15 PhD Fellowships for Early Stage Researchers 2021, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network "ADAPTED", Belgium

Publish Date: Jan 25, 2021

Deadline: Mar 31, 2021

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS – 15 PhD positions for Early Stage Researchers

European Joint Doctorate (EJD) ADAPTED

Eradicating Poverty: Pathways towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

ADAPTED is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project
funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme


The ADAPTED consortium

The EJD ADAPTED is a consortium of European Universities, important internationally active European development organisations and think tanks and six African partner universities. Within ADAPTED,

  • the European universities – including Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany (coordinator), Erasmus University Rotterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands, Boğaziçi University, Turkey, and Centre National de Recherche Scientifique in partnership with Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France – will host the ESRs, direct their research, organise training and implement the European Joint Doctorate based on project-specific binational agreements (cotutelles de these),
  • the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungs GmbH (DEG) and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) host selected ESRs during non-academic secondments and add to the intersectoral relevance of the research done within the consortium while the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) provides ESRs with advice and training on the dissemination of research output and acts as a global dissemination platform for the ESRs,
  • researchers from six cooperating African partner universities, including the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town (South Africa), Bahir Dar University (Ethiopia), University of Development Studies (Ghana), Moi University (Kenya), and University of Douala (Cameroon), will supervise ESRs during field work, provide them with access to local actors and to locally available data sets and link them to the non-academic sector in the fieldwork countries.

The ADAPTED research and training programme

The Overarching Aim of the EJD ADAPTED is to deliver high-level training with intersectoral relevance in

  • validating pathways towards poverty eradication,
  • analysing interactions between poverty reduction and other policy areas
  • and optimising the impact of poverty reduction policies

to high achieving early stage researchers (ESRs) to bridge the existing knowledge gap in understanding poverty dynamics and by equipping the ESRs with a unique skills portfolio that is equally attractive for research institutions, development organisations and internationally active firms.

ADAPTED will implement the empirical components of its research programme with a clear but non-exclusive focus on countries in Sub-Sahara Africa. The EJD’s research programme is organised in three work packages (WP) that address the following broad research areas:

  • WP 1: Validating Pathways: We want to investigate how effective different growth- and social protection-oriented policies are in improving poverty-related outcomes, given the large heterogeneity of low- and middle-income countries and the differences in the target groups that these policies are able to reach. (5 PhD positions).
  • WP 2: Analysing Interactions: Poverty reduction-related policies are not implemented in a policy vacuum. Usually they are implemented side by side in settings, which are characterised by the existence of a multitude of other policies, which serve purposes other than poverty reduction. We therefore want to study poverty-related trade-offs and co-benefits within different growth- and social protection-oriented policy frameworks on the one hand, and between them and other policies on the other hand for deriving recommendations towards a policy mix responsive to poverty reduction. (5 PhD positions).
  • WP 3: Optimising Impact: We want to identify mechanisms that increase the relevance and the quality of delivery of social protection schemes, which allow for an improved coordination of fragmented social policies, and support the design and implementation of poverty reduction-related policies in neopatrimonial environments. (5 PhD positions).

The ADAPTED training programme combines local doctoral training offers at the beneficiary organisations with high-level network-wide training and training through secondments. The programme includes the training of core research skills acquired via the individual research project, modules on advanced research skills delivered by the consortium and transferable skills training offered by local graduate schools and during secondments with practice partners.


Eligibility and selection criteria

General eligibility criteria:
Recruiting is in accordance with the European rules of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN regulations for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). Applicants can be of any nationality but must not have resided or carried out any main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting university for more than 12 months in the last 3 years prior to being recruited as ESR. In addition, applicants must have less than 4 years of postgraduate research experience at the time of recruitment.

