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Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

  • Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences

phd agricultural economics germany

  • Doctoral Degrees & Habilitations
  • Doctoral Degree

Doctoral Program Agricultural Economics

Since 2005 the Doctoral Certificate Program in Agricultural Economics offers the first permanent, structured training of doctoral students in the field of agricultural and food economics in Germany.

The aim of the Program is to increase educational quality and efficiency in dealing with dissertation topics through systematic instruction in relevant theory and methods.

Following Bachelor’s and Master’s studies, this doctoral program represents a third step in a consecutive education in agricultural, food and environmental economics.

Participation is voluntary.

Logo Doctoral Certificate Program in Agricultural Economics

  • Course of Study
  • Registration
  • Instructors

Welcome to the Doctoral Certificate Program in Agricultural Economics

Since 2005 the Doctoral Certificate Program in Agricultural Economics offers the first permanent, structured training of doctoral students in the field of agricultural and food economics in Germany.

The aim of the Program is to increase educational quality and efficiency in dealing with dissertation topics through systematic instruction in relevant theory and methods.

Following Bachelor’s and Master’s studies, this doctoral program represents a third step in a consecutive education in agricultural, food and environmental economics.

Description of Modules Registration for Modules

Home | Overview | Admission | Course of Study | Modules | Schedule | Registration | Contact | Instructors | Impressum Please address hints and questions to: agraroekonomik at hu-berlin.de . Status: Mai 5, 2023

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Impressum - Data privacy statement - Accessibility

phd agricultural economics germany

Welcome to our International PhD Program "Agricultural Economics, Bioeconomy and Sustainable Food Systems" (IPPAE)

We are delighted to introduce you to our PhD program, which is especially designed for students of developing countries in Africa, Asia or Latin America who are interested to pursue a PhD in the fields of agricultural economics, bioeconomy and sustainable food systems. IPPAE is financed by the  German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)  and offers excellent opportunities to pursue a PhD at the University of Hohenheim, one of Europe's leading universities in the field of agricultural sciences.

The goal of IPPAE is to train outstanding candidates in academic research, teaching, international policy and institutional management. Our alumni occupy leading positions in academia, public administration, business and non-governmental organizations in their home countries. This is the best proof of the opportunities that IPPAE offers to you. Please explore our website for further information:

  • What does IPPAE offer you?
  • Program overview
  • Who can apply?
  • How to apply?

phd agricultural economics germany

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phd agricultural economics germany

International PhD Program

International PhD program  Agricultural Economics, Bioeconomy and Rural Development

What does this program offer you?

  • A package including scholarship, support to field research and other benefits
  • Academic supervision by leading professors
  • PhD research on a topic related to your home country
  • Participation in international conferences
  • Strategic planning for carreer at home country
  • Alumni network and a comprehensive re-invitation program

phd agricultural economics germany

Agricultural Economics

Since 2005 the Doctoral Certificate Program in Agricultural Economics (DCPIAE) offers the first permanent, structured training of doctoral candidates in agricultural, food and environmental economics in Germany. The aim is to increase educational quality and efficiency in dealing with dissertation topics through a systematically organized theory and methods course curriculum. DCPIAE is conducted jointly by all German faculties offering agricultural economics.

Through this cooperation, a comprehensive set of study modules is available providing access to relevant areas such as: Theory

  • Welfare Economic Analysis
  • Consumer Economics
  • Risk Analysis and Risk Management
  • Political Economy of Agriculture

Empirical Methods

  • Efficiency and productivity analysis
  • Time series analysis
  • Geographic information systems and spatial data analysis
  • Qualitative empirical research methods
  • Advanced applied econometrics

Doctoral candidates can be admitted to DCPIAE if they are accepted as a doctoral candidate at one of the participating faculties and submit a certificate of enrolment for PhD.

Search Programs

phd agricultural economics germany

PHD Programmes

Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (Doctoral Studies)

Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (Doctoral Studies)

ZEF Doctoral Studies Program

ZEF Doctoral Studies Program

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International Programmes 2023/2024

phd agricultural economics germany

Agricultural Economics (AgEcon) Agricultural Economics (AgEcon)

University of hohenheim • stuttgart.

  • Course details
  • Online learning
  • Costs / Funding
  • Requirements / Registration

The entire programme is taught in English.

For admission to the AgEcon programme: 15 March for non-EU citizens 15 July for EU citizens For DAAD scholarships: 15 December for programme commencing in October of the following year

More information on the scholarship application procedure: www.uni-hohenheim.de/en/agecon-scholarships

Universities in Baden-Württemberg charge tuition fees for non-EU international students. These fees amount to 1,500 EUR per semester. However, since AgEcon is funded by the DAAD as a development-related postgraduate course, applicants who are citizens of certain African, Caribbean, or Pacific states or a least developed country can be exempted from the tuition fee. This is also a possibility for applicants who have received a DAAD scholarship (regardless of their citizenship).

Decision-Makers for Global Agricultural Economy and Agricultural Policies

This research-based and methods-oriented programme deals with the economic and agricultural policy relationships between the agricultural and food economy, the environment, and rural areas. In this English-language and international Master's programme funded by the DAAD, economic growth, sustainability, and social justice are central topics, especially in an international and development-related context.

  • Studies focused on methods and internationality
  • DAAD-funded programme with full scholarships for outstanding applicants from developing countries
  • Many different career possibilities for agricultural economists

This degree programme values a well-founded education in business and economic theories and methods as well as applying these to concrete problems and issues in the international agricultural and food sectors.

