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Executive PhD

Programme information

In year one of the programme, four workshops will be organised, two on-campus workshops in Maastricht, the Netherlands and two online. During these workshops, candidates will interact with faculty and fellow students, present and discuss their research. This will help you to submit your research proposal in year one of the PhD programme. The workshops are scheduled to take place on-campus (3 days each) in May and November and online (1 day each) in September and February. 

In the first year of the PhD programme, you will complete your PhD research proposal. Your supervisors (at least two) will also be assigned in year one of the programme. Twelve months after admittance into the programme, the supervisory team will evaluate your progress. 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.

Each following year, we will provide one on-campus workshop (3 days) and three online workshops (1 day each). The on-campus workshops will take place in May and the online workshops in September, November and February. The workshops will be an opportunity to develop your research skills, network with fellow PhD students and faculty, and receive feedback on your work. The on-campus presence also give you the opportunity to meet with your supervisors and evaluate your progress.

The general timeline of the MSM Executive PhD programme consists of four years. However, you can take up to 7 years to complete the programme, without extension. In case of exceptional circumstances, a maximum extension of up to 3 years is possible, meaning a maximum total duration of 10 years.

Upon graduation, you will receive a doctoral degree by Maastricht University.

“The online workshops as part of the MSM Executive PhD are a very suitable format for a short update on the research status quo and to make sure everyone stays on track. Obviously, feedback from a broad academics field is very suitable. The online workshops help us to open up different perspectives and to sort our thoughts.”
Mr. Christoph Pelzmann (Germany) current participant in the Executive PhD programme

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.