Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (Doctoral Studies)

This Ph.D. course is offered to candidates from all over the world. Language of instruction is English, but the programme includes a German language crash course. Prior to the thesis research, course work of about four months is needed. The thesis research may deal with any kind of agricultural development at micro, regional or macro level, including related fields like environment or rural development of the candidate’s home country.

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Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Location The Justus Liebig University was founded as one of the first universities in the German-speaking world. Justus Liebig University combines up-to-date research and teaching with the tradition of a university which is now almost 400 years old. Today, the university has about 22,000 students, about 10 per cent of whom belong to the newly founded faculty of Agriculture, Food Sciences and Environmental Management.

The University of Hohenheim, which was founded in 1818, is located outside the city of Stuttgart close to the airport. The main building is an old castle surrounded by large parks and two experimental farms. Short distances between all campus facilities make the orientation for new incoming students easy and allow a familiar atmosphere. Agriculture is a dominant faculty with a large number of international students, extensive curricula and a high proportion of Ph.D. students.

Course focus This Ph.D. course is offered to candidates from all over the world. Language of instruction is English, but the programme includes a German language crash course. Prior to the thesis research, course work of about four months is needed. The thesis research may deal with any kind of agricultural development at micro, regional or macro level, including related fields like environment or rural development of the candidate’s home country. The aim is to qualify the candidates as researchers and teachers, who are then able to analyse problems and develop solutions for their home countries in a systematic way. Today, most of the former students are acting as multipliers of knowledge at universities or other institutions in their home countries. This objective is supported by the many ongoing cooperation and continuing exchange activities that take place after completion of the programme in Giessen or Hohenheim.
Target group Young scientists from Africa, Asia or Latin America with two years of professional experience after receiving their M.Sc. degree. Applications are invited primarily from universities and national and inter- national research institutions for staff development, but applications from M.Sc. degree holders already employed in government, administration, consultancies, international agencies and industry are also accepted.
Course language English
Entry requirements
  • Master’s degree or equivalent is required with a minimum grade of A or B (the better the grade, the higher the chances)
  • Master’s exam should have been completed at least two years before applying to ensure that the candidate has ample work experience
  • TOEFL with a minimum of 213 points computer based, 550 points paper based, 79 points internet based or equivalent is prerequisite
Degree Awarded Dr. sc. agr. / (Ph.D.)
Course Begins 1 June each year
Course Duration In total 42 months

  • a) German language course (four months) at the University of Giessen in June every year
  • b) Course work (four months) at Giessen or Hohenheim, three modules and exams selected from areas relevant to the thesis topic
  • c) Research design (two months), literature review, conceptional preparation or research and fieldwork
  • d) Fieldwork in the home country (maximum six months). Ph.D. students will go to their home countries to
    • create a base of information for the dissertation,
    • promote contacts with native institutions,
    • ensure a cultural link between candidates and their home countries.

Close collaboration between Giessen/Hohenheim and the home institution/university is supported. The supervisor from Giessen/Hohenheim will visit the home country of the Ph.D. student before the start of data collection.

  • e) Analysis and Problem Solving Strategies (22 months). After returning to the University of Giessen/Hohenheim, processing of information and analyses of past development and current situation related to the research problem and objectives is needed. This is followed by future impact modelling and testing of alternative strategies to assess future problem solving activities.
  • f) Writing of the Dissertation and Examination (4 months). During this period the candidates are simultaneously encouraged to publish articles and submit posters and papers to international workshops and symposia. The dissertations are published and are therefore easily accessible to the international research community.
Remarks The selection of candidates depends on the fulfilment of the faculty entry requirements and the availability of a supervisor. Since scholar- ships are offered from different institutions, the conditions may some- times vary. The Programme Office supports candidates in finding a scholarship.

Candidates are also encouraged to find a sponsor or funding organisation and scholarship through own activities. For any support in such activities, please contact the Programme Office in Giessen or Hohen- heim. A list of German institutions offering scholarships can also be provided.

The final decision on the topic of the thesis is made jointly by the candidate and the supervisor. The research should fit into the overall research programme of the supervisor. The language of the courses and seminars as well as of publications, including the Ph.D. thesis, is English. Very good English language proficiency is a precondition for writing the Ph.D. thesis.

Continuous cooperation It is in the philosophy of the programme to support continuing relations and establish cooperation between the University of Giessen/Hohen- heim and the doctoral graduates as well as the respective institutions in which they work.

Institut für Betriebslehre der Agrar- und Ernährungswirtschaft
Professur für Projekt- und Regionalplanung
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bauer
Senckenbergstraße 3
D-35390 Giessen

Phone: +49 (0) 641 / 99-37311
Fax: +49 (0) 641 / 99-37319