This PhD programme is a multidisciplinary course offered by UNU-MERIT. The programme focuses on research skills and methods, training fellows to become both scholars and practitioners in the fields of governance and the economics of technology.

The programme provides advanced training in the knowledge and skills most relevant to the economics of technology and innovation, and to governance, social protection and migration. Built around a core of courses on innovation and development, the programme also features modules on the economics of technological change, complex social systems, governance and policy evaluation, social protection and migration.

During their first year, fellows complete an intensive programme of required and elective courses, taught by leading scholars of UNU-MERIT and our partner universities. These courses are taught in English, in Maastricht, and spread across two semesters, starting in September each year. The course work is followed by three years of dissertation research and writing, ending with a completed PhD thesis. At the end of the programme, the doctoral degree is awarded by Maastricht University upon successful defence of the thesis. Our students pursue a wide variety of dissertation topics, fitting into any of the institute’s eight research themes:

1. Economics of Knowledge and Innovation
2. Structural Change and Economic Development
3. Economic Complexity and Innovation
4. Governance and institutions
5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainability Transitions
6. Migration and Development
7. Social Protection
8. Population, Development and Labour Economics

The Host Institute

The United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) is a research and training institute of United Nations University based in Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands. The institute, which collaborates closely with Maastricht University, carries out research and training on a range of social, political and economic factors that drive economic development in a global perspective. Special emphasis is on the process of technological change and innovation, including the governance of science and technology and on factors limiting the access to knowledge; on (public) policy analysis and evaluation; on the social aspects of growth and development, in particular the policy challenges posed by low levels of development including the limitations and possibilities for social security and other social policies; and on the relationship between global development and migration.