How to apply

How to apply

The Centre for Development Research offers generous three year DAAD merit scholarships for PhD students in Development Studies, Public Policy or Public Administration at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town.

There will be no! Call for Scholarship Applications for the 2022 intake!

Entry requirements:

  • Applicants should be from Sub-Sahara Africa
  • The study must have been completed at an internationally recognised university
  • The previous degree should have been an academic discipline which is related to developement or public administration
  • South African students are required to have achieved at least an average of 70% (or an upper 2nd class) in previous postgraduate studies at the Masters or equivalent level.
  • Applicants must provide evidence of proficiency in English, both written and spoken. This can be TOEFL test or a similar standard test or a letter from an academic institution
  • Applicants should preferably have been involved in development organisations, as interns, volunteers or employees
  • There is no formal age restriction, but applicants should apply within six years of completing their previous degree, unless they have a good reason for having been academically inactive for a period
  • Women are encouraged to apply
  • South African students are encouraged to apply
  • Applicants must be able to study fulltime at the UWC for the required period.
  • PhD candidates can submit their scholarship application without needing to apply for admission at UWC. If they are awarded a scholarship, or if they intend to finance themselves, they may apply for admission through the online application procedure (

Application procedure for Scholarships:

The following documents are required, and must be uploaded to an electronic-application form.

  • A research proposal of your PhD project (Guidelines for writing a research proposal)
  • Attention:

    Of course we screen all proposals with an anti-plagiarism software and in case that a proposal is only copy pasted from available literature the application is not eligible!!!

  • Preference is given to PhD applicants who intend to do research on one of the following topics:
    • Poverty and inequality
    • Rural and urban livelihoods
    • Food security
    • Governance in Africa, at different levels
    • Social movements
    • Citizenship and democracy
    • Capabilities and human development
    • Different social policy applications

The online application form can only be submitted ONCE, so please make sure that your application is complete before submitting it!!!

You can access the online form here: (only available during an open Call)!

Wherever possible, please have all documents verified by a Commissioner of Oaths.

Relevant documents have to be scanned and saved in formats as indicated in the electronical application form.

Please prepare as well

  • a certified copy of your identification document
  • a certified copy of your matric certificate

Moreover, certificates and transcripts that are in another language other than English or Afrikaans must be submitted together with an English translation thereof that has been certified by a Public Notary.

Successful applicants will study at the UWC but will also have the option to take part in courses at the IEE, the Institute for Development Research and Development Policy at the Ruhr-University, Bochum in Germany, the academic partner of UWC.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held about 6-8 weeks after the espiration of the application deadline, either face-to-face or telephonically or via Skype. Please ensure that you will be available during this period if contacted for an interview.

All applicants will be informed about their applications until end of august.

Contact Details UWC:

Belinda Du Plessis
School of Government, University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road
Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535
Cape Town, Republic of South Africa
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