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Global Development Institute

About the Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College

The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College aspires to be a world-class community of doctoral researchers contributing to socially just global development through the research of its members and their progression into leadership roles in public, private and civic institutions.

Uniting all doctoral researchers within the Global Development Institute (GDI), the college aims to provide the best possible support to all its members as they progress through the PhD journey, from initial literature review via data collection to sharing their unique insights with students, at conferences and with stakeholders. In particular, we aim to:

  • Create an identity and sense of community among doctoral researchers as part of the vibrant research environment that is GDI
  • Encourage all PhDs to think about the relevance of their research for policy-makers, practitioners and public understanding and pursue opportunities to share their findings
  • Provide opportunities for doctoral researchers to gain practical skills and work experience that are beyond the opportunities provided by existing doctoral programmes (e.g. organising conferences and masterclasses, contributing to research)
  • Enhance engagement between doctoral researchers and academic staff in GDI to encourage innovation and collaboration in research and teaching (especially involving our 450+ strong cohorts of Master’s students).

Our team are working towards attaining these objectives.

Prof Phil Woodhouse, Brooks Chair and Director of the Doctoral College

Phil Woodhouse

My twenty years or so of research in international development have convinced me that interdisciplinary fields are often those where one finds the cutting edge of research, both conceptually and methodologically. With the formation of the Global Development Institute we now have new scope and impetus to develop interdisciplinary research both among the different social science disciplines and between social and natural sciences. Within this environment the Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College is providing resources to enable us to work with our postgraduate researchers and academic colleagues to identify new avenues for innovation and leadership in both teaching and research to meet the needs of disadvantaged people.

Dr Admos Chimhowu, Brooks Fellow and Deputy Director of the Doctoral College


The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College offers an exciting new home for rigorous research training in the field of global development. Students develop skills under the supervision of world leading researchers who continue to challenge and shape the way we think about and work to make global development work better for all. All post-graduate researchers can expect to work in a vibrant research community where their ideas and work are constantly challenged and critiqued through workshops, master classes, seminars and informal discussions–most of which are student-led. They gain a rounded set of research skills, policy knowledge and attitudes that mould them into researchers with purpose- making a difference as academics, government, the private sector and leading NGOs.