Glo­bal Part­nership Gra­dua­te School

The Global Partnership Network (GPN) grants 12 scholarships exclusively to PhD students from the global South in order to back Southern higher education knowledge production. Additionally, an association with the Global Partnership Graduate School might be possible for PhD students with GPN supervisors and external funding. We offer a graduate program in which our PhD students are co-supervised by professors from two GPN partner universities. The selected PhD students are based at the university of their first supervisor but also have the chance to spend six months at the university of their second supervisor.

Our graduate school coordinator organises a regular virtual graduate program together with the members from the different GPN partners: the partner universities as well as the partner civil society organizations (CSO). This allows a wide range of expertise in different theoretical and practical fields to be incorporated into our graduate school and further to establish a link between theory and practice.

The prevalent online format allows a rich international and inter-cultural exchange without fuelling the already ongoing climate crisis too much via flights. As online exchanges can be intensive, shorter virtual workshops and seminars will be offered on a regular basis (approximately once a month).

The overall orientation of the content being treated in the graduate program is geared towards the three research clusters of the GPN:

Cluster 1: Partnership in development cooperation: access, accountability, and deep participation

Cluster 2: Partnership in the global economy: agriculture, finance, and energy

Cluster 3: Partnership in knowledge production: Eurocentrism and alternative knowledge

Smaller peer groups will be built with those PhD students who do research in the same cluster to encourage peer-to-peer learning across space and different cultures. The doctoral students will be encouraged to actively participate in the design of the graduate school program and thereby can shape parts of it according to their specific needs and wishes.

We are pleased to announce that the family of Thomas Sankara has kindly approved our wish to name the GPN PhD scholarships after him. Until his assassination, Thomas Sankara was president of Burkina Faso (1983-1987). Our desire to name the scholarships after this outstanding personality goes back to his pioneering approach to global partnerships, which we consider as an inspiration for our own critical engagement with North-South as well as South-South relations. His resistance against neo-colonialism and his contributions to an emancipation and self-determination of the Burkinabè and further African people still inspires the African and international youth until today. Find out more in our recent press release.

Readers with academic texts on the different topics within the clusters and practical advice on thesis writing will be jointly compiled by the graduate program coordinator, the supervisors and other GPN members. In addition to the readers, the GPN partners will develop E-learning tools like video lectures, which will support the integration of interdisciplinary and diverse knowledge originating from our partners into the teaching of the graduate school.

The regular virtual seminars will also include live inputs on specific topics, theories and methods, which will be given by the PhD supervisors and other GPN researchers. PhD students will prepare presentations on the progress of their thesis and receive feedback from their peers, their supervisors and other participating GPN researchers. Aligned to our research clusters, a focus of the graduate programme will lie on the analysis of and reflection on global partnerships.