The degree programme aims to educate agricultural economists in the following competencies:

  • Theoretical concepts of agricultural economics
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Integration of sustainability issues into policy analysis
  • Interdisciplinary analysis of complex systems
  • Communication and presentation techniques

Occupational fields

As the agri-food sector becomes more diverse, global, and highly technical, a growing variety of career opportunities is opening up for well-trained agricultural economists. At Hohenheim, students acquire the analytical skills and the necessary understanding of political contexts to be able to work in governmental and non-governmental organisations, international organisations, and the private sector. The programme also opens up excellent opportunities to complete a doctorate and pursue an academic career.

Typical areas of work for agricultural economists are found in the following areas:

  • companies in the upstream and downstream sectors of the food and agricultural industries
  • regulatory bodies along the value-added chain
  • governmental and non-governmental organisations
  • national and international organisations
  • teaching and research institutions

For further information on this degree programme, we invite you to attend our Master’s info event (online via Zoom): www.uni-hohenheim.de/en/masters-informational-events

In the first year of study, students complete the five compulsory modules:

  • Agricultural and Food Policy
  • Applied Econometrics
  • Environmental and Resource Economics
  • Farm System Modelling
  • Microeconomics

In addition, five elective modules can be chosen from the fields of agricultural development, international agricultural trade, world food economy, agricultural and food policy, methods of empirical economic and social research, etc. Lectures are supplemented by computer exercises, group discussions, seminar papers, and case studies, which are worked out and presented in groups or as individual papers.

In the second year of study,

students can choose five further elective modules from a large catalogue of subjects. This ensures a solid education in the sub-disciplines of agricultural economics, while at the same time providing sufficient freedom to put together a programme that suits individual career planning. The academic programme advisers from among the instructors advise students on selecting their modules and planning their studies in order to make sure everything goes smoothly and progresses as planned.

In the second year of studies, the Master's thesis is also completed according to the students’ chosen specialisation.

phd agricultural economics germany

  • Integrated study abroad unit(s)
  • International guest lecturers
  • Specialist literature in other languages
  • Language training provided
  • Training in intercultural skills
  • Study trips
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context

Students are encouraged to spend one semester during the second year at a partner university abroad to gain additional experience and to further strengthen their individual profile. The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences cooperates with 80 partner institutions in research and teaching worldwide. Of these institutions, 40 are part of the ERASMUS programme. Therefore, part of the last year of studies can be spent abroad or part of the thesis research can be conducted abroad (within one of the numerous international research projects with which the University of Hohenheim is involved). Special travel grants are available for outstanding students.

Internships are not compulsory, but they are recommended. The internship must be organised by the student and has to fit the schedule of the programme. The CareerCenter Hohenheim runs a database for internship offers and assists in finding suitable placements.

  • DAAD development-related postgraduate course
  • Access to databases with study material
  • Discussion forums and / or groups
  • Flipped Classroom
  • MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)
  • Online sessions
  • Online study material provided by institution
  • Online tutorials

Universities in Baden-Württemberg require their students to pay a semester contribution towards the administration costs, for student services and for the Student Parliament. Student services provide many benefits, such as discounted tickets for public transportation. The semester contribution amounts to approx. 185 EUR per semester.

Baden-Württemberg has the highest standard of living in all of Germany. The downside is that living costs are slightly above the German average. However, the cost of living can vary enormously depending on your personal lifestyle and where you live. It is generally more expensive to live in a bigger city like Stuttgart, where the University of Hohenheim is located. As a rule of thumb, 800 to 900 EUR per month should be enough. The largest monthly expense is usually for rent – accounting for a third of the total cost of living for most students. These costs can be cut substantially by sharing a flat or living in a dorm. A typical example for monthly expenses could look like this:

  • Rent: 350 to 400 EUR
  • Health insurance: approx. 85 EUR
  • Public transport: approx. 30-50 EUR
  • Study materials: 100 EUR
  • Food and drink: 100 to 150 EUR
  • Leisure and hobbies: 50 to 100 EUR

Numerous funding opportunities exist for Master's thesis projects abroad, offered by various foundations. Detailed information is available here .

Formal requirements

  • An above-average Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences or Economics or a related programme with a standard period of study of at least three years or an equivalent degree
  • At least 6 ECTS credits in microeconomics and statistics
  • Proof of English language skills
  • Result of the AgEcon pre-test It is compulsory to complete the test before the application deadline, but the test results will not influence the chances of admission.

For more information, go to www.uni-hohenheim.de/en/application-agecon-info

Content requirements

We expect good English and IT skills as well as the ability and willingness to work in intercultural teams.

  • IELTS (academic exam) with an overall band score of at least 6.5
  • TOEFL 90 points in the Internet-based test

For more information, please refer to the application information website: www.uni-hohenheim.de/en/application-agecon-info .

Online application: www.uni-hohenheim.de/en/application-agecon-info

University of Hohenheim provides students with the opportunity to take on assistant jobs within the campus premises. Students are entrusted with the responsibility of scheduling their working hours in a manner that does not interfere with their academic commitments. Additionally, students have the option to seek employment off campus as permitted by the Aliens Act. It is important to note that finding jobs off campus may be challenging without a strong command of the German language.

Student residences on campus

At the University of Hohenheim, several student residence halls are located on campus. They are managed by Student Services Tübingen-Hohenheim. There is a high demand for these rooms, which is why usually only a small number of applications will be successful.

International (non-EU) students have a much more difficult time than Germans in finding private accommodation at the start of their studies when they are searching from their home countries. Therefore, the university provides a quota of rooms for international students. This enables almost all new international students to have a room in a residence hall. To be able to offer this special assistance at the start of studies, the rental duration for these rooms is limited to two years for Master's students.

After this period, the house-hunting assistance offers support in finding a room on the private market.

CareerCenter Hohenheim offers guidance and support to students and graduates in areas such as professional orientation, building a professional profile, and the application process. The centre actively fosters connections with business and industrial partners, ensuring early engagement with the professional world through information events, seminars on essential skills, internships, and more. They assist individuals in entering their desired careers through activities like company contact fairs, company presentations, access to the JobTeaser job board, and personalised advising. It is important to note that these services are provided free of charge.

