Our Aims and Objectives

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

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What is Development Studies

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

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Our Members

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

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Find out about our constitution and how we are run

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

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

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Our conference this year is themed "Just sustainable futures in an urbanising and mobile world"

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Past Conferences

Find out about our previous conferences

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Study Groups

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

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Students and ECRs

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

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Our book series with OUP and our relationship with other publishers

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North-South Research

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

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Membership Directory

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

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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 January 2022.

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 2022 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 29 October and 17 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 2021. We are happy to accept nominations of extended essays but these needed to be of exceptional quality to win when compared to longer dissertations. The nominations are evaluated by an academic panel from the DSA. Decisions will be made in mid-February 2022 and the winners and their departments notified. We look forward to the winners presenting their research at the DSA2022 conference in July.



Dissertation Prize winners


Suzanne Loader of the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh – “Conflict or coexistence? A comparative analysis of depictions of human-wildlife interactions in the Kenyan media landscape” and

Adela Syslova of the Department of Development Studies, SOAS University of London – “Whose Sustainability? Political Economy of renewable energy transitions in Morocco and Algeria”


Euan Crispin of the SIID, University of Sheffield – The Dubai of Africa? Exploring the role of aesthetic representation in the construction of Eko Atlantic City, Lagos


Hamid Khalafallah of the Division of Peace Studies & International Development, University of Bradford – The Role of Development NGOs In the Context of Authoritarian Regimes: A Case Study of Sudan


Bushra Rehman of IDD, University of Birmingham – “The intersection of gender and disability in exacerbating poverty in displacement settings: Jordan as a case study” and

Henrique Lopes Valenca of GDI, University of Manchester – Industrial policy and structural change in Brazil after the Washington Consensus (2003 – 2014)


Henna Akram, SOAS – Are private schools delivering better education? An empirical analysis of the differences in academic achievement between children in private and public schools in Pakistan” and

Paul Fenton Villar, UEA – Evaluating the impact of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) on corruption in Zambia


Robert Mwanamanga, University of Bradford – Does foreign aid promote growth? Evidence from Malawi