Our Aims and Objectives

We are the UK association for all those who research, study and teach global development issues

Find Out More

What is Development Studies

What is development studies, why it matters, how you can study and career prospects

Find Out More

Our Members

We have around 1,000 members, made up of individuals and around 40 institutions

Find Out More


Find out about our constitution and how we are run

Find Out More


Meet our Council members and other stuff who support the running of DSA

Find Out More


The DSA Conference is an annual event which brings together the development studies community

Find Out More


Our conference this year is themed "Unsettling Development"

Find Out More

Past Conferences

Find out about our previous conferences

Find Out More

Study Groups

Our Study Groups offer a chance to connect with others who share your areas of interest

Find Out More

Students and ECRs

Students and early career researchers are an important part of our community

Find Out More


Our book series with OUP and our relationship with other publishers

Find Out More

North-South Research

A series of workshops exploring North-South interdisciplinary research with key messages and reports

Find Out More

Membership Directory

Find out who our members are, where they are based and the issues they work on

Find Out More

Students and early career researchers

The DSA is committed to supporting the development of students and early career researchers


How we support students and early career researchers

Students and early career researchers are an important part of our community. To support this new generation of development scholars, we:

  • offer membership to students at an accessible price so that they can benefit from DSA networking and development opportunities
  • run an Early Career Researcher development fund to promote collaborative working
  • offer an annual Dissertation Prize
  • include a PhD Masterclass at our annual conference
  • holding a drop-in session for students at our annual conference to help them find out more about DSA
  • encourage a focus on early career researchers at DSA events

We have two student representatives on Council, and our student members are very welcome to contact them with any suggestions or concerns. There is also a popular DSA student group on Facebook with over 1,500 members.

This year at our virtual conference we held two sessions on getting published, one focused on journals and one on books, aimed primarily at PhD students and Early Career Researchers. You can view the recordings of these sessions here. 


Early Career Researcher Development Fund

Supporting collective research and engagement

About the fund

The DSA offers funding each year to support early career researchers (including PhD students) in collective research and engagement.

We aim to fund at least three events per year. An annual budget of £7000 is available and there is no limit on the amount per application.

The current call is open until 15th May 2021.

To be eligible, you must be a postgraduate researcher (including PhD students) or early career researcher (PhD and Masters) up to five years post degree. We prioritise applicants who have been DSA members (individual, student or global South) for at least one year prior to application.

View the full terms & conditions

How to apply

The application consists of two parts:

Note that you must complete the form in one session – you cannot save your answers and return to it. You can view the questions on a PDF if you’d like to think about your answers before completing the form.

Once you submit the form, you will see an on-screen notification that your responses have been recorded. Please do not complete this form twice: if you have already completed this form and wish to amend your data or are unsure if your application was recorded/received then email the DSA administrators – [email protected]


The DSA Dissertation Prize

Since 2015 the DSA has awarded an annual dissertation prize to Masters’ students working in the field of international development, development studies and development economics. This annual prize is awarded to the best masters’ level dissertation in these fields of study.

For the 2021 prize, all Development Studies and Economics departments in the UK are invited to submit one MA or MSc dissertation each for consideration. This year nominations will be accepted between 30 October and 18 December. We ask all the Heads of Centres of DSA affiliated institutions in the UK to nominate the highest scoring masters’ dissertation (MA or MSc) awarded on their “international development” or related subject programmes in 2020. We are happy to accept nominations of extended essays but these will need to be of exceptional quality to win when compared to longer dissertations. The nominations are evaluated by an academic panel from the DSA.