Institute of Development Policy

PhD in Development Studies

Institute of Development Policy (IOB)

The Institute of Development Policy (IOB) offers a multi-disciplinary doctoral programme, leading to a PhD in Development Studies granted by the University of Antwerp. The PhD consists of a doctoral thesis and a mandatory doctoral training

Interested candidate PhD students are invited to identify and contact a potential supervisor among the professors affiliated to IOB. Their research proposal must meet a number of criteria. Those criteria apply to the doctoral thesis in development studies and are inspired by the IOB research policy and by IOB’s overall strategy and vision.

Criteria for the PhD research proposal and PhD thesis in development studies


Of sufficient originality, coherence and contributing to the field of development studies.


Thematically integrated in (at least) 1 of the 3 IOB research lines: environment and sustainable development; global governance and inclusive development; state formation and resilient societies.


Presented as a monograph or as a series of chapters with a general introduction and conclusion in which the PhD student engages with the common theme of the chapters.


Policy-relevant (required) and providing concrete policy recommendations (recommended but not required).


In line with IOB’s vision of a just and sustainable world (required) and applied to the poorest and most fragile countries/regions in the world (recommended but not required).


Demonstrated awareness of the particular disciplinary and methodological model used (required) and engaging with more than 1 disciplinary and methodological model (recommended but not required).


After identifying a supervisor, candidate PhD students submit their application via Mobility Online.

Applications by candidate PhD students are assessed by the IOB PhD Commission and by the IOB Board. Admission to the IOB PhD in Development Studies requires approval by the IOB Board.​