DAAD in Germany is offering scholarships for the PhD Programme, Bonn International Graduate School for Development Research (BIGS-DR) is the at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn in 2021.

BIGS-DR is an excellent choice as a stepping stone for your international career in the field of development cooperation, policy or research. Their mission is to attract young scientists from all over the world to pursue their development research interests. Under BIGS-DR, students are exposed to an international community guided by a challenging research environment.

BIGS-DR students are part of an international academic community of students, researchers, faculty, and alumni. Their students come from diverse academic and regional backgrounds, and our faculty are engaged with various institutions and projects across the globe. They have collaborations with international universities and institutes where they conduct joint seminars and project development.

Their full-time doctoral program has a duration of 3.5 years. Doctoral students will participate in course work, conduct their field research, and complete their thesis within this time frame. In addition to courses, students take part in softskill workshops that train them in academic writing, intercultural working, leadership skill, and ethical considerations.

Worth of Award

  • The DAAD scholarship covers the cost of living, travel expenses, a health insurance subsidy, and generous support for accompanying family members.


  • Complete the checklist and place this page as the first document in your application.
  • Your motivation letter should be roughly one page in length. Describe your reasons for applying to BIGS-DR, your academic and professional background, why you are well suited to join our program, future career plans, and any other information that may help the selection committee evaluate your aptitude for research.
  • If you are applying for an external scholarship, this is where you should include information about your foundation or sponsor, including any deadlines or additional requirements they may have.
  • Complete the BIGS-DR admission application and sign the document.
  • If you are applying for our internal scholarship (EPOS/DAAD), please make sure that you meet the requirements. Internal scholarship applicants should follow the BIGS-DR admission requirements and submit their application to BIGS-DR only. The EPOS/DAAD application form should be completed and attached to your application PDF file.
  • If you are applying with external funding, please make sure that you include the necessary documents and information.
  • Resumes are required of all applicants.
  • The GRS is a description of your proposed research. The length should not exceed four pages. 
  • Your abstract should not exceed one page.
  • Starting with the most recent degree, all copies of your university certificates and transcripts should be accompanied by an English translation (does not need to be notarized).
  • Please see their requirements about English proficiency eligibility and proof.
  • If you are currently employed, a statement from your current employer will be helpful in your application for a scholarship. The statement should indicate that your employer is interested in having you pursue doctoral study and is willing to grant you a leave of absence for this purpose.
  • A successful GRE or GMAT score demonstrates quantitative and analytical aptitude, and may increase your chances of admittance.
  • A list of recent publications demonstrates your capacity for research and scientific enquiry, and may increase your chances of admittance. For applicants whose last degree was not conferred recently, a list of recent publications is required.
  • They require two letters of recommendation or two BIGS-DR reference forms. They should be sent directly to bigs-dr[at]uni-bonn.de by the referees.

How to Apply

  • Prospective applicants must first register online. After you have completed your online registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing your personal registration number and further information for your application.
  • Your personal registration number is important for the application process. In correspondences with the coordination team, please always mention your registration number.
  • Once you submit your online registration, you will not be able to revise any data. If something needs to be changed, please contact the coordination team.
  • BIGS-DR coordination team
    Dr. Günther Manske
    Ms. Maike Retat-AminEmail

Deadline: Application deadline is 23:59 CEST (UTC/GMT +2)
August 31st, annually


Click here for more details and to apply

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