ZEF doctoral studies program aims at young scientists from all over the world with an exceptional master’s or equivalent degree. Bonn International Graduate Studies for Development Research (BIGS-DR) is a doctoral program which is part of the Center for Development (ZEF).

Subject areas:

  • Economics
  • Social Sciences
  • Sociology
  • Political Science
  • Economics, Development Economics
  • Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Agronomy
  • Biology, Ecology, Forestry
  • Mathematics
  • Earth Sciences

Duration: 3 years

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Applicant must have an outstanding master or equivalent degree
  • Applicant must have scored GPA higher than 3.0 in the American system, or a grade higher than 2.0 in the German system or equivalent.
  • Applicant having work experience in national or international research institutions, governments, or the private sector will be preferred.
  • Applicant must show interest in interdisciplinary research.
  • The doctoral program is conducted in English, therefore English language skills are required: IELTS (band 6) certificate or TOEFL (minimum score: 550 paper based, 213 computer-based, 80 internet-based).
  • Students can attend a two-month German language course prior to the study program
  • There is no age limit for applying to the doctoral program at ZEF. But, applicant’s last academic degree must be obtained less than 6 years prior to application.
  • Application must contain a Graduate Research Statement (describe a development problem; main research questions; proposed methods; literature references). The statement must be of maximum 4 pages. –

DAAD Scholarship:

  • To be eligible to receiving a DAAD scholarship applicant must have at least 2 years of relevant professional experience.

How to apply:

  1. Register online
  2. Application for admission

Application Deadlines:

  • Applications can be submitted at any time, particularly if the applicant already has a scholarship or if applicant wishes to apply for a scholarship not provided by DAAD.
  • DAAD and other funders have their own deadlines
  • ZEF’s Doctoral Studies Program starts on October 1, annually.
Quick Overview————-
Organization University of Bonn
Fellowship Level Doctoral
Country Germany
Subject areas Biology, Economics, Mathematics, Social Sciences
Fellowship amount Varies
Eligibility Open to all nationalities
Deadline 31 August (yearly)



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