

  • IELTS certificate (band 6)
  • TOEFL (minimum score: 550 paper based, 213 computer-based, 80 internet-based)
  • Other English language certificate from a language institution
  • University waiver that indicates the language of instruction was in English

There is no age limit for applying to the doctoral program at ZEF. However, the last academic degree should be obtained less than six years prior to application.

How to I apply.

Step 1: Online registration is currently open.

Step 2: Application for admission.

Please note that online registration helps to accelerate the admission procedure. It is NOT a substitute for the required documentsrequired documents to be sent by email to the program’s office.

Application Deadline: August 31, 2017.

For more information, please visit the official website for the ZEF doctoral studies program or  contact the doctoral program management team via docp.zef(at)


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