  • Welcome event
  • Buddy programme
  • Specialist counselling
  • Cultural and linguistic preparation
  • Visa matters

The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Hohenheim has established coordination offices for all its international Master's programmes. These offices serve as dedicated support systems for prospective, current, and alumni students, offering a wide range of assistance. The coordination offices aim to provide comprehensive support to individuals at different stages of their academic journey, addressing their needs and concerns effectively.

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  • General Information
  • Tuition fees

Application & Admission

Language requirements, program features.

  • List of Universities

2729 Study programs

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Study Agricultural Economics in Germany: 15 Universities with 21 English Degree Programs

All important info for international students in germany (2024/2025).

Studying Agricultural Economics in Germany offers a unique opportunity due to the country's advanced agricultural sector, strong focus on sustainability, and central location in Europe, making it a hub for international agricultural trade and policy discussions. Germany's advanced agricultural sector, rigorous academic institutions, and central role in global agricultural policy make it an ideal place to study these and other topics related to agricultural economics.

Study Programs in English

Universities

Universities in International Rankings

€ 0 (21 programs for EU citizens, 15 programs for Non-EU citizens)

€ 4,000 per semester (1 program for EU citizens, 2 programs for Non-EU citizens)

Winter Semester

between May 31 and May 01

Summer Semester

between July 15 and July 15

Top-ranked German Universities in Agricultural Economics

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public Technical University

No. of Students: approx. 53,000 students

Program Fees: € 0 - € 4,000 (per semester)

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public University

No. of Students: approx. 36,000 students

Program Fees: € 0 (per semester)

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No. of Students: approx. 37,000 students

Program Fees: € 0 - € 3,638 (per semester)

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No. of Students: approx. 27,000 students

Tuition Fees

3 english degree programs for agricultural economics in germany.

university

Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences - Hochschule Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel Wolfenbüttel

Sustainability & risk management.

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Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences Kleve

Agribusiness.

program image

Kiel University's Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences Kiel University · Kiel

Dairy science.

program image

Application Deadlines

Winter Semester 2024/2025

Summer Semester 2025

Winter Semester 2025/2026

Open Programs

18 programs

22 programs

Application Modes

Application process, sustainable agriculture.

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Friedrich Schiller University Jena Jena

Evolution, ecology and systematics.

program image

TU Dortmund University / Ruhr-Universität Bochum / University of Duisburg-Essen Dortmund / Bochum / Essen

Econometrics.

program image

TOEFL Scores

Cambridge Levels

5.5 (1 program )

60 (1 program )

B2 First (FCE) (1 program )

7 (3 programs )

100 (2 programs )

C2 Proficiency (CPE) (3 programs )

university

Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde

Global change management (gcm).

university

University of Kassel Witzenhausen

Agriculture, ecology and societies.

university

University of Bonn Bonn

Agricultural and food economics (afeco).

4-7 semesters

→ View all programs with online courses

Master of Arts

Master of Science

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science

Winter intake

Summer intake

Winter & Summer intake

List of all German Universities offering English-taught Study Programs in Agricultural Economics

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Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development

Program Fees: € 0

M.Sc. (Master of Science)

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Friedrich Schiller University Jena

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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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Justus Liebig University Giessen

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Kiel University

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O4af.com | Opportunities for Afghanistan

International PhD program in Agriculture Economics, Bioeconoy and Sustainable Food System in Germany

  • Germany, Germany
  • Apply Before : October 31, 2024

Opportunity Details

  • Opportunity ID 7063
  • Degree PH.D
  • Language Requirement TOEFL IELTS
  • Fields of study Agricultural economics Bioeconomy Rural development
  • Opportunity Type : Fully Funded
  • Gender Male Female
  • Language of Instruction English
  • Application Fee Required No

Opportunity Description

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)   will open its scholarship applications for International Ph.D. Agricultural Economics, Bioeconomy and Sustainable Food Systems – IPPAE Ph.D. Program.  

DAAD provides financial support for  Ph.D.  applicants from developing countries in the mentioned field. The  scholarship  will provide monthly and yearly funding, research funding, and German language course funding for the entire duration of 42 months and support Ph.D. candidates through the process of their research project. The program usually starts on 1 October each year.  

The University of Giessen and the University of Hohenheim’s agricultural economics groups jointly offer this competitive, interdisciplinary program for international students. At Giessen, the IPPAE focuses on problem-solving and empirical research at the intersection of agricultural economics, agricultural sociology, farm economics, and sustainable resource use.  

Important Details  

Application Starts: 30 April 2024

Application Deadline: 31 October 2024

Host University: Justus-Liebig-University Giessen  

Funding Organization: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)  

Location: Germany  

Medium of Instruction: English                                                          

Level of Study:   Ph.D.  Program  

Degree Awarded: Dr. Sc. Agr. (Ph.D.)  

