Research institutes

United Nations University–MERIT

United Nations University–MERIT (UNU-MERIT) is a research and training institute of United Nations University based in Maastricht. The institute, which collaborates closely with Maastricht University, explores the social, political and economic factors that drive technological innovation, with a particular focus on creation, diffusion and access to knowledge.

Working with its School of Governance (MGSoG), UNU-MERIT covers all aspects of governance in domestic and global organisations, from risk assessment to policy analysis, design, and evaluation.

Meet Ibrahima Sory Kaba - PhD fellow at UNU-MERIT


UNU-MERIT’s research programme is organised around eight research themes based on broadly common methodological approaches. Click here for more information about UNU-MERIT's Research Themes.


UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance offer a full-time PhD Programme on Innovation, Economics and Governance for Development (IEGD) and a dual career training programme to obtain a PhD in Governance and Policy Analysis (GPAC²).

Additionally, the institute offers a one-year double-degree Master of Science programme in Public Policy and Human Development as well as a number of short courses and online courses. The Evidence-Based Policy Research Methods (EPRM) course aims to equip participants with the fundamental tools for designing and analysing evidence-based research. The UNU-MERIT course on the Design and Evaluation of Innovation Policies (DEIP) is an intensive one-week course for policymakers in science, technology and innovation policy in developing countries and for participants from the private sector involved in strategic decision-making about technology and innovation. The Migration Management Diploma Programme is a three-month course designed for practitioners and civil servants working in the field of migration and/or asylum.

Research lines

  • Economics of Knowledge and Innovation
  • Structural Change and Economic Development
  • Economic Complexity and Innovation
  • Governance and institutions
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainability Transitions
  • Migration and Development
  • Social Protection
  • Population, Development and Labour Economics

Maastricht Graduate School of Governance

The Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) of Maastricht University is integrated within UNU-MERIT; MGSoG is the centre for UNU-MERIT’s double degree Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development, which aims to train public policy professionals for the global community. UNU-MERIT, including MGSoG, has been closely involved in research for a variety of UN agencies, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the World Bank.

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