5 PhD fellowships in Development Studies

Erasmus University Rotterdam - International Institute of Social Studies

Erasmus University Rotterdam
The expertise of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is concentrated in the fields of Business Administration, Economics, Medicine and Health Sciences, Law, Psychology, Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, Sociology, Public Administration, History, Arts and Culture, Media and Communication, Philosophy, and International Development Studies. In addition to the initial degree programmes and scientific research, the University offers specific postgraduate study programmes and courses. Erasmus University has around 25,000 students and some 2,500 staff members.

The International Institute of Social Studies
The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) is a leading academic centre for international development studies in The Hague and is part of the EUR. It is a post-graduate institute of policy-oriented critical social science, founded in 1952. The institute offers a PhD in Development Studies, a 15.5-month MA in Development studies with five Majors, and several post-graduate Diploma courses.

ISS is a highly diverse international community of scholars and students from the global South and the North hailing from over 50 different countries. It brings together people, ideas, and insights in a multidisciplinary setting which nurtures, fosters, and promotes critical thinking, and conducts innovative research into fundamental social problems. The strong partnerships with organizations and individuals in developing countries make up a network where we co-create knowledge so that teaching and research remain socially relevant. Key to the ISS philosophy and practice is the wish to make a contribution to achieving social justice and equity on a global level. Our research focuses on understanding developmental problems that exist in different parts of the world. With our teaching ISS aims to train our students to be global critical citizens, professionals, and change agents who are able to make a difference in the world. ISS also acquires and manages externally funded projects for teaching, research, and capacity building from a wide range of donors, including NWO, Nuffic, European Commission, among others.

The International Institute of Social Studies is recruiting outstanding students for

5 PhD fellowships in Development Studies

within the ISS research programme Global Development and Social Justice.

Thematic areas

In the 2018 round, holders of a Master’s degree can apply for research positions related to the following cross-cutting themes in the ISS research programme Global Development and Social Justice:

  • Migration and diversity;
  • Environment and climate change;
  • Social protection and inequality;
  • Conflict and peace.

The institute has a clear preference to recruit PhD students who are working on one of these themes from an interdisciplinary approach to development research. We favour proposals that speak to more than one of the four current research lines of the ISS research programme (see http://www.iss.nl/research/research_programmes).

Terms of the fellowships
The PhD fellowships are for a maximum period of four years, starting in 2018.

PhD students will receive a fellowship of approximately €1,750 net per month, plus an additional allowance to cover the costs of their field work, which normally takes place during the second year of the PhD programme.

To be eligible for the PhD fellowship, you need to be a citizens of a country that is not part of the European Economic Area. Candidates from African, low-income or low-middle-income countries are especially encouraged to apply.

For all fellowships, applicants should submit the following:

  1. Proof of having obtained a first-class or excellent MA Degree (if applicable, a degree with GPA of at least 3.70) in one of the Social Sciences or equivalent, comprising at least four years of study at an internationally recognised university or Institute for Higher Education, as evidenced by certified copies of degrees and diplomas, and by copies of academic transcripts.
  2. A research proposal in one of the areas indicated above (approx. 10 pages, 5,000 words). For further guidelines and examples of proposals, see: https://www.iss.nl/en/education/phd-programme/research-proposal.
  3. Good command of English, both verbally and in writing, as evidenced by holding a degree from an English-speaking university or by supplying the results of a proficiency test from a recognised authority with the following result:
    IELTS: 7.0
    TOEFL PBT: 600
    TOEFL CBT: 250
    TOEFL IBT: 100
  4. Reference letters of at least three referees, who should be able to provide information about the applicant’s academic strengths.


ISS has an online application process consisting of several steps which require you to provide information and upload supporting documents. All documents can be uploaded directly from your computer. Make sure that multiple page documents are submitted as one file.

Further information on the system can be found here:


One of the first questions you will have to answer is whether you want to apply for one of these fellowship and for which field of study you want to be considered. You can select only one field of study.


Applications for these scholarships can only be submitted between 15 January and 15 March 2018.

Only complete applications which meet all requirements will be taken into consideration. As soon as your application is complete you will be informed whether your application will be sent to the selection committee. A (skype) interview might be part of the selection process. The selection committee will reach a decision in the first half of April.

More information can be obtained from Professor Wil Hout, Deputy Rector for Research (hout@iss.nl).

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