Duration: 42 months without German language preparation         

Field of study:  

  • Agricultural economics  
  • Bioeconomy  
  • Sustainable Food Systems   

Benefits of the IPPAE Ph.D. Program  

DAAD will fund the students with the following items for the IPPAE Ph.D. Program 2025:  

Monthly Funding  

  • A monthly allowance of € 1.200 for the duration of doctoral studies (42 months).  
  • Family allowances for candidates whose family members join them during the doctoral scholarship allocation  

Yearly Funding  

  • A return flight every year, which is payable for a total of 3 years  
  • Yearly research funding of € 460 for items purchased, including laptops, winter clothes, or courses or conferences expenses  

Additional Research Funding  

  • One-time maximum € 2.500 fieldwork allowance for two years.   
  • Up to € 1.200 for the publication of the Ph.D. thesis   

German Language Course Funding  

  • The total amount of € 410 per month  
  • Accommodation is available   

Read EPOS Scholarship details HERE

Eligibility Criteria for IPPAE Ph.D. Program  

Applicants who wish to apply for the IPPAE Ph.D. Program 2024-25 should meet the following requirements:   

  • The scholars must be from developing countries and emerging economies (DAC)  
  • Demonstrate a minimum of two years of work experience  
  • Have excellent written and spoken English skills   
  • Provide an MSc degree obtained not more than six years before the application date  
  • Submit an MSc degree in agricultural economics or related subjects minimum grade of A or B  
  • TOEFL iBT at least 90, IELTS 6.5, 233 scores computer-based, and 577 points paper-based.   
  • Master thesis as a language proof if the applicants have done their MSc in English from the following countries: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States of America, from the Caribbean: Antiqua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevi, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, South America: Belize and Guyana  

The IPPAE Ph.D. Program Specific Activities   

The followings are the highlighted specific activities and timing for this Ph.D. program:  

  • Coursework (4 months)   
  • Proposal design and finalization (8 Months)  
  • Data collection in the country of origin (6 Months)  
  • Data analysis and writing (20 Months)   
  • Defense of thesis and publication (4 Months)  

Requirement Documents  

Prospective scholars should submit the following documents as part of their English or German application package:   

  • DAAD application form (signed)  
  • Motivation letter max. two pages long (signed)  
  • CV in Europass format  
  • Degree Certificate with certified translation for none German or English documents  
  • Transcripts with certified translation for none German or English documents  
  • Work experience certificate (s) for a minimum of two years of relevant professional experience  
  • Two-letters of recommendation from their employer  
  • List of publications (signed)  
  • Language proficiency certificate   
  • Well-structured and finalized research proposal of 5-8 pages  

Note: Read the document checklist here .   

How to apply for the IPPAE Ph.D. Program?  

Applicants must submit their application package through the IPPAE application form, available between 30 April and 31 October every year. Alternatively, applicants can submit their applications via post. The deadline for the post submission is the same as for the online form. Please follow these instructions:  

  • Applicants should upload the required documents in the application form in  two (optionally three) files only :    
  • The first PDF file must comprise the application documents listed on the checklist, which must be combined into one file using the “combine” function in Acrobat or a free online tool.  
  • The second PDF file must be the applicant’s research proposal only.  
  • The third PDF file must be the applicant’s Master’s thesis, in case the applicant uses it as a language proof (optional).  
  • Please do not compress the files.  
  • DAAD encourages earlier applications to facilitate the screening of the applications.  
  • The selection panel will not consider late or incomplete applications sent through e-mail.  
  • If applicants send by post, they should also send an e-mail with their proposal as a PDF file to the address below :  

Justus Liebig University of Giessen  

IPPAE (International Ph.D. Program for Agricultural Economics Bioeconomy and Sustainable Food Systems)  

Professorship for Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Policy  

Sandra Drebes  

Senckenbergstr. 3   

35390 Giessen  

Also, Apply for these opportunities:   

  Kazakhstan Scholarship for International Students in  (Bachelor’s, Master, and Ph.D.)

DAAD Scholarship for Master’s and PhD Degree in Development-Related Courses in Germany

For more information about the IPPAE Program, please visit the official link   of the university or the DAAD website  

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  • Japan, Japan

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Universität Bonn

Department of Economics / BGSE

  • Department of Economics

Bonn Graduate School of Economics

PhD Program

Doctoral program (phd) with integrated msc economic research.

Our two-year program Master of Science in Economics with a specialization in Economic Research (MSc/Economic Research) prepares you for independent academic research, providing you with the skills to push the knowledge frontier in economics. It is the gateway to our doctoral program in Economics.

Funding & Fees

There are no tuition fees at public universities in Germany - neither for domestic nor for international students. There are grants available from the very beginning of the MSc/Economic Research program.

Workshops & Seminars

From their 2nd year onwards, BGSE students participate in one or more of the BGSE workshops where current research projects are discussed.

FAQ Program

Below you find a collection of the frequently asked general questions about our combined research master/doctoral program.

Exchange Programs

The Bonn Graduate School of Economics offers doctoral students various ways of gather research experience in prestigious universities abroad.

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Higher Education Compass

Agricultural economics international course, full time, master of science.

Master Degree

4 semesters

Standard period of study (amount)

Stuttgart-Hohenheim

Please enquire

Overview and admission

Admission semester.

Winter Semester only

Area of study

  • Agricultural Science
  • Economic Sciences, Economics
  • Sustainability Sciences (Economic)

Rural Community Development, Agricultural policy, Economic theory and methods, Food Security, Food Safety, Sustainability

Target group

Graduates with an above-average Bachelor degree in Agricultural Sciences, Economics or a related discipline.

Admission modus

selection by the HEI

Admission requirements (Link)

Admission requirements

Admission regulations: https://www.uni-hohenheim.de/en/application-agecon-info

Lecture period

  • 02.04.2024 - 13.07.2024
  • 14.10.2024 - 31.03.2025

Application deadlines

Winter semester (2024/2025), deadlines for international students from the european union.

Some Master's degree programmes have different application deadlines: www.uni-hohenheim.de/bewerbung-msc

Deadlines for international students from countries that are not members of the European Union

Application deadline for germans and inhabitants, enrollment deadline for germans and foreign students, tuition fee.

Fees (Link)

Languages of instruction

Main language.

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst e.V. Kennedyallee 50 53175 Bonn

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Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

  • Degree Programs

8.0. Department Policies

The following are department policies of particular importance to graduate students.

8.1. Advisory Committee

An advisory committee chair should be selected during the student's first semester in the graduate program. The student and committee chair will jointly select other members of the advisory committee. Advisory committees for M.S. and MAB students must have a minimum of three faculty members, at least two of whom must be graduate faculty members in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Advisory committees for Ph.D. students must have at least four faculty members, one of whom must be from outside the department.

