PhD Development Policy and Management / Programme details

Year of entry: 2022

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Programme description

PhDs in the Global Development Institute

As a PhD researcher in Development Policy and Management you will pursue research as part of a multidisciplinary research community in the Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College , a part of the Global Development Institute (GDI) .

The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College is a world-class community of doctoral researchers contributing to socially just global development through the research of its members and their progression into leadership roles in public, private and civic institutions. The College aims to:

  • create an identity for groups of postgraduate researchers so that they feel part of a cohesive sub-community in a larger and stimulating academic community (the GDI);
  • encourage all postgraduate researchers to think about the relevance of their research for policymakers, practitioners and public understanding, and to pursue opportunities to share their findings;
  • provide opportunities for postgraduate researchers to gain practical skills and work experience that are beyond the opportunities provided by existing doctoral programmes (e.g., communications training, policy advocacy, public engagement, providing consultancy services to governments and other development agencies, convening and running conferences);
  • enhance engagement between postgraduate researchers and academic staff in the GDI to encourage innovation and collaboration in research and teaching. This, in addition, will enable PGRs to contribute support to the learning experienced by GDI's 450-plus intake of master's students;
  • facilitate PGR contributions to research within the GDI, the School and the University.

In the Global Development Institute (GDI) we are organised into seven research groups working on a range of themes. The seven research groups are:

PhD researchers make an essential contribution to the vibrant research environment that is the GDI and when you join us you can expect to be integrated into one or more of these research groups where your research will be nurtured and supported during the duration of your stay here.

Special features

Fortunate Machingura

I did my PhD on allowable deaths and valuing human lives, because that has always been central to what I wanted to understand.

So I got the opportunity to do exactly what I wanted to do: something that would not just help me study and gain a PhD, but something that would help me change lives.

Fortunate Machingura / Graduate (2016)

Teaching and learning

When you become a postgraduate researcher, you'll join a diverse and vibrant community of doctoral students from nearly 100 different countries, all studying within the Faculty of Humanities.

You'll be assigned to a specific research grouping that complements your research interests and have access to a variety of interdisciplinary research institutes.

Our working environments are often spacious and open plan, giving you plenty of opportunities to communicate with colleagues and staff within the School, and you will have your own desk space as well as access to our fantastic range of libraries on campus.

All our academic supervisors are research active and will support you to work on challenging research problems and develop rigorous, creative and original research.

You can expect to meet with your supervisor at least once a month to discuss progress on your project.

As a postgraduate researcher, you'll have access to a large and diverse community of internationally recognised academic experts offering an environment that will stimulate intellectual debate and development. We provide additional financial support for several activities related to your PhD, including:

  • presenting at international conferences;
  • attending workshops that provide relevant professional opportunities;
  • conducting fieldwork in the UK and overseas.

What our students say

I wanted to be trained at one of the best institutions in the world.

GDI was a natural option, and thanks to the Leverhulme Trust, I managed to get here.

I got the opportunity to do exactly what I wanted to do: something that would not just help me study and gain a PhD, but something that would help me change lives, ultimately - my life and others.

A PhD gives you opportunities to engage on different platforms: with a PhD you're recognised as knowledgeable in your area.

People enjoy listening to people who have done good research, especially at reputable institutions.

Given that GDI continues to be in the most respected institutions in global development, my PhD is quite something.

I'm really proud of being a product of this institution.

When I got to the UK - it was a very different culture, very different context, and the school environment is also very different so I didn't know what to expect - but coming to GDI - it's so diverse and very international!

So, it was very easy for me to feel at home, immediately. I just fit in.

It's such a place that you just feel at home because you can identify.

That was amazing for me.

My team of supervisors were unbelievably awesome.

My primary supervisor, Prof Phil Woodhouse, was just fantastic.

Dr Admos Chimhowu is phenomenal.

Prof Sarah Bracking too - just an incredible team!

And not just that team - you get to engage with other folks in the department.

Everybody has an open-door policy so you know that so-and-so is an expert on this, you just knock, get in and say, 'Look, this is my issue, can you help me?' and they will set aside time for you - to engage with you on that, give you materials, and say, 'Can you come back again?'

That's amazing.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

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