The Center for Development Research (ZEF) is an institute of the University of Bonn, Germany. It started its research activities in 1997. ZEF's researchers aim to find science-based solutions to development-related issues. ZEF’s research departments on Economic and Technological Change, Political and Cultural Change, and Ecology and Natural Resources Management conduct inter- and trans-disciplinary research in, for and with emerging economies and on global issues with its collaborating research partners around the world. ZEF educates doctoral students from all over the world in its Doctoral Studies Program. ZEF is guided by an International Advisory Board. See also our organisational diagram.
Policy dialogue and public awareness
ZEF maintains an active dialogue with representatives from governmental and non-governmental bodies, as well as with national and international organizations for science and development cooperation and with the private and business sectors. With a number of non-scientific publications and events the Center reaches out to a broader audience.
Collaboration with outstanding academics and scientists from research centers in developing countries as well as other countries all over the world is an important part of the partnership effort. About 50% of ZEF's staff are recruited internationally and the Doctoral Program has a world-wide alumni network.
ZEF is financed by public funds, but acquires most of its funding (80% of its budget) on the competitive market for research funds. ZEF's main funders are the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the DAAD, the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation fiat panis, Thyssen Foundation, Bayer AG, Volkswagen Foundation, the Dreyer Foundation, Union Investment, and many more organizations as well as various governments through support to some of our doctoral students.