Research institutes

International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS)

ICIS is Maastricht University’s scientific institute for sustainable development. ICIS vision is that research, education and learning for sustainable development provides a knowledge base for policymaking and innovation in the pursuit of sustainability. ICIS contributes to the scientific debate about sustainable development, but also tries to achieve a constructive social impact towards sustainability in practice. Therefore ICIS collaborates intensively with other partners, such as governments, business, NGOs and other research institutes. ICIS is hosting MUST, the Graduate School which offers a PhD programme and Master programme in Sustainability Science and Policy.

ICIS, your knowledge partner for sustainable development.


  • ICIS and UNU-MERIT World Leading Institutes

    What Next for ‘World Leading’ UNU-MERIT & ICIS?

    Monday, April 3, 2017

    A committee of four Dutch and German professors gave the institutes very high marks for societal relevance, research quality and viability during an independent assessment.

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  • Refugee evening

    Maastricht University hosts event on importance of education for refugees

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    On Monday evening 27 March, in a full auditorium of the Maastricht University administration building, various institutions presented the results of a unique and intensive cooperation to support the integration of refugees. Since the fall of 2015, these organisations have closely collaborated to support refugees in this region in finding suitable education.

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  • Sjeng Kremers

    ICIS Alumna Annika de Flor wins Kremers Award

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    Annika de Flor has won the Kremers Award for her Master thesis: 'Water-related Ecosystem Services in the Environmental Impact Assessments in the Peruvian mining industry’.

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    Energise Europe

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    Across 30 European countries, researchers of ICIS, Maastricht University’s scientific institute for sustainable development, and their research partners are searching for projects that seek to change people’s energy consumption at home. The target is to collect information on 1,000 projects that will inspire the design and implementation of 16 Living Labs in eight countries to study individual and collective influences on energy consumption

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    ENERGISE project meeting in Maastricht

    Friday, March 10, 2017

    Two months after the official project kick-off, delegates of the ten organisations participating in the ENERGISE consortium convened in Maastricht to review the work done so far and to plan the tasks ahead.

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  • Sustainable pathways in agriculture: beyond certification

    Thursday, February 23, 2017

    ICIS Maastricht University and Wageningen University (WUR) organized a fruitful and inspiring symposium to present knowledge and insights gathered in two projects: SPIN and SUSPENSE.

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  • ICIS Book

    ICIS releases new book

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017

    ICIS released a new book which gives an overview of the diversity and richness of ongoing and recent sustainable development research at the institute in 35 short chapters, and it introduces ICIS research agenda for the coming years.

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  • ICIS Nicole Rijkens-Klomp

    ICIS-Researcher Nicole Rijkens-Klomp defended her PhD Thesis!

    Thursday, December 22, 2016

    Nicole Rijkens-Klomp defended her PhD thesis: “Foresight for strategic policies; lessons from local practice”

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  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Can Asian carbon trading schemes learn from EU case law?

    Friday, November 4, 2016

    Professor Marjan Peeters has delivered a presentation to the conference “Lessons from the evaluation of existing Emission Trading Schemes in China, Korea and the European Union for future design”

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    HEEC-project meeting

    Thursday, July 21, 2016

    On June 23 and 24 2016, the 2nd meeting of the research project titled “Energy Efficiency of Households in Cities: A Multi-method Analysis” (the HEEC project) took place at the International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS) of Maastricht University.

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ICIS works from sustainability science, an emerging field trying to bring together science, policy and society to find answers to sustainable development challenges and to formulate new pathways to contribute to sustainability.

ICIS researchers are involved in the conceptualization of sustainable development (making it operational in a meaningful way); the study of systems of governance (how sustainability issues are taken up by different actors); evaluating sustainability initiatives in business, policy and civic society; and theorizing and empirical analysis of innovation trajectories and sustainability transitions.

Research Lines

  • Sustainable Urban Development
  • Social Innovation and Transformation
  • Partnerships for Sustainability Certification

Go to Research Projects


The Maastricht University Graduate School of Sustainability Science & Policy (MUST) is based at ICIS, which offers a PhD programme and Master programme to study the complex challenge of sustainable development in an international and interdisciplinary ambience. ICIS provides also sustainable development courses at Bachelor level for other units at Maastricht University.

The PhD programme offers the opportunity to specialize in a sustainable development topic. In the Master programme special attention is paid to sustainability assessment in the broader context of innovation and governance for sustainable development.

Topics ICIS focuses on:

  • health and environment
  • biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • energy, transport and climate
  • eco-innovation
  • sustainable business models
  • sustainable urban development
  • global certifying partnerships for agricultural commodities