8.2. Degree Plan

M.S. and MAB students should file a degree plan by the end of the first semester of graduate study. Ph.D. students should file a degree plan before beginning the second year of coursework. The student and committee chair should work out a tentative plan, which will be discussed and approved by the full advisory committee. Degree plans must be approved and signed by the department Graduate Advisor.

8.3. Research Topic

Students working on M.S.-thesis and Ph.D. degrees should begin discussions on possible research topics with their committee chair and other commit¬tee members during the first semester in their program.

8.4. Thesis and Dissertation Proposals

Each M.S.-thesis or Ph.D. candidate will develop a formal written thesis or dissertation proposal. The proposal should include a title, a statement of the problem and rationale for the proposed research, a statement of objectives, hypotheses to be tested, a review of the literature, and a detailed description of the design, data analysis, and procedures of the study. Proposals must also include a conceptual framework that applies relevant economic theory to an analysis of the research problem.

After your committee chair approves your draft proposal, you need to distribute copies to the other members of your advisory committee. You should allow at least two weeks for the committee to read and evaluate the proposal prior to your proposal defense.

8.5. Proposal Defense

Under the direction of your committee chair, you should prepare an oral presentation of your thesis or dissertation research proposal. This presentation is expected to be formal and scholarly. Your presentation should include a clear rationale for the proposed research, a concise statement of objectives, hypotheses, and a detailed description of the design and methods of the proposed study.

You should be prepared to defend your proposal during a question-and-answer period following the oral presentation. When the questioning has concluded, the committee will determine whether you have satisfactorily completed the defense/exam. They will also decide what modifications, if any, should be made to the proposal before proceeding with the research. All committee recommendations at the proposal stage should be appropriately reflected in the final thesis or dissertation submitted in preparation for the Final Examination.

8.6. Preparation of Thesis or Dissertation

In preparing even the earliest draft of the thesis or dissertation, you should follow style conventions currently accepted by the department and Graduate School.

8.7. Final Requirements for Graduation

Students who are within nine months of completing their graduate degree programs are advised to consult the Graduate School Web site, and personnel in the Graduate School for information on graduation requirements and deadlines. Students are responsible for meeting all of these requirements and deadlines.

8.8. Offices and Computers

Graduate student office space is assigned by the department Graduate Advisor. All funded students are provided office space. Other M.S. and Ph.D. students are assigned office space if available. Office space should be used or it may be reassigned.

The department has computer facilities which are available to all graduate students. Students with office spaces are often furnished with a computer. Students should use these computers for academic purposes only. Any relocation of departmental computers will be done by the department's computer support staff at the request of the Graduate Advisor.

8.9. Copying and Office Supplies

Office supplies are available to faculty and staff. They are available to graduate students only by special request from their graduate advisors and for use only on department business, not for the student's course or personal use.

The department copy machines are restricted to staff and faculty use. Graduate students gain access to the copy machines only when approved by the student's committee chair or work supervisor. The copy machines are intended to support research and teaching activities and are not intended for copying course work material or books

8.10. Vacations

Part-time research and teaching appointments do not carry provisions for vacation or sick leave. Absences from campus must be approved by your committee chair or work supervisor. If a requested absence conflicts with departmental needs it may be denied

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Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics

Do High Rebates Guarantee High-Cost Savings?

May 14, 2024

PAER-2024-19

Yi Wang, Graduate Research Assistant

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Introduction¹

The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is the third largest food and nutrition assistance program in the US, with annual Federal expenditures reaching $5.0 billion and benefiting nearly 40% of all newborns in the nation as of 2021. The program assists pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, as well as children up to age five, who meet the income (at or below 185% of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines) and state residency requirements. WIC participants enjoy free infant formula (hereafter, IF) for their babies. In total, more than 50% of IF sales in the US are to WIC participants.

Since the late 1990s, WIC has leveraged on a sealed bid to contain costs via its infant formula rebate system. Specifically, IF manufacturers in each state propose product prices and rebates to the state WIC agency, leaving the net cost borne by the government equal price minus rebate. The manufacturer that offers the largest rebates wins the bid and becomes the sole brand of IF products bought via WIC, implying a concentrated market. While rebates reduce government expenditure, the concentrated market could generate conflicting cost effects, which further depend on the relationship between IF manufacturers and retailers.

My dissertation investigates the cost effects of the WIC bidding system with structural models. I am constructing demand and supply models that allow me to empirically test the vertical relationship between IF manufacturers and retailers. Given the results, I will perform counterfactual analyses to compare government costs in scenarios with and without the bidding system in place. This brief report aims to present key stylized facts about the complex IF market that motivates my models.

Overview of the U.S. Infant Formula Market

The U.S. IF market is highly concentrated. Abbott and Mead Johnson jointly dominate the national IF market, commanding an impressive 80% of total sales in the US. Abbott operates IF plants in Michigan, Ohio, and Arizona, while Mead Johnson’s operations are based in Michigan and Indiana. An essential marketing strategy employed by these leading firms involves not only selling products directly to retailers but also targeting physicians and other professionals.

On the other hand, manufacturer Nestlé, a later entrant to the US market and part of a Swiss parent company, lacks pharmaceutical retailing channels ( Betson, 2009 ). Nestlé operates a single plant in Wisconsin, but its acquisition of another firm, Gerber, in 2007 resulted in a significant surge in the market share. While other minor players and various private-label brands produced by manufacturer Perrigo exist, their market presence remains much smaller in comparison.

Figure 1 presents the market share trends of leading IF manufacturers from 2006 to 2020 at the national level, highlighting the pronounced concentration of the market among the three leading manufacturers: Abbott, Mead Johnson, and Nestlé.

