5 PhD fellowships in Development Studies

ISS 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

ISS 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 Opens externalof the ISS research programme.

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 into the PhD programme.


The PhD fellowships are available only for citizens of countries that are 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 recognized 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, 5000 words). For further guidelines and examples of proposals, see the website.
  3. Good command of English, both orally 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 recognized authority  with the following result:
    IELTS: 7.0 overall for the Academic Test
    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.


The application process does not open until 15 January 2018 – you cannot apply for a fellowship before this date.

ISS has an online application processOpens external 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.

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



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