ISS Holland-Wits University Joint PhD Programme for International Students

Call for PhD Candidates:
ISS-Wits Joint PhD Programme

Course(s) Offered: Law, Society, Development
Course Level: Graduate (doctoral)
Provider: ISS, Wits
Country to Study in: Netherlands, South Africa

Scholarship Description
The Wits School of Law and International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) (Erasmus University Rotterdam) invites applications from prospective PhD applicants on a range of topics in international law, society and development.

This programme makes it possible for candidates to obtain a joint PhD degree from both Erasmus University Rotterdam, through the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) and the University of the Witwatersrand, through the Oliver Schreiner School of Law.

The ISS-Wits joint programme offers fee waivers to successful applicants. In addition, various scholarships may be available depending on the nationality of the candidate (please see official websites). The programme forms part of the ISS research group on Governance, Globalisation and Social Justice (GGSJ).

ISS-Wits Joint PhD Programme

Applicants must be at entry-level for a PhD with an average of at least 70% in a Master’s degree within a relevant area.

Successful applicants will be required to satisfy the full admission requirements for doctoral candidates at each participating institution and will at that point receive instructions for doing so.
Upon successful admission to the joint programme, each candidate will be designated at least two academic supervisors, one based at Wits, the other at ISS. Supervision will take place through a combination of in-person and Skype meetings and other forms of digital communication.

You must also satisfy the full candidate profile required. Please see the official website (link to it is below) for detailed information.

Eligible groups
Citizens of ANY country may apply

Participating Institutions
International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam
Oliver Schreiner School of Law, Wits University, South Africa

Fields of study
PhD level studies on a range of topics in international law, society and development such as:
  • Critical, development-oriented aspects of trade and investment
  • Socio-economic deprivation
  • Human rights and humanitarian law
  • Gender
  • Health and the environment.
The ISS-Wits joint programme forms part of the ISS research group on Governance, Globalisation and Social Justice (GGSJ). Research performed by members of the group explores how and to what extent particular governance arrangements help or hinder the achievement of goals of social justice.

Number of awards
Not specified by sponsors

Sponsorship duration
The programme will run during the inception period for three years (January 2016 – January 2019), with a possible extension

Scholarship benefits
Applicants who are successfully admitted to the programme will be waived of tuition fees from both ISS and Wits

Method of Application
Interested applicants may apply for entry into the ISS-Wits Joint PhD Programme by emailing the following to Ms Raquel McBride (
  • An expression of interest that outlines the gist of the PhD study that you wish to undertake (approximately five pages in length excluding your preliminary bibliography);
  • Academic transcript; and
  • Curriculum Vitae.
It is important to visit the official website (link to it is below) for complete information on how to apply for this joint postgraduate programme

Deadline for initial applications was 15 May 2016 (extended); but now extended. Closing date for applications is now 15 June 2017

Successful applicants will be notified by 30 June 2017.

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, is a multi-campus South African public research university situated in the northern areas of central Johannesburg. It is more commonly known as Wits University. The university has its roots in the mining industry, as do Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand in general. Founded in 1896 as the South African School of Mines in Kimberley, it is the third oldest South African university in continuous operation, after the University of Cape Town (founded in 1829), and Stellenbosch University (founded in 1866).

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague is a unique, independent and international graduate school in the social sciences. The Institute of Social Studies was established in the aftermath of World War II at a time when there was widespread concern in Europe about reconstruction and when decolonization had been set in motion in India, Pakistan, Ceylon and then Indonesia. The Dutch government set up a development institute, the Institute of Social Studies, in 1952. It was the first of its kind in Europe, an innovative and far-reaching move that was to prove well ahead of its time.

Application Deadline: 15 June 2017
Open to International Applicants: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application(ISS page)
More Scholarship Information and Application(Wits page)

Related: Scholarships in Country for International Students

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