Figure 1: Sales market share of the top three manufacturers and all other brands from 2006 to 2020

Figure 1: Sales market share of the top three manufacturers and all other brands from 2006 to 2020

While the total market shares of the two main manufacturers may appear similar at the national level, significant asymmetries emerge when examining state-level data. At this level, markets tend to be dominated by the winners of the WIC contract, leading to substantial variations. Figure 2 illustrates the annual sales shares of leading manufacturers from 2006 to 2020 in six states with the highest IF sales: California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Texas.

Figure 2: Sales market share trends of the top three Manufacturers in six states from 2006 to 2020

Figure 2: Sales market share trends of the top three Manufacturers in six states from 2006 to 2020

In these states, the market shares of manufacturers experience dramatic shifts as the WIC contract holder changes. For instance, in California, Abbott held a dominant 70% market share in 2006 when it was the WIC contract holder, while Mead Johnson only accounted for around 20% of the market sales. However, when Mead Johnson secured the WIC contract in 2007, its market share rapidly rose and reached 75% by 2008, while Abbott’s share declined to 15%. Similar patterns were observed in Illinois, where Mead Johnson won the WIC contract in 2008, leading to notable changes in market shares.

The WIC Program and Its Infant Formula Rebate System

WIC was established with the mission of providing vital supplemental food and nutrition resources to eligible pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children. Over the years, WIC has grown into a major government program. In the fiscal year 2021, WIC stood as the third-largest food and nutrition assistance program, with annual federal expenditures reaching 5.0 billion, trailing only the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Child Nutrition programs ( Jones et al., 2022 ).

Given its size, WIC agencies address budgetary concerns by requesting rebates from formula manufacturers through a competitive auction process. The winning manufacturer with the lowest net price (the difference between its lowest national wholesale price and rebate) gains the exclusive right to supply IF to WIC recipients in that state. Figure 3 provides a visual representation of how the WIC program operates. In the WIC program, the state agency reimburses WIC retailers the complete retail price paid by the participant, as evidenced in the transaction-level data directly obtained by WIC agencies. WIC participants access IF products from retailers using vouchers or WIC Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. Non-WIC consumers, instead, are required to pay the full retail prices for the same products.

Figure 3: Illustration of the WIC rebate system

Figure 3: Illustration of the WIC rebate system

Discussion and Implications

The institutional and market framework outlined in this report sets the stage for a nuanced examination of the WIC program’s rebate system and its impact on government costs. The unit cost of supplying complimentary formula to WIC beneficiaries is captured by the formula:

Cost = Retail Price — Rebate

While manufacturers extend substantial rebates, often amounting to approximately 85% of their wholesale prices, there is no assurance that this will consistently translate into significant cost savings for the government. This is because the retail price, influenced by the vertical relationships between retailers and manufacturers, plays a pivotal role. My research investigates the influence of varying vertical relationships on their pricing strategies, the consequent government spending, and the derived surplus for consumers, manufacturers, and retailers.

¹Researcher(s)’ own analyses calculated (or derived) based in part on data from Nielsen Consumer LLC and marketing databases provided through the NielsenIQ Datasets at the Kilts Center for Marketing Data Center at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The conclusions drawn from the NielsenIQ data are those of the researcher(s) and do not reflect the views of NielsenIQ. NielsenIQ is not responsible for, had no role in, and was not involved in analyzing and preparing the results reported herein.

Betson, D. (2009). Impact of the WIC Program on the Infant Formula Market. No. 51, Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service . https://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=84543

Jones, J.W., S. Toossi, and L. Hodges. (2022). The Food and Nutrition Assistance Landscape: Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report. Available at: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=104145 [Accessed July 1, 2023].

Oliveira, V., M. Prell, D. Smallwood, and E. Frazão. (2001). Infant Formula Prices and Availability: Final Report to Congress. Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service . https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/43025/35759_efan02001.pdf?v=6006.1

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2024-05 PAER: Graduate Student Research Issue

Latest articles:, impacts of mexico’s proposed gmo ban for us and global corn trade.

As Mexico’s proposed GMO ban is being reviewed by the USMCA trade dispute panel, we look to identify the economic implications of such a ban. Our findings show that Mexican producers will increase domestic productions and see income rises at the expense of US grain sector incomes.

The Pricing of Carbon-Linked Bonds for Agricultural Systems in Transition: Implications and Applications

This paper examines the application of commodity-linked bond structures to carbon futures markets as a potential model for future expansion of the suite of the suite of green financial products available to investors in agriculture.

Comparing the Effectiveness of Conservation Incentives

Using a dynamic model, this study compares the effectiveness of conservation incentive programs for the adoption of cover crops.

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PhD Student in Integrated Economic Modelling for Sustainable Business Planning in Agriculture at ZALF

PhD position is carried out in collaboration with the Doctoral Program in Agricultural and Forestry Research at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), Spain, under the research line

Scientific Staff / PhD Student (m/f/d) in Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment for Cellular Agriculture

26.07.2023, Wissenschaftliches Personal The Professorship for Cellular Agriculture (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Marius Henkel) was established in September 2022. Cellular agriculture is a multidisciplinary field

Scientific Staff / PhD Student (m/f/d) in Mathematic Modeling/ Microfluidics and Perfusion Bioreactors for Cellular Agriculture

Researcher (f/m/d) isotope biogeochemistry and gas fluxes.

