International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE)

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Call for Ph.D. Scholarship Applications in Social Policy Studies - Deadline: 30 April 2023

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Tuesday 11 April 2023

Our cooperation partner Centre for Social Policy Studies (CSPS) at the University of Ghana, in collaboration with WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use), the International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Germany) and the Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development announce a call for a Ph.D. Scholarship in Social Policy Studies (with a focus on Frameworks and Incentive Systems for Sustainable Land Management).

Ph.D. Scholarship in Social Policy Studies
(with a focus on Frameworks and Incentive Systems for Sustainable Land Management)

at the Centre for Social Policy Studies (CSPS),
University of Ghana

May 2023 – September 2026
Deadline: 30 April 2023

Land management is influenced by the decisions and behaviors of landowners/managers and framed by local socioeconomic context, infrastructure, and governance systems. For sustainable land management, the design of incentive systems for successful implementation and long-term behavioral change is a focus of analysis. The Ph.D. scholarship is part of the INTERFACES project (Supporting Pathways to Sustainable Land Management in Africa), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF. The successful Ph.D. student is expected to combine two complementary perspectives in his/her dissertation: First, the doctoral research will seek to understand what frameworks for sustainable land management exist or are possible and how different frameworks influence the behaviour of land users. Second, it will identify strategies to bridge the gap between knowledge and behaviour change.

The scholarship will run from 15 May 2023 to 30 September 2026. The applicant will initially be offered a Research Assistant position and begin the Ph.D. scholarship once s/he is enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Social Policy Studies at CSPS, University of Ghana.


What they offer

  • Full funding for field work, travel, and research costs for PhD progamme until 30 September 2026.
  • Academic advising and thesis supervision from senior scholars in social policy, development economics and sustainable development at the University of Ghana, Bonn Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and the Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development (UK).
  • An exciting and varied research role in an innovative environment.
  • The opportunity to work in an international and intercultural project that will build your professional network in West Africa and Germany.



In the course of the research assistantship and Ph.D. scholarship over three years, the successful applicant must deliver on the following:

  • Identification and evaluation of incentive instruments and incentive systems for sustainable land management.
  • Organization and facilitation of stakeholder workshops.
  • Presentation of (preliminary) results in seminars, scientific events, and/ or lectures.
  • Publication of research.
  • Assistance in the preparation of sub-project reports.



  • A master’s degree in economics, Psychology, Agriculture, Development Studies, Land Management, or related areas.
  • Interest in and familiarity with data-driven analysis is an advantage. Previous research experience using mix-methods is preferred. Excellent communication and intercultural skills.
  • Experience facilitating and organizing workshops is an advantage.


These criteria are in addition to general requirements by the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Ghana. The scholarship will be granted once the School of Graduate Studies formally enrolls the successful applicant into the Ph.D. program at CSPS.

How to apply

Please send your application documents in one PDF file (with the subject line "Ph.D. scholarship application") to by 30 April 2023.

  • The application should consist of a statement of purpose (no more than 2000 words) title and abstract of master’s thesis.
  • CV.
  • Academic transcripts (first and second degrees) copies of Bachelor's and master’s certificates.
  • Names and contact details (email and phone) of two academic referees.

Cooperation partners

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