Our second graduate school GSX was created in September 2019, at the moment that the Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI) and Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) joined the School of Business and Economics. It serves as a home for research on topics of strong societal interest.
Problem-driven research addressing societal issues
Much research in economics has societal relevance at some level. However, rather than focusing on the potential societal relevance at the end of the research project, GSX suggests a problem-driven research approach in which it focuses on projects that have as their starting points pressing societal issues or challenges. With this as the starting point, the research in GSX often takes us beyond disciplinary boundaries, mixing disciplines and methods within individual projects. As we appreciate and value joint knowledge production with actors within and beyond the academic world, research in GSX is often transdisciplinary in nature.
Research done at GSX covers a wide variety of topics and is executed by professors, postdocs and PhDs. Typical research topics include:
- Sustainability assessment
- Innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable development
- Governance and institutions
- Economics of science and innovation
- Structural change and development
- Migration and Development
- Social Protection
The overarching concern, though, is research that will have relatively direct practical implications, and help policy makers and others find solutions for policy issues and societal challenges. That said, the research done at GSX does not sacrifice academic rigor to achieve these ends. The success of GSX lies in its ability to combine high-quality academic research with a direct interest in societal issues.
Characteristics of GSX research:
Relevant to practice and/or society
Rich in used methods and methodologies
Research at GSX is to a great extent carried out within three institutes:
“An outstanding contribution to society – world leading!"
Drawing on a mix of data, interviews and narrative accounts, the committee of four Dutch and German professors presented their independent assessment in March 2017.
'An outstanding contribution to society – world leading!', is a verdict by an independent review committee on the work carried out by GSX institutes UNU-MERIT and MSI at Maastricht University, for the period 2010-2015.
LIJN-50 regional foresight studyMonday, May 31, 2021
The new Dutch Environment and Planning Act (‘Omgevingswet’) aims for more integrated policy to be developed in a participatory way. To support the so-called LIJN-50 municipalities Vaals, Gulpen-Wittem and Eijsden-Margraten in South Limburg, the Netherlands, the Maastricht Sustainability Institute and Pantopicon (a foresight and design studio in Antwerp) explored the potential of the region towards 2050 by means of a foresight study.
UM Researchers help map how people in cities get a health boost from natureMonday, May 10, 2021
Trees lining a street may encourage people to take a longer stroll or choose to bike to work. New research shows how access to natural areas in cities can improve human health by supporting physical activity. The researchers plan to equip city planners with tools to create healthier, more sustainable cities around the world.
VerDus-Synthesis Study: Urban Sustainability Transitions: Energy, Climate, & CircularityTuesday, March 23, 2021
How do we involve citizens in the sustainability transition? When do they start participating? What solutions could reliably count on wide public support and how do we find these? What implications could such an approach have for governmental practices? What barriers do sustainable solutions encounter at the institutional level and how could these be overcome?
By synthesizing the results of twelve different research projects, Joop de Kraker and René Kemp (Maastricht Sustainability Institute) try to provide answers to questions like these.