Ph.D. Programme International Relation/Peace and Development Studies

Together with the professorships of International Relations and Development Policy at the Institute for Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Prof. Dr. Tobias Debiel, Prof. Dr. Christof Hartmann), INEF offers a doctoral programme in the field of "International Relations / Peace and Development Research".

The programme does not receive third-party funding and therefore cannot offer scholarships.

Supervision by one of the professors mentioned above is a prerequisite for participation in the Ph.D. programme.

The participating doctoral students are integrated into a structure which enables them to plan their Ph.D. project in manageable individual steps. In addition, they are familiarized with selected methods and theoretical approaches in regularly offered workshops. The programme not only facilitates networking among the doctoral students, but also serves to link individual Ph.D. projects with the research profiles of the participating institutes.

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Structuring: The Ph.D. students are integrated into a structure that allows them to plan their PhD project into straightforward individual steps and to finish it within three years if possible.

Method and Theory Training: The Ph.D. students are familiarised with selected methods and theoretical approaches. The courses are closely planned in cooperation with the Ph.D. students, allowing them to integrate the respective knowledge in their Ph.D. projects.

Networking: The programme does not only allow the networking among the students but also the connection between the Ph.D. projects and the research profiles of the participating institutes. Hereby, research and publication output can be increased significantly.


Beside the qualifications and requirements in the Ph.D. regulations of the participating Universities, a condition to take part in the Ph.D. course is the supervision of the Ph.D. project by one of the professors of the core team. Please contact the person in question directly (see Core Team).


The course focuses thematically on the research fields International Relations, Peace and Conflict Research and Development and Transformation Research. Beyond that, the following topics are addressed during three two-day workshops per year:

  • Training of selected theoretic approaches, which can be used within the development of the research design
  • Applied tuition of Social Sciences methods with an emphasis on qualitative methods
  • Experience and strategies for the challenges in the writing process as well as during field research
  • Presentation and discussion of drafts, while every participant has to pass three 'mile stones': (1) exposé (2) planning and discussion of the empirical part of the research (field research, document and content analysis, discourse analysis, expert interviews etc.) (3) results
  • Analysis of theses as "best practices" and "worst practices"
  • Organisation of joint conference panels

Core team

  • Prof Tobias Debiel (Professor of International Relations and Development at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Director of INEF)
  • Prof Christof Hartmann (Professor of International Relations and Development with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa at the University of Duisburg-Essen)

The programme is designed as an accompanying training measure for PhD candidates supervised by the professors listed above.


You find further information and details on doctoral degrees at the Faculty of Social Science (University Duisburg-Essen) on the site of the doctoral programme doknet.

UAR Graduate Centre

The UA Ruhr Graduate Centre for Development Studies is a collaboration project in the framework of the University Alliance Metropolis Ruhr (UAR). The three involved institutes from the Ruhr-University Bochum and the University Duisburg-Essen cooperate to conjoin their distinctive research and teaching areas for complementary benefits. Pease find further information about the Graduate Centre here.