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Global Development Institute

GDI student on field trip

The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College

The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College is the first of its kind to focus on postgraduate research of international development.

It provides opportunities for up to 100 early career researchers and bolsters the University’s commitment to addressing global inequalities and making a difference to the lives of people living in poverty.

The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College is also the first philanthropically funded doctoral college in the UK.


We currently supervise a number of doctoral researchers engaged in a variety of research programmes:

The Doctoral College enhances engagement between postgraduate researchers and GDI academic staff to encourage innovation and collaboration in research and teaching.  It provides opportunities for PhD researchers to obtain bespoke support, enabling them to become the next generation of academics, leaders and policy makers.

PhD researchers benefit from structured opportunities for skills development, including:

  • public communication;
  • maximising research impact;
  • presentational skills;
  • organising events;
  • teaching;
  • bidding for funding.

Opportunities to attend training courses and gain access to paid teaching assistant work are also available.

 PhD researchers make an essential contribution to the vibrant research environment that is the Global Development Institute. Our research is centred around four key themes:

Our PhD candidates are affiliated with one or several of our specialist research groups working on the cutting edge of new research findings and methodologies, which bring together academic staff and postgraduates: