PhD Scho­lar­ships


The GPN is an interdisciplinary and international network of excellence with the head office located at the University of Kassel (Germany) and partner universities in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. It co-operates closely with various partner NGOs in the respective countries. The GPN is funded by the programme “Exceed – 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). 

In the framework of its Graduate School of Research for Global Partnership, the GPN invites students from ODA recipient countries to apply for a PhD scholarship at a GPN partner university. Further, it will enable and fund research co-operations between partner universities working on Global Partnership in the global economy (in the fields of agriculture, finance, and energy), in development cooperation (access, accountability, deep participation) and/or in knowledge production (Eurocentrism and alternative knowledge). 

The GPN is committed to creating equal opportunities for doctoral candidates. We particularly encourage women and people from other marginalized groups to apply.

Ap­p­li­ca­ti­on Dead­line

May 7, 2020 (12:00PM, GMT+1)

Re­se­arch To­pics

PhD research proposals are required to address one ofthe GPN research clusters:

  • Cluster 1: Partnership in development cooperation: access, accountability, and deep participation
  • Cluster 2: Partnership in the global economy: agriculture, finance, and energy
  • Cluster 3: Partnership in knowledge production: Eurocentrism and alternative knowledge

What We Of­fer

Building on successful earlier initiatives, the network will include a graduate programme in which PhD students are co-supervised by professors from two partner universities. The supervisors are chosen by the PhD student based on thematic preferences and if they agree to the supervision, they will monitor the thesis progress at least once every three months in a one-hour online session. The PhD student will spend at least six months at the partner university of the second supervisor. 

PhD students of the GPN Graduate School will be based at the respective partner universities (see above) and enrolled in the virtual PhD training programme. Moreover, successful candidates participate in the annual PhD virtual conferences of the GPN Graduate School and get involved in the lively academic exchange and activities within the GPN network.

The PhD scholarship will be awarded for three years. An extension for a fourth year is possible under certain conditions. In exceptional cases, preparatory PhD grants are given for up to one year for students (especially from countries with weaker higher education systems) who exhibit potential for interesting research but need more academic training. This grant will enable them to attend courses in one of the partner universities and improve their proposal.The scholarships will cover a country-specific monthly living allowance (including a family allowance if applicable), the participation in virtual GPN Graduate School activities as well as the opportunity to apply for funding towards completing empirical research. Final admission to the GPN Graduate School is conditioned on the admittance to the PhD programme of the chosen GPN partner universityand a positive progress evaluation by the GPN in the first scholarship year.

Ap­p­li­ca­ti­on Re­qui­re­ments

  • a completed or almost completed MA/MSc degree (in the final phase of submitting the thesis/dissertation), with very good 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 very high proficiency in English (CEFR level: C1 or above) demonstrated by one of the following language certificates: TOEFL, with a minimum score of 95 IBT (Internet-based test); IELTS 7.0 or above; the Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English or an equivalent; native speakers and applicants who have completed [one of] their first degree[s] fully in English do not have to provide an English proficiency certificate; if the PhD dissertation will be written in another language than English: a high proficiency of English (CEFR level: B2 or above) for the participation in the Graduate School demonstrated by one of the just mentioned language certificates.
  • academic or vocational experience in one of the disciplines related to the thematic field of global partnership;
  • citizenship of an ODA recipient country 

Ap­p­li­ca­ti­on Pro­ce­du­re 

The application process involves three elements. Your application is only complete if all three are submitted:

Step 1: Ap­p­li­ca­ti­on pa­cka­ge

Step 2: Com­ple­ti­on of the on­line ap­p­li­ca­ti­on form and upload of your ap­p­li­ca­ti­on pa­cka­ge

Step 3: Two let­ters of re­com­men­da­ti­on

For further information or questions, please contact the GPN Graduate School staff (graduateschool.gpn[at]uni-kassel[dot]de).

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