PhD Programme on Urban Development and Governance

Application deadline

PhD applications are accepted throughout the year


Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities


average of four years

Tuition Fee

€ 12,500 per year



Programme information

Peter Scholten 



If you are looking for a place where you can deepen your knowledge and find an environment that provides you with inspiring ideas on the crossroads of theory and practice in urban development and governance, where you can connect personal and academic growth with a passion for making cities better and where your newly found insights and ideas can make an impact on the urban world around you, we invite you to consider the PhD programme of IHS.

The IHS PhD programme provides a refreshing academic-to-practice environment in which talented
women and men can develop their ideas and broaden their experience to become the leading professionals in research, education and practice of urban development. IHS guarantees a stimulating working environment and offers a flexible programme, with a variety of modalities. IHS also offers a variety of collaboration options to post-doctoral researchers.

Programme outline

As a student in the PhD programme, you will receive an à la carte menu of courses, tailored to the various stages of your PhD track: Introduction courses for beginning PhD students; Methodology courses and philosophy of science; In-depth theory courses for advanced PhD students; and Final stages courses.

You will be engaging with colleagues in a small class environment on challenging research problems of interest to both academia and practice. Doing your PhD at IHS will give you the opportunity to directly contribute to research and education and receive a combination of academic guidance, as well as reflection from years of practical experience in the fields below.
If you want to find out more about your research options, click here for more information about the research clusters!

Get your PhD

IHS/EUR has hosted PhD students from all over the world and supported a variety of research topics in line with its own research groups, policies and strengths. An overview of the current and past PhD research projects supported by IHS gives you an impression of the range of topics covered by the programme. Please check with our research and PhD coordinator if your research topic would fit within the scope of IHS research interests.

IHS welcomes PhD candidates who have their own research proposal and are able to secure funding for their project through private resources or grants, for instance scholarships from national or local governments. 

PhD applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Candidates can arrange their PhD programme individually in consultation with their supervisor. The regular PhD trajectory, which takes four years on average, foresees a minimum stay of three months per year at IHS to ensure a solid foundation for the supervision, while the candidate is free to return to their home country to conduct research throughout the rest of the year. The schedule is designed in consideration of the individual candidate’s needs and requirements.

Doctoral education – Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities
During your PhD track you will follow courses and workshops, and attended conferences. All of this is geared towards enhancing your research and networking skills. Many of these events are coordinated by the on campus Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities (EGSH).

These activities provide an opportunity to interact with PhD candidates from other Erasmus University departments and, in return, stimulate you to look beyond your own project and actively engage with different perspectives. Visit the Graduate School website to download the IHS PhD brochure or learn more about the doctoral education programme.