General selection criteria:
Applicants shall demonstrate a proven interest in interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral research as well as a specific interest in the ADAPTED research areas as evidenced by the application documents. The following requirements are to be met: (1) a previous degree (Master or equivalent) from a recognized university which qualifies for doctoral studies, (2) graded at least upper 2nd or equivalent, (3) in a subject relevant for the planned doctoral studies (Economics, Social or Political Science, Law, and related relevant disciplines), proved by submission of degree certificates and transcripts, (4) English language proficiency proof for non-native speakers equivalent to CEFR level C1 (IELTS 7) or above.

Specific selection criteria:
Specific selection criteria for individual ESR projects are detailed in the respective project description below.
Please also make yourself familiar with specific offers for ESRs and procedures at the respective recruiting institution. Relevant information is provided in individual ESR offers.



Documents to be submitted
(as one pdf-file)

  • Motivation letter (max. 2 pages) which includes a statement explaining the interest in the particular ESR project the application is referring to (1st priority ESR). Applicants interested in more than just one ESR project should share this information in the motivation letter by indicating a 2nd and max. 3rd
  • Current CV (please use the Europass template)
  • Certified copies of relevant university degree certificates and related detailed transcripts of records.
  • Recognised English language proficiency certificate (equivalent to CEFR level C1 = TOEFL 94, IELTS 7)
  • Short literature review (4-5 pages) linked to the topic of the ESR project which is the 1st priority of the applicant.
  • At least two current academic recommendation letters
  • Copy of the passport valid at least until the end of 2021. Applicants with two or more nationalities can use just one passport and apply only once.

Application deadline and related information

  • Please submit your application electronically (one pdf-file) by email to adapted@rub.de
  • Non-extendable deadline for applications is 31.03.2021 at 23:00 pm (GET).
  • Applicants shortlisted for telephone interviews will be notified by 30.04.2021
  • Telephone/video interviews will take place during the first half of May.
  • All applicants will receive notifications about the results of the ADAPTED selection procedure by 15.05.2021.
  • Offer letters will sent until 15.06.2021.
  • The recruitment procedure will close and the EJD programme will start on 01.09.2021.


ADAPTED is committed to offer equal opportunities and therefore seeks to recruit a gender balanced group of ESRs. It further aims to support Early Stage Researchers through a family friendly working environment. This is in line with benefits offered by the MSCA programme, which offers highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. Successful candidates will be offered a full-time position for a duration of 36 months. In accordance with the MSCA regulations for ESRs the salary includes the following elements:

  • Living allowance: basic, gross amount before taxation and compulsory deductions for contributions to social insurance schemes according to national law. These deductions include the employee's plus the employer's share to social insurance schemes!
    The basic gross amount of the living allowance is EUR 3 270 per month. To ensure equal treatment and purchasing power parity, this amount is then adjusted through the application of a correction coefficient based on the country in which the ESR will be recruited. For more details, please refer to the FAQ section of this website.
  • Mobility allowance of EUR 600 per month
  • Family allowance of EUR 500 per month for ESRs who have a family (persons linked to the researcher by marriage or a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the legislation of the country where this relationship was formalised or dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher) at the time of recruitment.

Open ESR positions

ESR 1 The Effect of Foreign Direct Investment and Official Development Assistance on Job Creation and Poverty Reduction
ESR 2 Mining and Poverty – A focus on artisanal mining and on CSR in industrial mining
ESR 3 Effectiveness of social protection in fighting poverty
ESR 4 Labour regulation and economic performance in SSA
ESR 5 Universal health coverage in West Africa
ESR 6 A political ecology approach in evaluating the development agenda: The cases of Ghana and Kenya
ESR 7 Costs/benefits of climate policies in the context of informal economies
ESR 8 An analysis of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of African countries under the Paris climate agreement and how these NDCs relate to SDG1
ESR 9 Mobilising international law for cross-border tax justice
ESR 10 The effects of governmentally enforced minimum wages on formal sector employment
ESR 11 Rights-based social assistance schemes
ESR 12 Building coherent social protection systems
ESR 13 Demand for good governance and policy access for the poor
ESR 14 Neopatrimonialism, pockets of effectiveness and policy making for the poor
ESR 15

Coalition-building and pro-poor governance reform

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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