Anna Schwachula

Research themes
  • Science policy
Research countries
  • Brazil
  • Germany
  • Peru
Research topic
Science for development
Professional experience

Senior scientific officer for S&T cooperation with Latin America at the International Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2008 - 2012)


Programme officer in charge of Latin American research fellows at the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (2007-2008)


Magister (MA) in Comparative Literature, North American Culture and Literature, and Sociology, Bonn University 2006

Thesis title

Scientific cooperation for development.An analysis of BMBF policy, funding schemes and implemented projects within the ‘Research for Sustainability Programme’

Thesis abstract

The PhD thesis, working title Scientific cooperation for development? An analysis of BMBF policy, funding schemes and implemented projects within the ‘Research for Sustainability Programme’, will reflect on the idea of „science for development“ - the potential influence of science on development in its social, economic and ecological dimension. The aim of research is to shed further light on German science policy implementation in an international context. The focus lies on research policy and funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the field of sustainability research, which are aimed at supporting research cooperation between Germany and emerging economies or developing countries.

The BMBF’s underlying justification of funding international research cooperation in the field of sustainability research is that thereby a contribution to sustainable ecological and socio-economic development in the partner countries is made. On this background, the PhD thesis wants to investigate the interlinkages between science policy design, funding objectives and the subsequent implementation of projects as a central research objective. I will analyze which conceptualizations of innovation and development underlie BMBF policies for research cooperation with developing countries and emerging economies, which objectives BMBF policies have, and how these are transmitted from the policy level through the funding level to the implementation of research projects.

The research will be operationalized on different levels: First, the political and institutional framework of scientific cooperation in BMBF-funded sustainability programme lines and funding schemes will examined in view of their objectives to contribute to specific development aspects. Second, the implementation level will be addressed: the cooperation in the field of sustainability research in practice and its challenges of implementation. On the one hand, I will investigate how funding policies influence research in practice, on the other hand, I will analyze which mechanisms research projects apply in order to increase benefits for development, such as the uptake of research-based solutions for real world problems.

Data on the political and funding level will be collected in qualitative interviews with BMBF staff as well external political and scientific experts. Data on the implementation level will be collected through interviews and participant observation: Water-related research projects in Peru (LiWa) and Brazil (IWAS Agua DF) are taken as exemplary in-depth case studies, while further projects between Germany and countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe will be included in the study through expert interviews. As a result of this research, recommendations directed at the policy level will be elaborated, as well as a set of „cooperation success criteria“, meant as guidelines for future projects and aimed at maximizing the benefits of research cooperation for selected aspects related to development.

Doctoral research funded by

DAAD, Foundation fiat panis & own funds

Supervisors of
doctoral work

Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge

There are no publications of this person.

Anna Schwachula

Junior Researcher