Application-deadline-extension_ The Applied quantitative economics preparation for a doctorate (AQEPD)

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After the successful launch in 2016/17, the University of Rwanda, in collaboration with HSRW and GIZ, is announcing the second AQEPD Programme for 2018/19. Applications are due by       October 5, 2018.

What is AQEPD?

The Applied Quantitative Economics Preparation for a Doctorate (AQEPD, pronounced, “equipped”) is an academic bridge programme intended to prepare suited Rwandan Master graduates in Economics for their doctoral studies. It runs for 8 months from October 2018 through May 2019 with high-intensity courses, delivered in Kigali, and continuous research design.

AQEPD is an integral part of the GIZ (German Federal Development Cooperation) programme “Macroeconomic and Investment Policy”, which is in its second phase (2018-2021) and is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Joint Program

AQEPD is the result of cooperation between German universities and the University of Rwanda (UR); it has been designed and is delivered jointly by German professors and researchers, experts in the field of economics and policy advice, and academic staff of the UR.

Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences (Kleve, Germany)

Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences (HSRW) is an international German University of Applied Sciences, founded in 2009 ( Degree programs are interdisciplinary and focus on the application of academic knowledge in practice. At the Faculty of Society and Economics, one master’s program focuses on Sustainable Development. HSRW faculty members developed the AQEPD program structure jointly with RWI.

RWI—Leibniz Institute for Economic Research (Essen, Germany)

RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research (formerly Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung) is a leading centre for economic research and evidence-based policy advice, founded in 1926 ( Through its research work, RWI provides information on economic developments and their underlying catalysts assists economic policy decision-making and fosters economic literacy among the wider public.

University of Rwanda – College of Business and Economics (Kigali, Rwanda)

The University of Rwanda was established in 2013 after the merging of seven public universities. The College of Business and Economics (UR-CBE) is the largest of its six colleges ( It offers undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD programs. The UR-CBE is contributing substantially to the building of a critical mass of professionals, essential for high private sector-led growth and good economic governance in Rwanda and beyond.



Programme approach

The programme provides advanced training for teaching, research and policy analysis staff at Rwandan universities, research institutions and government agencies, including in preparation for accessing a PhD programme at a reputed international university.

All courses strive to impart economic knowledge and quantitative methods that are applicable to the Rwandan context and relevant to both academics and practitioners. During the 8 months, as part of the “Applied Project” module, participants work on identifying a research topic and drafting a first PhD proposal, while receiving individual supervision and support to comply with PhD admission standards. AQEPD uses intensive mentorship and coaching by German lecturers and UR co-lecturers; it fosters teamwork and exchange of knowledge between participants.

Module description

A1. Research Skills

The opening course prepares students for designing and conducting their own PhD proposal, while making use of adequate qualitative and quantitative research methods.

A2. Applied Project

Based on what the students have learned in research skills, students define and address a specific research question in their PhD proposal related to a relevant economic policy area. At the end of the program, students have the opportunity to present their proposals during a presentation session and receive additional feedback.

B1. Applied Econometrics

The course focuses on advanced statistical and econometric approaches, enabling the students to use databases for the collection of data and the statistical software package for data analysis. Students will apply tools of primary and secondary data collection and analysis to real-world economic problems.

B2. Empirical Macroeconomics

The course aims at developing students’ skills and knowledge of empirical macroeconomics at an advanced level. It combines knowledge of theory, data analysis and empirical research relating to key topics in empirical macroeconomics, especially in developing countries. Exercises focus on time-series analysis.

B3. Impact Assessment

The course aims at developing understanding of the functions of policy evaluation, project evaluation and project impact assessment. Students are trained to analyze and judge the strengths and weaknesses of impact evaluation approaches, in order to learn how to choose a suitable methodological toolkit for a self-selected topic.

C1. Advance Public Finance and Public Choice

This course deals with the fiscal tasks of the public sector in a market economy, targeting government expenditure and public revenue policies in particular. Students will be provided with a practical framework for thinking about public policy and public finance issues, analyzing their incentive effects from normative, positive and Public Choice perspectives.

C2. Policy Analysis and Design

The course provides an overview of key concepts of policy analysis and policy design, including models of policy change and the forecasting of policy outcomes. Students will have the opportunity to explore all stages of the policy cycle, ranging from problem definition to the formulation of policy alternatives, outcome projection, monitoring and evaluation, and the communication of results.


Documents required for admission

  • Certified copy of Master’s degree in Economics
  • Transcript of records and grades of Master’s programme
  • Proof of proficiency in English – the minimum level accepted is 600 PBT, 100 ICT or 240 CBT (TOEFL) or 7.0 (IELTS). Native speakers and students who have received their Bachelor’s or Master’s education in English are exempted
  • A motivation letter, detailing research interests, first research experiences and potential Ph.D. research topic (3 – 5 DIN A4 pages)
  • Two signed reference letters (by current or former professors or employers)
  • Letter from current employer (if applicable), including a statement of support of a candidate, confirming that employee is released from her/his duties during 9 weeks of courses
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of passport/ID

Admission depends on academic excellence

  • MA with distinction or grades above average
  • An exceptional letter of motivation and research interests
  • Two outstanding reference letters
  • Passing an entry assessment test

Venue & Schedule of AQEPD October – May

  • Seven (7) non-consecutive weeks, from end-October 2018 until end-May 2019
  • Courses are full time from Monday to Friday
  • UR-CBE Gikondo campus

Applications for AQEPD: deadline 5 pm October 5, 2018

  • Please submit your name, academic background and current job to
  • Supporting documents:

Either email documents in digital format to address   

Or bring hard copy documents to UR-College of Business and Economics, KK 737 Street, Gikondo, Kigali; P.O. BOX 1514 Kigali-Rwanda

      For any questions, please contact us at

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