Our multidisciplinary Ph.D. program is offered by the United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) and its School of Governance at Maastricht University (UM). The program provides advanced training in the knowledge and skills most relevant to the economics of technology and innovation, and to governance, social protection and public policy analysis. Built around core courses for all fellows, the program also offers specialized courses in governance, public policy and the economics of technology. Our program trains fellows to become scholars and practitioners in the fields of governance and the economics of technology. The focus of both the training and research aspects is on making systems economically, financially and socially more sustainable.
A core objective is to create a critical mass of researchers specialized in governance, social protection and social policy, innovation, technology, and development, who in turn are able to become leading researchers in the field and to provide advice based on sound results. Our Ph.D. Programme on Innovation, Economics, and Governance for Development (IEGD) is a four-year Maastricht-based program starting on 1 September each year. It is taught entirely in English. Maastricht University awards the doctoral degree upon successful defense of the thesis.
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During the first year, fellows complete basic compulsory training to lay a foundation for their future research. The second semester involves elective courses which engage fellows in the topics in the topics in which the institute specializes. These courses vary from year to year depending on the interest of the fellows and faculty. The first year ends by writing a thesis proposal, which is presented to the institute at the end of the academic year. Successful completion of the first year is followed by dissertation research and writing. Dissertation topics fit into any of the institute’s seven research themes:
Course Level: PhD
Study Subject: Dissertation topics into any of the institute’s eight research themes:
1. The Economics of Knowledge and Innovation
2. Social Protection, Inclusive Innovation, and Development
3. Economic Development, Innovation, Governance, and Institutions
4. Sustainable Development, Innovation and Societal Transitions
5. Innovation Systems Indicators and Policy
6. Migration and Development
7. ICT-enabled Innovation and Societal Transformations
8. Population, Development and Labour Economics
Each year we will distribute a limited Number of Awards among the accepted fellows. However, due to limited funds, we encourage students to apply for a variety of other programmes. For more information, you can visit The grants pages of the university website. You can also check for grants and scholarships at www.studinholland.nl
If you do not receive a scholarship from UNU, or from another funding agency, we will ask for proof of sufficient funding before accepting you on to the program. The basic cost of living in the table below is around 1000 euro per month. We will ask you to indicate to us how you will fund your 36 months of enrollment in the program, as part of the acceptance requirement. You will not need to include this proof in your application; we will contact you in case we need the information.
- a Master’s degree from a relevant academic field, including:
– economics, international relations, political science, law, social sciences, business administration, health sciences or public health
- basic knowledge of mathematics and statistics, which is measured by reviewing the content and level of previous studies and/or working experience
- basic knowledge of economics, social sciences, political science and/or law, which is measured by reviewing the content and level of previous studies and/or working experience
proficiency in English, with a minimum level of 600 PBT / 240 CBT / 100 IBT for the TOEFL or 7.0 for the IELTS (native speakers of English and students who received their Bachelor’s or Master’s education in English are exempt). Maastricht University’s TOEFL code is 7102.
- English Language Requirement [TOEFL/IELTS]: Proficiency in English, with a minimum level of 600 PBT / 240 CBT / 100 IBT for the TOEFL or 7.0 for the IELTS (native speakers of English and students who received their Bachelor’s or Master’s education in English are exempt). Maastricht University’s TOEFL code is 7102.
Nationality: Open to all nationalities
How to Apply
How to Apply: In addition to filling in the online application form, applicants must submit the following:
- certified copies of your certificates and grades and an explanation of the grading system
- proof of English proficiency
- motivation letter of 400 – 500 words
- three letters of recommendation (in English only) by current or former professors or employers
- one-page essay indicating the topic of research interest
- curriculum vitae
- copy of your passport
- passport size photo
- full information about your present study and/or job
- We prefer to receive the documents as follows:
- Essay, motivation letter and CV: uploaded through the application form
- Passport and picture: uploaded through the application form (PDF or JPG)
- Recommendation letters, directly from the reviewers to the program
- diplomas and transcripts: electronic copies initially and later on hard copies by postal mail
Application Deadline: Check back next year