University of Gießen – International PhD Program for Agricultural Economics, Bioeconomy and Rural Development


International PhD Program for Agricultural Economics, Bioeconomy and Rural DevelopmentThe International PhD Program for Agricultural Economics, Bioeconomy and Rural Development (IPPAE) was first accredited in 1992 by the funder, the German Academic Exchange Office (DAAD). The program is the result of a cooperation between the agricultural economics groups of the University of Hohenheim and the University of Giessen.

The program is highly competitive and interdisciplinary. Its strength is that all PhD candidates have prior research or work experience in an area close to their PhD topics, which strengthens their analytical skills as well as the amount of knowledge that can be passed from peer to peer. In Giessen, the IPPAE lays its thematic focus on empirical, problem-solving research, at the crossroads between agricultural economics, agricultural sociology, farm economics and sustainable resource use. To date, more than 100 candidates received their PhD through the IPPAE Giessen.

Applications are open for the intake 2020! Application deadline: 30.11.2019

Admission Requirements

To qualify for this program, you need to:

  • have a Master’s or equivalent degree in agricultural economics or related science with a minimum grade of A or B. The award of your last academic degree must not lie more than 6 years before the application date.
  • have at least two years of work experience in a relevant domain, before or after completing your M.Sc., but in all cases, before applying to this program;
  • have a permit from your employing organization to go on a sabbatical leave; and
  • be fluent in written and spoken English.

Documents Required

  1. DAAD application form (hand signed);
  2. Application letter stating your motivation to pursue a PhD at the University of Gießen (hand signed);
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. List of publications (if applicable)
  5. Certificates or translated documents:- school leaving certificate (College, GSEC,etc.) qualifying for admission to higher education in your own country

    – certificates of annual examinations taken at the home university (= transcripts of records)

    – Certificates of any academic degree or advances qualifications showing grades and explaining the home grading system (description of grade scale). For French speaking countries: license or Maîtrise with at least Mention Assez Bien, along with a DEA/DESS or a Master’s degree according to the LMD system.

  6. Proof of English language proficiency: a TOEFL with a minimum of 233 points computer-based, 577 points paper-based, 90 points internet-based; or IELTS 6,5. If you have successfully done your education (MSc program) in English, a statement certifying the language of instruction of the program and a copy of your MSc thesis (.pdf) may suffice to prove your language proficiency.
  7. Two letters of recommendations, including a letter of recommendation from your employer. If it applies, the letter should indicate your employer’s consent for a study leave. (These letters must include letterhead, date, signature and seal.)
  8. Confirmation of employment for a period of at least 2 years (This letter must include letterhead, date, signature and seal. If there were several employers in this period, a confirmation from each employer is necessary.)
  9. A well-structured and finalized concept note of 5-8 pages (font size not more than 12, line spacing not more than 1.15) outlining the problem you aim to tackle with your research, your specific proposed research focus, the scientific and methodological perspective with which you will conduct the research, the methods you aim to use, the data you plan to collect. This concept will be used to identify appropriate PhD supervisors and its scientific quality plays a very important role in the selection process. (structure of the proposal: introduction, problem statement, objectives, state of the art, study area, methods of data collection and analysis, expected results, references).

Application Procedure and Deadline

Interested and qualified candidates should send their application through the IPPAE application form.

The application documents should be uploaded in the application form in two files only:

 The first PDF-file should include application documents from 1 to 8, in the same order. (Please make sure to merge them into one single file, using for example the “combine” function in Acrobat or a free online tool.)

– The second PDF-file should be document 9: your proposal only.

Please do not compress your files.

The deadline for applications send through this form is 30th November each year.

Earlier applications are encouraged to facilitate the screening of the applications. Kindly note that we will consider neither late nor incomplete applications.

If it is not possible for you at all to send the application online you may send the documents by post. The deadline is 30th November, as well.

If you send your application per post, please also send us an e-mail with your proposal as a PDF-file and send it to the address below: 

University of Giessen

Institute für Agrarpolitik und Marktforschung

IPPAE – Jutta Bender

Senckenbergstr. 3,

35390 Giessen,



For more information,please visit


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here