Executive PhD

Programme 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 programme, two progress workshops will be organised. During these progress workshops the research proposal will have to be presented after which you will receive feedback of your fellow students and the lecturer. This will help you to successfully submit your research proposal in year one of the PhD programme. The progress workshops (intake 2023) are scheduled to take place on-campus from 9-11 May 2023 and in September 2023 (dates to be confirmed). 

In the first year, you will complete your PhD research proposal. Upon successful completion of the first year, access to the next years of the PhD programme will be granted. Admission to this second phase depends on the successful 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). 

The Executive PhD programme needs to be completed within a maximum of 7 years. Upon graduation, you will receive a doctoral degree by Maastricht University. 

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 programme is tailored to synergise the various backgrounds.

Participants in the programme 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 programme is open for participants from emerging economies as well as developed countries.