Based on the experience at the IDEA and the ZEF, the main objectives of the interdisciplinary curriculum are:

  • To provide students with interdisciplinary research skills and knowledge, exposure, socialization and communication abilities, as well as to support their development in these scientific areas.
  • To further develop and refine students’ disciplinary knowledge of theories and methods and prepare them to take up post-doctoral-level teaching modules in the long run.
  • To enable students’ understanding of integrative approaches (e.g., concepts, methods, tools, subjects/objects, etc.) used to solve complex research questions.
  • To develop and incorporate blended and e-learning modules for students.

The interdisciplinary courses with a general module on methodologies and tools for development research are introduced every year in April / May in Bogotá, after the doctoral students have joined the teaching program and modules offered by the doctoral programs of UNAL and at IDEA within the running programs: Economics and Environment (led by Prof. Dr. Carmenza Castiblanco) and Culture, Environment and Society (led by Prof. Dr. Tomás León), from February to May. Additional modules can be programmed as well during the second semester (August to November) depending on the particular needs of the students, the availability of German professors and the courses offered by the IDEA. This academic offering will be adjusted opportunely each year.

As a result of this training and socialization, the graduates will in addition have comparative advantages when applying for grants in development studies, teaming up later in interdisciplinary and international research projects and implementing policy-relevant research that addresses the SDGs.