Executive PhD

Program information

The part-time Executive PhD in Private Sector Development is taught in English and takes a minimum of 4 years.

In year one of the program, the MSM Research Methods and Skills (RMS) program needs to be successfully completed. During the RMS program you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the process of research, learning how to move from an initial research idea to designing a solid study to empirically examine the phenomenon of interest.

In the first year, you will also complete your PhD research proposal. Upon successful completion of the first year, access to the next years of the PhD program will be granted. Admission to this second phase depends on successfully completing the RMS program and on the assessment of the research proposal written by the candidate. A committee consisting of three members will evaluate the research proposal on academic and societal / practical relevance and feasibility. In case of a positive evaluation of the research proposal at least two expert supervisors will be assigned to the PhD project of the candidate.

Each following year, we will provide 3 additional workshops ranging from 2 to 5 days either at the MSM campus or online. You will participate in these workshops together with fellow Executive PhD candidates. The workshops will focus on the research skills and methodologies necessary to complete the PhD project. In the same week, we will also focus on progress evaluation through review by your fellow PhD candidates and through meetings with your supervisor(s). 

Your profile

We are looking for candidates with a Master’s degree who have strong academic records, professional and/or volunteer experience, affiliation with academic research and a special interest in private sector development. MSM welcomes candidates from all over the world from a wide wide variety of backgrounds, cultures and disciplines. The program is tailored to synergise the various backgrounds.

Participants in the program have external work responsibilities (full-time, part-time, self-employed, independent consultant), leaving them less time for PhD research. Ideally, the PhD candidate’s employer offers support by allocating time and allowing the candidate to incorporate their studies into their work (by providing data, support, related assignments and the like). The program is open for participants from emerging economies as well as developed countries.