Search type

Global Development Institute

PhD supervisors

In the GDI we provide our PhD students with the opportunity to pursue research in a wide variety of exciting topics in global development.

All PhDs within the Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College will be supervised by and consult with internationally recognised academics in your chosen field of research. We are fortunate to host several research centres with exceptional academics who are active in research of international significance that addresses the challenges to improving human, societal and environmental conditions.

The Supervisory Framework

You will be allocated at least two supervisors, with whom you will develop your research project and with whom you will meet on a regular basis (usually not less than once a month) to discuss your plans and to obtain comments on your written work. At the start of your programme, you should discuss carefully with your supervisors the expectations you all have about your research activity, including: research training, teaching (TA) training and experience, the production and assessment of written output, fieldwork and other data sources, and publication of your work (conference presentations, working papers, journal papers etc.).

In addition to your supervisors, there will also be designated an independent reviewer (IR) for your research. The IR will be asked to review your work at least annually (at the time of your annual review in June) and possibly also at your mid-year review (in February-March). The IR will provide comments on your work that you will need to discuss with your supervisors in order to decide if your research plans need modification.

Finally, you will be able to call upon the advice and support of your Academic Advisor, who is also one of the Discipline Coordinators (Discos) for the GDI. You can turn to your academic advisor to discuss any broader issues concerning your studies and supervision that you are unable to resolve with your supervisors.

If your research focus changes, there is a possibility to change supervisors to bring in expertise specifically in relation to your new outlook; you can discuss this possibility with your supervisors or with your academic advisor. Please note that any change in supervisory arrangements will need approval by the SEED PGR director.

PhD supervisor profiles

Research at the Global Development Institute is focused around four themes. Each theme boasts world-class researchers, find out more about some of our our PhD supervisors (you can find a full list of GDI staff here):

Growth, inequality and poverty

We push forward the frontiers of research about the interactions of growth, inequality and poverty.


21st century globalisation and development

Our research recognises the multi-faceted nature of contemporary globalisation.


Politics, governance and management

Building more effective and inclusive institutions and political systems that are capable of delivering development.


Environmental, urban and agrarian change

Significant changes are occurring in the relationships between urban and rural areas, particularly when combined with the increasing impact of climate change. 


Our research

The combined field experience of our staff covers over 60 countries in Asia, Africa, Central and South America and the Pacific. Much of this experience has been gained from working with national and international agencies where the focus has been on finding workable solutions to development problems and strengthening institutional capacities.

Our research activities address four major themes of development policy and practice including;