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Innovation, Economics and Governance for Development (IEGD), Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #127 (WUR) Maastricht, Netherlands
Maastricht University's PhD programme in Innovation, Economics and Governance for Development (IEGD) is a multidisciplinary course offered by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance. The programme focuses on research skills and methods, training fellows to become both scholars and practitioners in the fields of governance and the economics of technology.
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  • The programme provides advanced training in the knowledge and skills most relevant to the economics of technology, migration and innovation, and to governance, social protection and public policy analysis. While built around a common core of courses dealing with the economics of innovation and development, the programme also offers specialised elective courses in governance, public policy and the economics of technology.
  • Our programme trains fellows to become scholars and practitioners in the fields of the economics of technology and of governance broadly conceived. Both coursework and research in the institute are aimed at socially relevant knowledge, with a focus on development and sustainability, working through innovation, social protection and migration.
  • A core objective is to create a critical mass of researchers specialised in economics and governance of innovation and technical change, but also social protection, migration, social policy, and development. Our graduates become leading researchers in the field and are able to provide advice based on sound results. Our PhD Programme on Innovation, Economics and Governance for Development (IEGD) is a four-year,
  • Maastricht-based programme starting in September each year. It is taught entirely in English. Maastricht University awards the doctoral degree upon successful defence of the thesis.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

  • During the first year, fellows complete a basic compulsory training programme conducted by members of our faculty. The courses are spread across two semesters and taught in Maastricht. 
  • The first semester consists of a course programme to be taken by all fellows. In the second semester, we offer a menu of elective courses and fellows build their own programme, focussed on different aspects of innovation, social protection or migration. 
  • At the end of the first year, fellows defend a thesis proposal, following which they spend three years writing a PhD dissertation, leading to a PhD at Maastricht University. 
Courses include: 
  • The Economics of Innovation
  • Programme and Policy Evaluation
  • The Governance of Development as a Complex Social System
  • Leveraging Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • (Socio-) Economic Development
  • The Dissertation
For more information, please visit the programme website.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

General Requirements

Admissions requirements:
  • A Master’s degree from a relevant academic fieldincluding : economics, international relations, political science, law, social sciences, or business administration.
  • Basic knowledge of mathematics and statistics, 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, measured by reviewing the content and level of previous studies and/or working experience

Tuition Fee

  • International

    8000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8000 EUR per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • EU/EEA

    8000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8000 EUR per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
  • First year: €8000
  • Subsequent years: €4000

This excludes books, specific research costs, travel costs, accommodation, and visa or residence permit costs.

Living costs for Maastricht

  • 700 - 1170 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


  • Each year we will distribute a limited number of scholarships among the accepted fellows. However, due to limited funds, we encourage students to apply for a variety of other scholarships. 
  • Fellows who do not receive a scholarship from UNU, or from another funding agency, will be asked for proof of sufficient funding before being accepted on to the programme. The basic cost of living in Maastricht is around 1000 euros per month.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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