PhD position "Analysis of institutional change in Central Asian agriculture", Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, Germany

Publish Date: May 12, 2015

Deadline: Jun 20, 2015

The Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) in Halle (Saale), Germany, invites applications for a PhD position “Analysis of institutional change in Central Asian agriculture” for a period of 36 months. The position is to be filled on July 1, 2015, or later.

The successful candidate will conduct his/her PhD in the department of External Environment for Agriculture and Policy Analysis within the VolkswagenStiftung funded project “Institutional change in land and labour relations of Central Asia’s irrigated agriculture (AGRICHANGE)” under the supervision of Professor Dr. Martin Petrick. The project objectives are:

  1. Mapping and evaluating the trajectories of institutional change in Central Asian agriculture, based on an in-depth, comparative analysis of two irrigation-dependent farming regions in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
  2. Contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of these change processes by promoting theory development, fertilised by empirical insight and inspired by several social science disciplines.
  3. Integrating local universities and their scholars into the research process and into international academic networks, by utilising their unique knowledge sources and by providing them with specifically tailored support.

The study regions of the project are South Kazakhstan in Kazakhstan and Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Academic support will be provided by the national partners – Kazakh National Agrarian University in Almaty and Samarkand Agricultural Institute.

Within the framework of this project, the PhD research shall improve the understanding of institutional change in agriculture in Central Asia via both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The selected candidate will conduct field research in the study regions and develop an economic model of institutional change in land-labour relations within a broader framework covering the topics of farm organisation and restructuring, evolution of contractual relations, rural entrepreneurship, collective action, and agricultural policy and rural planning.

We expect:

  1. MSc. degree or equivalent in agricultural or development economics, rural studies, rural planning or related fields;
  2. Knowledge of agricultural sector reforms in Central Asia;
  3. Expertise in econometric /programming skills, for example, using STATA and GAMS, or readiness to develop these skills;
  4. Interest in microeconomic and econometric analysis;
  5. Proven experience in planning, designing and implementing field research and data analysis;
  6. Flexibility and interest in primary data collection, e.g. via farm and household surveys in the study regions;
  7. Individual commitment to research;
  8. Fluency in English reading, writing and presentation;
  9. Communication skills in Russian and either Kazakh or Uzbek languages are desirable;
  10. Communicability, openness and integrability into international team work;
  11. Research experience in Central Asia and in the proposed research topic is of advantage.

We offer:

  1. A unique research and qualification opportunity within a team of young scientists;
  2. Participation in the German Doctoral Certificate Programme in Agricultural Economics ( with teaching in English language;
  3. Support to organization and collection of relevant data in the region;
  4. Support to model development, data analysis, simulations and thesis write-up;
  5. Financial support to participation in international and regional academic conferences;
  6. Support to the preparation of publications for topical peer-reviewed journals.

The successful candidate will become a member of the IAMO Graduate School and apply for a doctoral degree from Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg. During the analysis and writing-up period of the dissertation, the doctoral student will be based at IAMO in Halle (Saale), while the field research is supposed to be conducted in the study regions. The scholarship is 1500,- EUR/month (tax exempt, excluding health insurance) and covers a period of 36 months. Financial support to travel and data collection is available on top of the scholarship. IAMO is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from female candidates. Physically handicapped persons with equal qualifications will be given preference.


Interested candidates should send a set of application documents in English language that include:

  1. Letter of motivation (maximum 1 page);
  2. Curriculum vitae;
  3. Copies of all relevant transcripts and certificates of bachelor, master or equivalent courses as well as English language certificates, if the MSc thesis was not written in English;
  4. Research concept on the proposed topic with the suggestion of objectives and methodology (maximum 2 pages);
  5. Names and contact information of two academic referees.

This set of application documents should be sent by e-mail as a single pdf-file to Prof. Dr. Martin Petrick ( Applicants are requested to also submit electronic copies of their master/diploma thesis and (co-) authored scientific publications, if available.

IAMO ( is a public research institute that pursues basic and applied research in the field of agricultural economics. It is a member of the Leibniz Association, a German network of non-university research institutes.

Closing date for the application is June 20, 2015. Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview via email.

Contact address:

Prof. Dr. Martin Petrick
Leibniz-Institut für Agrarentwicklung in Transformationsökonomien (IAMO)
Theodor-Lieser-Str. 2
06120 Halle (Saale)

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