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.
According to the Keuzegids Masters 2019, Maastricht University is the best university in the Netherlands, a shared position with the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
In the soon-to-be completed first phase of ZonMw project "Making space for health in the city: towards a South Limburg knowledge agenda", knowledge gaps were identified about how our urban living environment influences health. A whole range of methods was employed. Let's highlight two methods that were a bit more out-of-the box.
Siemen Brinksma started as a researcher at UM for the ENLEB project. In December he ended his valuable research and left for a world tour.
“The effects of sustainability labels on producers have scarcely been studied, let alone in Indonesia. We’ll be filling this gap by looking at how Indonesian producers experience the daily reality of sustainability labels, thus shining a light on the Southern perspective in an otherwise predominantly Western story.”
"Complex global problems such as sustainability are on the rise, not to mention problems like climate change, declining social cohesion and lack of citizen participation. “These are big issues for which the national government isn’t taking responsibility.”
“I don’t know if it’s feasible, but in my ideal world zoos are places where you nurture endangered species with a view to releasing them into the wild. But that wouldn’t be a park you could let people into."
"In my research program on partnerships we aim to better understand and define the roles and functions of various types of collaborations of businesses, nongovernmental organizations and governments, the architecture of the arrangements, the conditions that determine their performance, and the implications in terms of governance for sustainable development."
Finding optimal regulatory approaches for a dramatic reduction of greenhouse gases at the right governmental scales across the world is at the heart of the debate on climate change. Not only efficiency and effectiveness, but also questions of equity and transparency have to be addressed, next to the fundamental question of who is going to decide the stringency and content of such climate law: the legislator or the courts?
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.
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: