About ZEF

Executive Director
Department of Economic and Technological Change (ZEF B)

Prof. Dr. Matin Qaim


Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management (ZEF C)

Prof. Dr. Christian Borgemeister


Acting Director
Department of Political and Cultural Change (ZEF A)

PD Dr. Eva Youkhana


The Center for Development Research (ZEF) is an institute of the University of Bonn, Germany. It started its research activities in 1997. ZEF's researchers aim to find science-based solutions to development-related issues. ZEF’s research departments on Economic and Technological Change, Political and Cultural Change, and  Ecology and Natural Resources Management conduct inter- and trans-disciplinary research in, for and with emerging economies and on global issues with its collaborating research partners around the world. ZEF educates doctoral students from all over the world in its Doctoral Studies Program. ZEF is guided by an International Advisory Board

General information about ZEF
in English   

Policy dialogue and public awareness

ZEF maintains an active dialogue with representatives from governmental and non-governmental bodies, as well as with national and international organizations for science and development cooperation and with the private and business sectors. With a number of non-scientific publications and events the Center reaches out to a broader audience.

International networking

Collaboration with outstanding academics and scientists from research centers in developing countries as well as other countries all over the world is an important part of the partnership effort. About 50% of ZEF's staff are recruited internationally and the Doctoral Program has a world-wide alumni network.


ZEF's main funders are the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Research Council (DFG), the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the European Commission (EU), the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Volkswagen Foundation, the Foundation fiat panis, the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, and many more organizations as well as various governments through support to some of our doctoral students.


ZEF researchers publish regularly in international scientific peer-reviewed journals. ZEF publishes its own series of books and dissertations, discussion and working paper series, in addition to its non-scientific publications (ZEF news, Annual Reports, Policy Briefs).


The library of ZEF is open to the public:

Monday - Thursday11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Contact: Volker Merx, librarian, phone # 49 (0) 228 73-1723
e-mail: v.merx(at)uni-bonn.de

International Advisory Board of ZEF

» Board members.

ZEF Senior Fellows

Senior Fellows.

Research and strategy papers

ZEF's Strategy Paper 2021-2030

Inter and Transdisciplinarity at ZEF

Development. Note and notion of ZEF.

ZEF Evaluation 2017

ZEF was reviewed by an external committee in 2017.

Read the evaluation report 2010-2016 here and ZEF's International Advisory Board and Management's response here.

ZEF experts database

Professional profiles of the alumni of the International Doctoral Studies Program and former ZEF staff and fellows.

» more

How to find us

» information and location plan