ICDD PhD Scholarships for Students from Developing Countries

PhD Scholarships for Students from Developing Countries

Course(s) Offered: Soc Sciences, Agric Sciences
Course Level: Graduate (PhD, research, fellows)
Provider: DAAD, with funds of BMZ (via ICCD)
Country to Study in: Germany, Latin America, Africa and Asia

Scholarship Description
The ICDD is an interdisciplinary and international scientific network of excellence with the head office located at the University of Kassel (Germany) and partner universities in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The ICDD is funded by the programme “ex)/(ceed – Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation” launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Application Requirements:
  • a completed or almost completed MA/MSc degree, with excellent results, in a discipline related to the above topics; the applicant’s last academic degree should not be more than six years ago; if an applicant already started with his/her PhD project, it should have started not more than three years ago;
  • a high proficiency of English (CEFR level: C1 or above), demonstrated by one of the following language certificates: TOEFL, with a minimum score of 550 PBT (paperbased test) / 80 IBT (Internet-based test); IELTS 6.5 or above; the Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English or an equivalent (native speakers and applicants who have completed their first degree fully in English do not have to provide an English proficiency certificate);
  • Academic or vocational experience in one of the disciplines related to the thematic field of development and decent work;
  • Citizenship of an ODA recipient country (cf. list attached).
Eligible groups
Any PhD student from a Developing country who meets the above 'Eligibility'

Participating Institutions
International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD), Graduate School of Socio-Ecological Research for Development, University of Kassel; Germany; and partner institutions.

In the framework of its Graduate School of Socio-Ecological Research for Development, the ICDD invites students from ODA countries* to apply for one of the following PhD scholarship positions at an ICDD partner university:
  • University of Kassel, Germany, in the field of social sciences,
  • University of Kassel, Germany, in the field of agricultural science,
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), India, in the field of sociology,
  • Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil, in the field of economics,
  • Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY), Mexico, in the field of agricultural science,
  • University of Cape Coast. Ghana, in the field of development studies.
* Countries eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the OECD as approved by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in August 2009

Fields of study
The ICDD's objective is to generate and transfer knowledge on how to create and improve work and income opportunities in rural and urban regions of developing countries in light of globalisation, climate change and urbanisation. The ICDD encompasses various disciplines such as agricultural science, political science, sociology and economics. It co-operates closely with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and various NGOs.

One of the ICDD's main facilities for the interdisciplinary generation of knowledge is the Graduate School of Socio-Ecological Research for Development. Successful applicants will become doctoral fellows of this school. The ICDD supports three research clusters to which the prospective PhD project must relate:
  1. Sustainable Value Creation for Decent Work
    This cluster focuses on strategies to increase value creation by developing technologies for the 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.

  2. Instruments for Promoting Decent Work
    This 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/country 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 in particular.

  3. Strategies of Empowerment for Decent Work
    This cluster focuses on the advocacy of decent working conditions within economic and political decision-making processes, against the background of the 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.
Number of awards
Six (6)

Sponsorship duration
The scholarship will be awarded for three years under the precondition of successful admission as a PhD candidate at the host university and a positive progress evaluation by the ICDD in the first scholarship year.

Scholarship benefits
PhD students of the ICDD Graduate School will be based at the partner university they chose (see above) and enrolled in its PhD training programme. A joint international workshop programme on subjects of the ICDD, research methods, the connection between theory and empirical research and for the presentation of the prospective PhD projects will take place every year within the Graduate School.

The scholarships will cover a country-specific monthly allowance according to DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) standards, tuition fees (if applicable), the participation in Graduate School activities as well as the opportunity to apply for field research funding.

Method of Application
Application Procedure:
  1. Your application package must include the following elements in the below sequence:
    • a completed cover sheet (cf. attachment / download from ICDD Graduate School
      website - see link below); applicants must clearly indicate the university for which they apply in the cover sheet section Aspired University of Enrolment;
    • a detailed curriculum vitae (including the academic background, the list of publications [if applicable], professional experience, language skills, voluntary work);
    • a preliminary PhD project proposal (about 2000 words, including topic, research question, short overview of the relevant literature, theoretical approach, research design and methodology);
    • a summary of the Master thesis (about 1500 words) if applicable;
    • scanned copy of an English proficiency certificate if required;
    • scanned copies of the following documents in the original language with translations attached, if the language of these documents is not German, English, French, Spanish or Portuguese:
      - the certificate and transcript of records of your recognised Master degree, listing all subjects and grades (if you have not yet completed your master degree, please provide the transcript and a letter from the programme coordinator testifying the date and likelihood of its successful completion);
      - the certificate and transcript of records of your recognised Bachelor degree, listing all subjects and grades;
      - the university entrance examination certificate, listing all subjects and grades;
      - certificates of additional studies and on the completion of these studies, listing
      all subjects and grades;
    • scanned copies of certificates of previous professional/vocational experience if applicable.
    Please send the complete application package electronically as a single pdf file** no later than 20 November 2011 to: graduateschool@icdd.uni-kassel.de

    Application packages reaching the inbox of this account after 20 November 2011 at 12:00 pm (GMT + 01:00) cannot be processed.

    ** The items of your application must be assembled according to the sequence listed above, with the completed cover sheet as the front page, followed by your CV etc. All items of your application must be assembled in one pdf document. Applications consisting of multiple files will not be accepted!

  2. Letter of recommendation: Apart from the application package, a recent letter of recommendation must be provided from a professor or course instructor qualified to assess your academic achievements. The referee must sign the letter and send it in a sealed envelope by post directly to:

    Executive Director of the International Center for
    Development and Decent Work (ICDD)
    University of Kassel
    Kurt-Schumacher-Strasse 2
    34117 Kassel, Germany

    Alternatively, it can be sent as a scanned copy from the referee´s email account to: graduateschool@icdd.uni-kassel.de

    The letter of recommendation must also arrive at the ICDD no later than 20 November
If you are selected for admission, officially authenticated photocopies of all the documents and translations as well as a hard copy of the letter of recommendation in a sealed envelope (if previously sent by email) will have to be presented.

For further information please visit the website of the ICDD Graduate School:

Or contact:
Mr. Christian Möllmann (ICDD, Germany), phone + 49 (0)561 804 7395, moellmann@unikassel.de.

Application Deadline: 20 November 2011
Open to International students: Yes

Resource: 2012 Call for Applications (pdf)

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