DPhil in International Development

The DPhil in International Development provides an opportunity for outstanding students to pursue in-depth research into processes of social, political and economic development and change in the global South, in a uniquely multidisciplinary academic environment. It can form the basis for an academic career or for a senior post in policy research.

A Supportive Environment

We provide an exceptionally supportive and enriching environment for our DPhils, who are able to draw on the expertise of scholars in a wide variety of disciplines related to the broad field of development and a range of regional specialisms, with notable strength in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Our research centres, which are at the forefront of their subject areas, are a rich source of data and case study material for doctoral research and we also have close connections with other departments and research centres across the University.

Around 70 per cent of our current DPhil students have received full or partial scholarships to fund their doctoral study at ODID and once on the course, they can draw on further departmental funding to meet their needs at different stages of their research.

Our students have a dedicated study area, known as the Loft, which provides a friendly and welcoming space for peer support and networking. They hold a weekly seminar series at which they present their work and benefit from peer feedback, followed by lunch subsidised by the department in the ODID cafe. First-year students also present their work to members of the academic staff and other students in preparation for the start of fieldwork, which provides comprehensive academic input in the formative phase of research.

There is a dedicated Course Director for the doctoral programme, the Director of Doctoral Research, who is available to students for consultation and support. We also have a very friendly support staff who can help with queries or difficulties.

You can find out more about the support available in the Funding and Facilities tabs below.

Rapid Completion

As a result of the supportive environment offered by the department, our doctoral students generally go on to complete their studies in good time. On completion, students are able to submit their work for publication in the department's Working Paper series or to Oxford Development Studies, the peer reviewed journal that is edited at the department. ODS offers a £1000 prize for the best student paper accepted for publication.

Read some interviews with current doctoral students.

View the profiles of our current doctoral students.

The DPhil community at ODID is renowned across the university for having a strong sense of camaraderie, a lively culture, and a beautiful shared working space.

Alpha Abebe, DPhil in International Development 2012-16

The following academics are available to supervise doctoral students. Click on the links to find out more about their research interests and the students they currently supervise.

John Gledhill
Associate Professor of Global Governance
Douglas Gollin
Professor of Development Economics
Nandini Gooptu
Associate Professor of South Asian Studies
Pramila Krishnan
Professor of Development Economics
Laura Rival
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Development
Diego Sanchez-Ancochea
Associate Professor of the Political Economy of Latin America
Tom Scott-Smith
Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration
Nikita Sud
Associate Professor of Development Studies
Christopher Woodruff
Professor of Development Economics


A wide variety of scholarships are available to support doctoral study, including departmental scholarships. You can find full details on the Fees and Funding page.

We also provide additional funding for doctoral students at different stages of their research once they have joined the department:

  • towards fieldwork travel (usually £700, with further amounts being granted on a competitive basis)
  • to cover fieldwork insurance
  • for conference attendance by individual students
  • for student-led academic activities/events in the department
  • as hardship grants for self-funded students in case of need
  • as bursaries, supported by Oxford Development Studies, for those close to submission
  • as publication grants for students who have submitted or almost submitted their thesis, and who have had offers to publish part of their work

We offer excellent desk-space and a convivial environment for both intellectual and social interaction in the dedicated DPhil work area, the Loft. Students have access to full IT facilities, including computers, printers, scanners and Wi-Fi.

As a doctoral student you will have access to a wide range of seminars organised by the department as well as an enormous variety of events across the wider University. The department has its own lively and well-attended weekly DPhil work-in-progress seminar, at which you can present your ideas and receive feedback from your peers.

The Social Sciences Library, the largest freestanding social science library in the UK with considerable print and digital strengths in development studies and a specialist librarian, is a short walk away. This is complemented by the world-class resources of the Bodleian Library and the satellite libraries in Area Studies, particularly Africa, Asia and Latin America.

DPhils have the support of a friendly group of administrative staff in the department. In 2017 our caretaker, Gary Jones, was named Best Support Staff in the OUSU Student Teaching Awards with a record 67 nominations.