Application process (Full-time track)

Applicants for our full-time PhD programme must complete the online application form. In addition, applications must submit the following:

  • Application letter (1-2 pages) concerning your motivation for undertaking a PhD as well as your reflections on your suitability and ambitions for the position
  • 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 (native speakers of English and students who received their Bachelor’s or Master’s education in English are exempt). Maastricht University’s TOEFL code is 7102.
  • One letter of recommendation (in English only) by a current or former professor or employer.


Application deadline: 15 February 2024 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 2024. If you are on the shortlist, you may be invited for an interview with UNU-MERIT staff and the PhD director in April 2024. The final decision on all shortlisted candidates will be communicated by the end of May 2024.