Disciplinary courses

BIGS-DR offers three disciplinary courses organized by its three research departments. Attendance is mandatory for the students of the respective department. The courses have a time frame of three months.

1) A Social Science Perspective on Development: Development Theory, Practice and Research Methods (ZEFa)
2) Course on Economic Analysis of Development and Development Policy (ZEFb)
3) Course on Ecology and Development (ZEFc)


Time frame: January 11th, 2021 - March 19th, 2021
Coordination: Andreas Gohlke
Downloads:  ZEFa course plan  (last update from November 19, 2020)

The ZEFa disciplinary course offers total eight weeks of distinct training modules:

1) Development Theory and Practice
2) Quantitative Methods
3) Qualitative Methods
4) Development of Research Proposals
5) Research Colloquia*
6) Excursions to Development Organisations
7) Time for Readings and Assignments

*ZEFa Colloquium (Wednesdays 11:00-12:00) and ZEF Research Colloquium (Thursdays 13:00-14:00)

The ZEFa course ends with a written examination on March 19th, 2021.

ZEF junior researchers will present their doctoral research proposal in April and a revised version of it in May. They will also present and defend their research approach to the ZEF Ethical Committee.


  • Dima Al Munajed
  • Dr. Denis Lucy Aviles Irahola
  • Dr. Jan Janosch Förster
  • Katrin Gleisberg-Gerber
  • Dr. Girma Kelboro
  • Dr. Wolfram Laube
  • Dr. Guido Lüchters
  • Volker Merx
  • Alejandro Mora Motta
  • Christian Petersheim
  • Dr. Henning Sommer
  • Dr. Till Stellmacher
  • Dr. habil. Eva Youkhana


Time frame: January 13th, 2021 - April 16th, 2021
Coordinator: Dr. Zaneta Kubick
Downloads: ZEFb course plan (tentative)

Part I: Quantitative Methods for Research in Development Economics

Part II: Data Analysis for Social Scientists (online course from MIT)

Part II: Development Economics

The course contains two written exams and assignments.


  • Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun
  • Prof. Dr. Jan Börner
  • Dr. Bezawit Chichaibelu
  • Dr. Lukas Kornher
  • Dr. Zaneta Kubik
  • Dr. Guido Lüchters
  • Dr. Alisher Mirzabaev
  • Dr. Tekalign Sakketa
  • Dr. Oliver Kirui
  • Dr. Amy Faye

External lecturers:

  • Prof. Dr. Michael Kosfeld (University of Frankfurt)
  • Prof. Dr. Sebastian Vollmer (Göttingen University)
  • Prof. Dr. Assefa Admassie (Addis Ababa University)
  • Prof. Dr. Aly Mbaye (Cheikh Anta Diop University)


Time frame: January 11th, 2021 - April 30th, 2021
Coordinator: Dr. Navneet Kumar
Downloads: ZEFc course plan (last update November 19, 2020)

The ZEFc disciplinary course offers different lectures on the topic related to natural sciences. The traing modules are designed to cover the thematic fields such as:

  1. Hydrology (Integrated water resource management, irrigation, hydrological modelling)
  2. Ecology and Biodiversity (Patterns, determinants, threats & conservation
  3. Ecosystem services & impacts of changes in envirnmental stress
  4. Agriculture (Food security, plan nutrition and soil manangement)
  5. Public Health (One health concept, vector borne disease, entomology & integrated pest management)
  6. Introduction to climatology
  7. Agroforestry & land degradation

Three special modules are designed for training in:

  1. Remote Sensing
  2. Geographic Information System (GIS)
  3. R course (Statistics)


  • Antonio Rogmann
  • Dr. Bernhard Tischbein
  • Dr. Cory Whitney
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Borgemeister
  • Prof. Dr. Eike Luedeling
  • Dr. Guido Lüchters
  • Dr. Jan Henning Sommer
  • Dr. Lisa Biber-Freudenberger
  • Dr. Luna Bharati
  • Dr. Navneet Kumar
  • Dr. Timo Falkenberg
  • Dr. Wolfram Laube

External lecturers:

  • Prof. Dr. Mathias Becker (University of Bonn)
  • Dr. Jan Decher (Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig)
  • Dr. Vera Rduch (Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig)
  • Dr. Peter Droogers (FutureWater, Netherlands)
  • Prof. Jorge Alberto Guzman Jaimes (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA)
  • Dr. Juliana Jaramillo (Global Lead Sustainable Agriculture, Rainforest Alliance)
  • Prof. Dr. Asia Khamzina (Korea University)
  • Prof. Maria Librada Chu (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Kensuke Okada (University of Tokyo)
  • Dr. Adrian Strauch (ZFL)
  • Dr. Taro Takahashi (University of Tokyo)