Online registration for the Bonn International Graduate School for Development Research (BIGS-DR)

  • This form must be completed in English
  • All fields marked with an * are mandatory
  • After you have finished, please submit the form by clicking the "Send Registration" button at the bottom of this page
  • Entries that are incorrectly filled out will be marked in red, in which case you will need to correct it and submit the form again
  • After a successful online registration, you will receive a confirmation email that contains your registration number required for part two of your application
  • After you click "Send Registration", there may be a minute of processing time

1. Personal Data

Please fill in your personal data.


Date must be given as "day.month.year" (dd.mm.yyyy).
If your country is not listed specify it in the text field.
If your nationality is not listed specify, it in the text field.

2. Mailing Address

Please indicate the address to be used for correspondence DURING the application and admission process.


If your country is not listed specify it in the text field.
Your e-mail address must be valid and reachable during registration process or online registration will fail.

3. Higher Education

3.1 First Degree (Bachelor)

If your country is not listed specify it in the text field.
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
out of possible Please indicate your cumulative GPA if applicable, together with the maximum GPA which can be achieved at your college or university.

3.2 Second Degree (Master / Diploma)
A Master-, Diploma or equivalent degree is required for doctoral study in Germany

If your country is not listed specify it in the text field.
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
out of possible Please indicate your cumulative GPA if applicable, together with the maximum GPA which can be achieved at your college or university.

3.3 Further Degree (1)
Please list earlier enrollment, degree awarded or expected, if applicable.

If your country is not listed specify it in the text field.
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
out of possible Please indicate your cumulative GPA if applicable, together with the maximum GPA which can be achieved at your college or university.

3.4 Further Degree (2)
Please list earlier enrollment, degree awarded or expected, if applicable.

If your country is not listed specify it in the text field.
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
out of possible Please indicate your cumulative GPA if applicable, together with the maximum GPA which can be achieved at your college or university.

4. Language Proficiency and other Tests

- -

5. Working Experience

Please list current or previous enrollment.
If your country is not listed specify it in the text field.
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).
Dates must be given as "month.year" (mm.yyyy).

6. Proposed doctoral research topic in the context of ZEF's research areas and priorities

7. Scholarship / Sponsorship

A scholarship or proof of sufficient financial resources for the duration of the doctoral studies must be submitted along with your application.

Funding options

  1. Scholarship via BIGS-DR (deadline: August 31st, annually)

    Candidates from developing and emerging economies can apply for a scholarship provided by the Development-Related Postgraduate Course program (EPOS) of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). A number of these DAAD scholarships are sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and are available via BIGS-DR.

  2. Other DAAD/Ministry of Foreign Affairs scholarship (deadline: varies)

    The German Ministry of External Affairs has bilateral agreements with many countries for DAAD scholarships or "government scholarships". These DAAD scholarships may be of interest for candidates from countries which are not officially considered developing countries, such as the CIS and Europe. Typically, applicants should aim to apply simultaneously for scholarships and for the doctoral program. The University of Bonn may issue a conditional letter of acceptance to students who require a confirmation from the university in order to grant the scholarship.

  3. Other sponsors (deadline: varies)

    You can also apply for a scholarship from any other foundation or sponsor. The procedure is the same as above. Applicants should apply simultaneously for scholarships and for the doctoral program and provide a copy of the scholarship information to BIGS-DR. Be sure to indicate in your application (motivation letter or attachment) if the foundation or sponsor has a deadline. The University of Bonn may issue a conditional letter of acceptance to students who require a confirmation from the university in order to grant the scholarship.

  4. Vacancies at ZEF (deadline: varies)

    You may also apply for a doctoral position in one of ZEF's projects. In this case, the topic, region and discipline of the research are set by the project. You can apply only for vacancies announced on ZEF's website. Please apply first for the project vacancy with the contact person listed on the posting, and then submit your BIGS-DR application documents. The deadlines are mentioned in the respective vacancies.

  5. Independent/self-funding (deadline: varies)

    BIGS-DR will also considers qualified candidates with funds of their own. If you plan to study with your own funds, please submit your application documents according to the list of required application documents. A conditional letter of support will be issued once your application has been reviewed by our Selection Committee. Proof of self-funding can be determined by including a bank statement in your application that covers the entire duration of your studies. This includes expenditure that you may incur during your planned field research.

External applicants

External doctoral students can participate in one or more of the doctoral courses. As an external participant, you will have to organize your own funds (cost of living, research expenses, etc.). You can apply by submitting the following documents in one PDF file:

  • A letter of application
  • A letter of application
  • A BIGS-DR application form
  • A CV
  • Copies of your past academic certificates
  • A certified registration as a PhD student at a university
  • A letter of recommendation from your supervisor

You should email your completed application to us at least two months prior to the start of the course.

Qualified candidates who cannot be offered a DAAD or Robert Bosch scholarship directly available from ZEF may receive a letter of qualification and acceptance. It will help them seek financial assistance at other institutions and foundations.

Please specify if applicable to the selected choice above:

If applicable, please specify the position accordingly to the vacancy announcement on the ZEF website.
If applicable, please specify the name of another sponsor where do you want to apply for your scholarship_
If applicable, please specify an already awarded scholarship for your PhD.

8. How did you learn about the program?

Please indicate how you learned about the program (check all that apply).


9. Privacy Policy

Hiermit bitten wir Sie um Einwilligung Ihre personenbezogenen Daten aus dem elektronischen Bewerbungsformular und den Bewerbungsunterlagen, für das Bewerbungsverfahren auswerten und gegebenenfalls an mögliche Finanzierungsquellen und akademische Betreuer des Doktorstudiums weiterleiten zu dürfen. Die Daten werden ausschließlich zum Zweck Ihrer Bewerbung genutzt und nach Ende der Bewerbungsperiode gelöscht. Dies gilt gemäß § 18 Datenschutzgesetz Nordrhein-Westfalen - DSG NRW - Landesrecht Nordrhein-Westfalen.

We hereby ask for your permission and consent to evaluate your personal data from the online registration form and the application documents, insofar as it relates to the application process. Where required, your personal data may be forwarded to potential sources of funding and academic supervisors of the doctoral study. The data will be used exclusively for the purpose of your application and will be deleted after the end of the application period. This is in compliance with § 18 Data Protection Act North Rhine-Westphalia (DSG NRW), state law of North Rhine-Westphalia.