AlumniWatch: From UN Research to EU Policy

For our latest blog, we asked Dr. Daniel Vertesy to share his thoughts on our PhD programme and how it shaped his career. Daniel speaks of his new life working for an EU research centre, the challenges of changing systems, and the importance of staying dynamic.

For many, it is just as surprising to hear that the UN has a University as finding out that the EU has an in-house scientific research centre. Just like the UNU’s research and training institutes located around the world, the various institutes of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) are spread across Europe and deal with a broad range of topics, from nuclear safety to photovoltaics, from deforestation to innovation. At arm’s length from the Brussels machinery, the JRC can be an exciting place for post-docs to get first-hand experience of the interaction between science and policy making at international level.

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AlumniWatch: New Governance Insights from Jordan

For the latest in a new series featuring top alumni, we asked Dr. Zina Nimeh to share her impressions of the PhD programme and how it has shaped her career. Zina speaks of what brought her to Maastricht, the challenges of gathering data in the Middle East, and the poignancy of completing the course during the ‘Arab Spring’.

I joined the world of academia a bit later than the average academic. My professional career in policy making was fulfilling and rewarding, but I somehow felt that it lacked the depth and academic rigour that would make it truly meaningful. This is why when I learned of the launch of a new PhD programme in Maastricht, backed with funding from the Marie Curie Research foundation, I was intrigued!

Set to begin in the fall of 2005, the interdisciplinary programme offered a state-of-the-art curriculum taught by prominent scholars in a wide scope of fields ranging from economics, to sociology to political science. It promised to equip prospective researchers with an all-embracing combination of theoretical education, technical skills and personally tailored areas of knowledge which would be utilized through “evidenced based policy making”.

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AlumniWatch: Innovating India from the Inside

In the first of a new series featuring illustrious alumni, we ask Dr. Lina Sonne to share her insights and impressions of the working world. Now based in Mumbai, she speaks of the city’s energy and optimism, as well as the challenges of breaking through years of patriarchy and bureaucracy.

It’s an exciting time to be living and working in India, not only to witness the massive social transformation but also to play a role in the whirlwind of top-down and bottom-up development. Change is now being spurred on several fronts, and academia is no exception. In particular, the setting up of new universities allows more students to follow tertiary education while improving home-grown research.

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