PhD at the Brandt School

Students in class

Prospective doctoral students with a graduate degree, above-average grades and a strong research proposal in one of our five research clusters are invited to apply for doctoral studies at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy.

If you wish to apply for doctoral studies at the Brandt School, you should first make sure that your research interest fits within one of our fields of expertise. These are clustered into five research areas:

Global Public Policy

Development and Socio-Economic Policies

Conflict Studies and Management

Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

Methods of Public Policy

Doctoral studies at the Brandt School focus on individual research projects, which are closely supervised by a member of our academic staff. There is no binding curriculum that needs to be completed during doctoral studies. However, doctoral students are required to take part in the bi-weekly research colloquia at the Brandt School, which gives candidates the opportunity to present and discuss their research. We also encourage our doctoral students to participate in conferences and, for more advanced doctoral students, to teach at the Brandt School.

Doctoral Dissertations

Maha M. Aly (2021): Exploring the entrepreneurial mindset in the context of managing adversities within the german ecosystem: the impact of cultural values on entrepreneurial behavior.

Lamin O. Ceesay (2020): Institutional Sustainability in the Context of International Donor Funded Programs in Fragile and Post-Conflict Communities of West Africa : (The Cases of CDDP Funded Decentralised Village Development Institutions in The Gambia and Sierra Leone).

Steve Wakhu Khaemba (2020): Terrorism and Conditions for Human Rights in Counter-terrorism in Sub- Saharan Africa.

Katalin Hahn (2020): Die politische Repräsentation von Personen verschiedenen sozialen Geschlechts in der EU und die euopäische Gleichstellungsgesetzgebung.

Maliek Ahmed Harbaa (2019): Die arabische Perzeption der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik der Europäischen Union im Hinblick auf den israelisch-palästinensischen Konflikt von Al-Aqsa-Intifada (200) bis zum Arabischen Frühling (2012).

Marcus Schlegel (2018): Interrelationships between Unemployment and Self-Employment and the Role of Start-Up Incentives.

Janine Romero V. (2018): Green Cars = Green Conflicts? – Governance, Grievances and Conflict Dimensions of the Bolivian State Lithium Program.

Olivia Chinekwu Ugokwe (2017): Modern African Conflicts and International Interventions: The Prospects of Indigenous Peace-Making Mechanisms. A Case of Darfur 2003-2014.

Anna-Lisa Neuenfeld (2017): Das Ringen um die Macht. Peter Glotz und die SPD in den medienpolitischen Auseinandersetzungen der „alten“ Bundesrepublik.

Sayed Asef Hossaini (2017): Power Structures in Afghanistan’s Rural Communities: A Comparative Study of Hazara Villages in the Bamyan Province.

Imdad Ullah (2017): Pre-emptive Self-Defence in the Age of Terror: The Case of US Drone Attacks in Pakistan.

Anwesha Ghosh (2017): „‘Lala Hindu‘ versus ‚Afghani Log‘? Afghans in India Negotiating Identity and Marginality.

Wilfried Zoungrana (2016): The Terrorist and the Hard Core in IR Research: Reflections on the Epistemology of Terrorism and the ‚Counter-Insurgency‘ of Epistemology.

Ulugbek Azizov (2015): Freeing from “Territorial Trap”: Re-reading the “Five Stans” Central Asian Spatial Discourse.

Pablo Andres Ramos Baron (2015): Socio-Environmental Conflict and Institutional Change in Water and Biodiversity Management: Linking Social and Ecological Systems in Afro-Colombian Common Property Lands (Cotutelle uni Cordoba).

Edward Silvestre Kaweesi (2015): Human-Security, State-Capacity and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: An analysis of the question of the development oriented governance in Post-Genocide Rwanda, 1994-2005.

Raghav Sharma (2014): Nation, Ethnicity and the Conflict in Afghanistan.

To get an impression of what our current PhD students are doing, please browse them based on their research area or in our list of all PhD students

Please note that we are currently not offering any PhD scholarships or doctoral positions. However, you may of course contact our professors directly if you are interested in a self-financed PhD.


Doctoral studies at the Brandt School fall under the Doctoral Regulations for the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Erfurt. 

Download(Official German Version, June 2022)

Download (non-legally binding English translation of the August 2019 version)

(Older versions can be found here.)

Graduate Funding

The University of Erfurt offers a variety of funding opportunities for doctoral students. 

Research in Germany gives an overview  different options for funding a PhD in Germany.