The mission of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) as a nationally and internationally active research institute is to deliver solutions for an ecologically, economically

Postdoctoral position on Adaptation in Agricultural Systems (m/f/d)

. For the Research Department 2: Climate Resilience, PIK is offering Postdoctoral position on Adaptation in Agricultural Systems (m/f/d) (Position number: 18-2024 Postdoc Agriculture ) in the field of agricultural

Project coordinator (m/f/d) (50 %)

sciences with specialisation in agronomy or in biology or environmental sciences with specialisation in agroecology and agrobiodiversity, ideally with PhD or MSc/Diploma with experience in scientific work

Post-doctoral/research analyst position (m/f/d)

in different institutes participating in the Leibniz Association’s new Leibniz-Lab “SYSTAIN (Systemic Sustainability) – Biodiversity, Climate, Agriculture and Food within Planetary Boundaries” (see

Master Thesis - Hydrogen applications for a sustainable agriculture

meet the specific energy demands, particularly those of agricultural machinery. To successfully achieve the energy transition, it is crucial to reduce the use of fossil fuels. There are numerous options

Post-doctoral Researcher (f/m/d) for assessing practices of food system actors in the context of alternative food networks

Phd student (f/m/d) in the field of plant nutrition and physiology.

10 Apr 2024 Job Information Organisation/Company Leibniz-Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research Research Field Agricultural sciences » Other Biological sciences » Botany Researcher

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Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

The Institutes of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen have agreed to merge to form the "Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development". The Department is divided into eleven chairs.

PD Dr. Andreas Klärner has been appointed as an honorary professor

Andreas Klärner was appointed as an honorary professor at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Göttingen, effective from 1st February 2024. Andreas Klärner, a habilitated sociologist, has been working at the Thünen Institute since 2016, focusing on poverty in rural areas and the social and political consequences of spatial inequalities.

Start of the Research Network "Zukunft der Ernährung in Niedersachsen" ("Future of Nutrition in Lower Saxony" ZERN)“

The University of Göttingen, the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo) and the German Institute of Food Technology (DIL) intend to develop ways to shape the transformation of the agricultural and food systems in Lower Saxony and thus improve sustainability over the next five years. The focus will be on agriculture, nutrition and the environment and their many interconnections.

DFG Research Training Group "Sustainable Food Systems"

The Department is founder and lead organization of the Research Training Group (RTG 2654) “Sustainable Food Systems”, which is sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The RTG combines excellent interdisciplinary research on emerging topics for global food systems with innovative qualification concepts

63. Jahrestagung der GEWISOLA in Göttingen

The 63rd Annual Conference of the Society for Economic and Social Sciences of Agriculture (GEWISOLA) will take place from Wednesday, 20 September to Friday, 22 September 2023 at the Georg August University in Göttingen .

The Universities of Göttingen (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences) and Kassel (Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences) as well as the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Landscape Architecture) invite for participation and submission of papers.

The conference theme is:    "Sustainable food systems and land use change"

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Seven yalies to hone leadership skills as knight-hennessy scholars.

Daviana Berkowitz-Sklar, Tilly Brooks, Gabe Malek, Qusay Omran, Henry Smith, Lina Volin, and Barkotel Zemenu

Top row, from left, Daviana Berkowitz-Sklar, Tilly Brooks, and Gabe Malek. Second row, Qusay Omran, Henry Smith, Lina Volin, and Barkotel Zemenu.

A Yale College senior and six Yale alumni are among 90 scholars from 30 countries to be named Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford University. The scholars were selected for their independent thought, leadership, and civic-mindedness.

At Stanford, the cohort will pursue graduate degrees in 45 degree programs across all seven schools.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars is a multidisciplinary, multicultural graduate scholarship program that helps develop future leaders. The scholars receive up to three years of financial support to pursue graduate studies at Stanford while also engaging in experiences that prepare them to tackle global challenges.

The seven Yale affiliates named to the 2024 cohort of Knight-Hennessy scholars follows:

Daviana Berkowitz-Sklar ’23, who studied ecology and evolutionary biology as an undergraduate at Yale College, will pursue a Ph.D. in oceans at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. Raised in Costa Rica and California, Berkowitz-Sklar aspires to develop collaborative, science-based solutions to improve the health of ecosystems and the people who depend on them. She is interested in marine spatial ecology and socio-ecological systems and has conducted research in Costa Rican fishing communities with the DynaMAR Project at Stanford. She was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship as well as a Yale postgraduate fellowship to research whale migrations at OKEANOS-University of the Azores and a Rohr Reef Resilience Fellowship to study coral reef resilience at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Berkowitz-Sklar is the co-founder and president of a nonprofit organization, Nature Now International, through which she leads programs to engage youth in community-based science and conservation, including hands-on work with wildlife, citizen science, and STEM education.

Tilly Brooks  ’23, who was a linguistics major as a Yale College undergraduate, will concurrently pursue a Ph.D. in linguistics at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences and a J.D. at Yale Law School. Brooks, who is from New Haven, studied Indo-European philology at Yale before discovering an interest in action-based research and the relationship between language and law. Focusing both on the effects of law and policy decisions on marginalized linguistic communities and the application of linguistic theories, research methods, and tools to interpretive legal processes, she researches what she calls “the law of language and the language of law.” In the long term, Brooks aims to draw communities of legal scholars, linguists, and legal practitioners together with the common goals of advancing linguistic justice in the practice of law, and refining the use of linguistic evidence and tools for law and policy purposes.

Gabe Malek ’20, who was a double major in American studies and anthropology at Yale, will pursue a J.D. at Stanford Law School. He aspires to leverage commercial law, financial regulation, and tax policy to accelerate the clean energy transition. Malek has served as chief of staff at Fervo Energy, a next-generation geothermal power developer, and deputy chief of staff to Mark Carney, co-chair of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero and former governor of the Bank of England. He began his career at Environmental Defense Fund, where he helped formalize and scale the organization’s investor engagement strategy. At Yale, Malek received the Edward Sapir Prize for his research on international climate finance and the Institute for Social and Policy Studies Director’s Fellowship for his commitment to public service.

