1. The Ph.D. proposal
The Ph.D. proposal (module 4) clearly has to indicate the goals of the dissertation, the procedure and a detailed time schedule. The Ph.D. proposal will be presented during a seminar to a team of 3 university professors (including the promotor), one 'external' expert and if necessary to other interested parties (to be decided by the Executive Board).
Although the main research can be done in the home country, the student will have to attend a number of seminars and/or conferences during the following years (i.e. before the final public defence of the Ph.D.). The Ph.D. student is also required to present (minimum twice) some of his/her research results to a peer group at an ITMMA seminar (and possibly also for other interested parties, such as fellow Ph.D. students).
The most important part of the Ph.D. programme is of course the Ph.D. dissertation which has to be defended in public. The thesis has to make an original and substantial contribution to a specific discipline. It has to be coherent and should include:
- a synthetic and critical overview of the literature that is available in the specific discipline;
minimum three substantial chapters, each containing
- an individual research contribution. At least two of these chapters have to be suitable for publication in refereed journals. The other chapters have to indicate that the student is capable of doing independent research according to the current standards in the specific discipline;
- a conclusion that clearly shows the link with management and/or policy and that justifies the gaps. Also suggestions for further research have to be made.
In case the dissertation is the result of more than one researcher, the individual contribution has to be defined clearly. It should also include a statement of the other researchers regarding their specific contribution. A Ph.D. thesis that only contains the research of co-authors will not be accepted.
2. The Research Paper (Thesis)
Those students who only want to apply for the M.Sc. in Transport and Maritime Economics, and consequently do not wish to pursue the Ph.D., can do so. In this case, they will have to submit a research paper (thesis) in order to obtain the M.Sc. degree in Transport and Maritime Economics.