Can I also deliver application files in person?
Our student affairs office is located in our building at Boschstraat 24, in Maastricht. You can deliver documents there, or if closed, leave them in our mailbox or at the reception. It is not our preferred option though, we prefer online applications.
Can I visit Maastricht before applying?
It is possible to visit Maastricht. However, this visit needs to be arranged by you personally. At this time, we do not offer any open days/consultation hours at the institute, nor can we offer assistance in preparing the proposal or other application documents content-wise, as that would create a conflict of interest during the review round of the applications. In case you are interested to talk to us, please contact our PhD office to register for one of our online consultation sessions.
What should the research proposal include?
The main objective of asking you to write a research proposal, is to get a clear idea of your research interests and background. This will help us find out if we can offer the right supervision for your research project. By giving detail on the literature you plan to contribute to, the research question and the methodological approach you plan to follow, we are in a much better position to assess our supervisory capacity for your topic.
Therefore, ideally, the research proposal should include some of the following parts (1) background to your research topic (relevance, literature to contribute to, gap in knowledge) ; (2) research question(s) ; (3) theoretical/analytical framework ; (4) methodological approach (eg qualitative/quantitative study; data sources and data collection methods).
Please note that a PhD dissertation can be written as a monograph or a collection of research articles. If you would opt for the latter, you may also readily develop a research proposal reflecting this structure, outlining about three research papers, with a short description the of research question, theoretical framework and methodological approach.
We are aware that you may not have this fully developed at this stage, and it is indeed part of the first-year programme to develop the proposal in greater detail. However, we encourage you to reflect on your research plans in preparation to your application and share with us your thoughts.
Can I be too young or too old for the programme?
Age is not a hard criterion we consider when selecting the applicants, but for the full-time fellows an indicative age limit of 32 should be considered. As said, we may accept slightly older candidates if they have strong proposal, but in general the selection of candidates for the full-time programme tends to be relatively young.
What are my chances of being accepted in year one?
The selection process is competitive, as the programme receives many high-quality applications. On average, more than 300 people apply during our annual application round, yet we are only able to select a cohort of up to 10 fellows each year.