Application process

Applicants must complete online application form, to apply for the programme.

In addition, applicants must submit the following:

  • Application letter (1 page) concerning your motivation for undertaking a PhD.
  • Research proposal (2-3 pages) where you present the idea for the PhD project you would like to carry out, including theoretical and methodological approach. The proposal’s focus must be linked to the above core disciplines of UNU-MERIT, but the emphasis within this is up to the candidate to suggest.
  • A complete CV with information on education and previous research experience.
  • A copy of your passport (PDF or JPEG)
  • Electronic copies of certified certificates and grades, and an explanation of the grading system. Upon selection, hard copies by postal mail will be requested.
  • Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). We require a minimum level of 600 PBT / 240 CBT / 100 IBT for the TOEFL or 7.0 for the IELTS. Maastricht University’s TOEFL code is 7102. Native speakers of English and students who received their Bachelor’s or Master’s education in English are exempted.
  • A letter of support (in English only) from the current employer and an indication of ways to support the fellow.

For questions related to application documents or the application process, or questions you would like to have clarified before applying to the programme, we kindly refer you to our  FAQ section.


Application deadline:  28 February 2023 at midnight CET.


All applications will be reviewed within two months, and a shortlist of candidates will be made based on the above selection criteria. All applicants will be notified of the outcome, and whether you are on the shortlist, by the end of April 2023.



UNU-MERIT