PhD Programme International Relation/Peace and Development Studies

In the past years, doctorial training programmes have been shifted into the centre of attention in the field of German research area. This resulted from the fact that many PhD students were confronted with considerable methodological and practical problems concerning their researches and private lives. The concepts that have been applied so far show that requirements are not adaquately met. Therefore it often takes longer to finish their PhD thesis than planned.

Against this background, in autumn 2006 Prof Tobias Debiel and Prof Christof Hartmann (University of Duisburg-Essen) have devised a structured PhD course in close cooperation with the INEF, as well as Prof Hartwig Hummel (Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf) and Prof Walter Eberlei (University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf). The PhD course is designed as a complementary tuition programme for those PhD students supervised by the mentioned professors.


Structuring: The PhD 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 PhD students are familiarised with selected methods and theoretical approaches. The courses are closely planned in cooperation with the PhD students, allowing them to integrate the respective knowledge in their PhD projects.

Networking: The programme does not only allow the networking among the students but also the connection between the PhD 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 PhD regulations of the participating Universities, a condition to take part in the PhD course is the supervision of the PhD 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

  • Experiences 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 Walter Eberlei (University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf)
  • Prof Christof Hartmann (Professor of International Relations and Development with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa at the University of Duisburg-Essen)
  • Prof Hartwig Hummel (Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf)

Supervision by one of these professors is mandatory for participation.

Further Information

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".