Qusay Omran ’21, who studied chemistry as an undergraduate at Yale College, will pursue an M.D. and Ph.D. in genetics at Stanford School of Medicine. He aspires to develop innovative therapies for cancers and immunologic disorders through research in chemical and synthetic biology. In college, he studied nucleic acid chemical biology at Yale and the National Cancer Institute, publishing his senior thesis on a novel self-splicing assay. Omran also led the Yale Review of International Studies, where he edited and published academic essays on global affairs solicited from around the world. Originally from Bahrain, Omran is a passionate advocate for displaced populations. He worked at Havenly, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty for refugee women. He earned a Dwight Hall Community Response Fellowship and the Berkeley College Fellows’ Prize for his contributions to the greater community.

Henry Smith  ’22, who was a double major in mathematics and statistics at Yale, is pursuing a Ph.D. in statistics at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. Through his Ph.D., Smith, who is from Hanover, Pennsylvania, aims to improve statistical understanding of machine learning algorithms so they can be more confidently applied across various domains. After graduating from Yale, he spent a year conducting research at the University of Cambridge, where he and a team developed a novel machine learning algorithm to solve a challenging problem in multi-drone flight. At Yale, Smith served as a leader of the Yale Votes Coalition to strengthen university voting policy and managed data for numerous political campaigns. He also spent three years preparing taxes for low-income New Haven residents. At Yale, Smith received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, an award for the best undergraduate thesis, and Yale’s Emerson Tuttle award for scholastic achievement.

Lina Volin ’19, who studied history at Yale, is pursuing a J.D. at Stanford Law School. Volin, who is from Hollywood, Florida, also holds a Master of Science degree in modern Middle Eastern studies from the University of Oxford. She aspires to advance access to health care and improve health outcomes through policymaking that centers equity and addresses intersecting social, economic, and legal issues. For three years, she served at the White House Gender Policy Council, most recently as director for health policy, where she worked on policy development and litigation response related to reproductive rights and helped to launch a new White House initiative aimed at closing critical research gaps in women’s health. Volin previously served as the council’s chief of staff and led efforts to advance pay equity and strengthen worker protections.

Barkotel Zemenu , an intensive physics major will graduate from Yale College this month, will pursue a Ph.D. in physics at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. Zemenu, who is from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has conducted in research on three continents, including work that has spanned particle physics, quantum gravity, and observational astronomy. At Stanford, he plans to leverage this background to investigate fundamental questions in cosmology, with a focus on the elusive neutrinos and the hidden dark sector. As a Yale undergraduate, Zemenu was selected to join the 73rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Physics, named Top Oral Presenter at the annual international conference hosted by the American Physical Society, and awarded multiple national scholarships by the American Institute of Physics. At Yale, he enjoyed being a physics tutor and studying numerous foreign languages.

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    6.0. Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program. The doctoral program in Agricultural and Applied Economics is designed to develop a broad based competence in economic theory and in techniques of quantitative analysis. Dissertation research of students in our department usually addresses applied problems using contemporary economic theory and ...

  23. Graduate Courses in Agricultural and Applied Economics

    AAEC 5393 Economics and Policies of the Global Cotton/Textile Complex AAEC 6000 Master's Thesis AAEC 6301 Advanced Special Problems in Agricultural and Applied Economics AAEC 6302 Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Policy Analysis AAEC 6305 Economic Optimization AAEC 6308 Advanced Natural Resource Economics AAEC 6310 Demand and Price ...

  24. Impacts of Mexico's Proposed GMO Ban for US and Global Corn Trade

    Purdue Ag Econ Report - Graduate Research: Explore the economic impacts of Mexico's impending ban on genetically modified corn on the US, Mexican, and global corn markets, analyzing potential shifts in production, prices, and trade dynamics. ... The Purdue Agricultural Economics Report is a quarterly publication written by faculty and staff ...

  25. Department Policies

    Graduate. 8.0. Department Policies. The following are department policies of particular importance to graduate students. 8.1. Advisory Committee. An advisory committee chair should be selected during the student's first semester in the graduate program. The student and committee chair will jointly select other members of the advisory committee.

  26. Do High Rebates Guarantee High-Cost Savings?

    The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is the third largest food and nutrition assistance program in the US, with annual Federal expenditures reaching $5.0 billion and benefiting nearly 40% of all newborns in the nation as of 2021. The program assists pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, as well as children up to age five, who ...

  27. 67 phd-agriculture positions in Germany

    Scientific Staff / PhD Student (m/f/d) in Mathematic Modeling/ Microfluidics and Perfusion Bioreactors for Cellular Agriculture. 26.07.2023, Wissenschaftliches Personal The Professorship for Cellular Agriculture (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Marius Henkel) was established in September 2022. Cellular agriculture is a multidisciplinary field.

  28. Joint PhD Program in Agricultural Economics

    The PhD-Program "Agricultural Economics" (J-PPAE) is jointly offered by the Georg-August-Universität of Goettingen (Germany) and Universidad de Talca (Chile). Welcome on our website! PhD-Candidates can do their PhD within the JPPAE at the Universities Göttingen and Talca. Interested applicants should contact both coordinators in ...

  29. Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

    PD Dr. Andreas Klärner has been appointed as an honorary professor. Andreas Klärner was appointed as an honorary professor at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Göttingen, effective from 1st February 2024. Andreas Klärner, a habilitated sociologist, has been working at the Thünen Institute since 2016, focusing on poverty in rural areas and the social and political ...

  30. Seven Yalies to hone leadership skills as Knight-Hennessy Scholars

    The seven Yale affiliates named to the 2024 cohort of Knight-Hennessy scholars follows: Daviana Berkowitz-Sklar '23, who studied ecology and evolutionary biology as an undergraduate at Yale College, will pursue a Ph.D. in oceans at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. Raised in Costa Rica and California, Berkowitz-Sklar aspires to ...