How to Apply

How to Apply

The application period for the Intake 2024 started on 15 November 2023. The application deadline is 31 March 2024.
Applications have to be submitted via the online application platform:

Candidates with an above-average advanced degree in Human Geography, Law, Social or Political Science, Economics, Development Management or related subjects from all over the world who aspire further scientific qualification through a research project related to "International Development Studies" and have a strong interest in interdisciplinary work are invited to apply for the programme.

Minimum Entry Requirements

  • Qualified university degree (Master or an equivalent to the German Diploma or Staatsexamen) with an overall grade equivalent to 2.7 (fully satisfactory) in the German grading system after completion of relevant studies with a duration of at least 4 years.

  • Qualified degree with an overall grade equivalent to 1.3 (still very good) in the German grading system after completion of relevant studies with a duration of at least three years plus preparatory studies for the PhD of usually three semesters.

For international degrees the equivalence will be judged during the application process. Candidates who have to follow preparatory studies before admission to the PhD in International Development Studies can be accepted for such preparatory studies at the Ruhr-University Bochum.


Admission to the PhD IDS is based on a competitive selection process. The major criteria are:
  • Quality of research proposal
  • Supporting academic references
  • Relevance and overall grades of previous studies
  • Proficiency in English

Documents That Have to Be Submitted for Application

  • Application letter which should give an idea about the motivation for applying to the PhD in International Development Studies
  • Research proposal of PhD project of max. 5 pages (Guidelines for writing a research proposal - Download)
  • Full Curriculum Vitae (see templates as PDF, Word)
  • Certificates and transcripts of university studies, certificate of secondary education
  • Official certificate confirming applicant's English language proficiency equivalent to CEFR level C1 (e.g. IELTS Band 7 or TOEFL iBT 94 or above). If you are a native speaker, or if English has been your language of instruction in your third education (BA/BSc/MA/MSc), a proof of your English language proficiency is not compulsory but nonetheless recommended.
  • Two recent academic recommendation letters. At least one of the letters has to be provided by a lecturer of the study programme which qualifies for the PhD application, e.g. Master or equivalent.

PhD IDS: Contact


Dipl.-Ök. Britta Niklas
Coordinator PhD-IDS

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:  +49 (0)234 / 32-25148
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

PhD IDS - How to Apply: Downloads