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Global Development Institute

About the Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College

The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College (REBDC) is a core element of the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute (GDI) and provides support for doctoral researchers working on international development.

The College’s goal is:

To become an internationally-recognised 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.

The integration in 2015 of the Brooks World Poverty Institute and the Institute for Development Policy and Management to form the GDI provided an opportunity to promote a critical mass of postgraduate researchers (PGRs). The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College aims to promote their individual and group contributions to GDI’s mission.

Building on the work of the two predecessor institutions, the REBDC aims to establish an approach to doctoral supervision that creates a group of postgraduate researchers who identify strongly with their host institution and form a sub-community that is intellectually and socially supportive. This will ensure that its members not only achieve their academic goals, but also develop related practical skills that enhance their employability and form social bonds that strengthen personal networks throughout their careers.

The specific elements the new Doctoral College aims to foster are:

  • Creating an identity for groups of PGRs so that they feel part of a cohesive sub-community in a larger and stimulating academic community (the GDI).
  • Encouraging all PGRs to think about the relevance of their research for policymakers, practitioners and public understanding and to pursue opportunities to share their findings.
  • Providing opportunities for postgraduate researchers to gain practical skills and work experience that are beyond the opportunities provided by existing doctoral programmes (e.g. communications training, policy advocacy, public engagement, providing consultancy services to governments and other development agencies, convening and running conferences).
  • Enhance engagement between postgraduate researchers and academic staff in GDI to encourage innovation and collaboration in research and teaching. This, in addition, will enable PGRs to contribute support to the learning experienced by GDI’s 450-plus intake of Masters students.
  • Facilitate PGRs' contribution to research within GDI, the School, and University.


Dr Admos Chimhowu, Director of the Doctoral College

Admos Chimhowu

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.

Dr Gindo Tampubolon, Deputy Director of the Doctoral College

Gindo Tampubolon

My research on health and development in many countries across the globe has benefited from interdisciplinary collaborations, respecting multiple perspectives while maintaining rigour throughout. Contemporary global development has thrown up new challenges that require even more cognizance of this requirement if our response is to have any chance of successfully responding to them. Poverty and global inequality, sustainable development, and global health are just a few of the major challenges that demand rigorous thinking and multiple perspectives. Our postgraduate researchers are therefore embedded in an environment of training that expose them to different subjects, perspectives, methods and materials that will prepare them for this task even as they pursue careers beyond academia.

The Administrative Framework

The Doctoral College operates within the administrative structure of the PhD Programme of the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED). The School comprises a total of five departments: Geography; Planning and Environmental Management; Architecture; the Manchester Institute of Education; and the Global Development Institute.

All administrative enquiries should be addressed to the SEED administrative team (, whose offices are located in both the Arthur Lewis Building (second floor) and the Ellen Wilkinson Building. The SEED PhD programme is led by the School PGR Director, who chairs the School Postgraduate Research Committee (PGRC) which has a membership made up of:

  • SEED PGR administrative staff
  • ‘Discipline Coordinators’ (Discos) – academic staff responsible for coordinating PGR activity in each of the five constituent disciplines of the School
  • Student representatives (usually a minimum of one representative elected by each PhD cohort in each department).

All members of the Doctoral College should familiarise themselves with the SEED PGR handbook which provides information on all aspects of the PhD programme, ranging from supervision via training to annual reviews: