Doctoral Programme

Doctoral Training Units (DTU)


The key goal of the DTU 3E is to bring together members of 5 research units in Luxembourg who conduct social science research using the experimental method (Luxembourg Institute of Socio Economic Research LISER; Integrative Research Unit on Social and Individual Development INSIDE; Institute of Cognitive Science and Assessment COSA; Luxembourg School of Finance LSF; and Luxembourg Centre of Logistics LCL).

The aim of this new research consortium is to join forces across disciplines to embark in a comprehensive and innovative investigation of the interactions between economic decision making and ethics. This new research will include aspects of decision-making both within the household and in the workplace, and will explore the tension that often exists in these contexts between individual profit maximization and moral or ethical choices. We will use a variety of methods, all linked by the experimental approach, from behavioral economics experiments to computer science applications, to neuroscience techniques.

Our PhD students will be trained in this rich, multi-disciplinary environment and will learn to use scientific experiments in the social sciences from the perspective of economics, psychology, neuroscience and computer science, This training environment is virtually unique in Europe and will give our PhD students a strong competitive edge to become the research leaders of tomorrow.

The benefits of our consortium extend beyond its scientific merits and the potential for PhD training: the union of 5 prominent research units in Luxembourg will foster cross-institutional collaborations and will be a crucial step towards the establishment of a joint centre of excellence for the study of human behavior in Luxembourg.


New Doctoral Training Unit

With the free movement of people within the EU, decreasing transportation and communication costs, global inequality and political instability around the world, more and more individuals have been crossing borders in recent decades, either as permanent or temporary migrants, as daily transnational commuters, or as refugees. These cross-border movements generate important challenges for EU countries in general, and for Luxembourg in particular. In Luxembourg, foreigners account for about 50% of the total population and daily commuters nearly double the size of the national labor force. In this context, ACROSS aims to develop tools to monitor, analyze and improve the understanding of the causes and consequences of these flows – a prerequisite for relevant advice to policy-makers. It gathers economists and geographers from LISER, from the Department of Economics and Finance of the University of Luxembourg, and from the Research Division of STATEC (the National Institute of statistics and economic studies). The three partner institutions aim to create a team of excellence on cross-border mobility, a team where migration and labor market scholars can interact together with data providers, and where new generations of PhD students can benefit from synergies between institutions. Within the consortium, co-promotion will be systematically encouraged to reinforce the links between institutions as well as to train 4 younger researchers in PhD supervision. ACROSS builds on the doctoral education support of the Graduate Studies Program (GraSp) at LISER and of the Doctoral Schools of Economics and Finance (DSEF).

More information about ACROSS


The Doctoral Training Unit (DTU) on Data-driven Computational Modelling and Applications (DRIVEN) trains cohorts of Doctoral Candidates who develop data-driven modelling approaches common to a number of applications strategic to the Luxembourgish Research Area and Luxembourg's Smart Specialisation Strategies. The DTU creates a bridge between strong methodological core competencies and application domains by training each Doctoral Candidate both in state-of-the-art data-driven approaches, and in the particular application domain in which these approaches are expected to lead to new discoveries: Computational Physics and Engineering, Computational Biology and Life Sciences, Computational Behavioural and Social Sciences.

Funded by the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR), DRIVEN will result in a group of scholars that enriches Luxembourg's socio-economic landscape not only with expertise in data-driven discovery and machine learning, but also with a fundamental understanding of how these approaches can be of most use to a wide range of focus areas. We are strengthening the data-driven repertoire in areas already benefiting from these techniques, and strive to establish similar techniques in areas where these approaches are only nascent.

By embedding DRIVEN in the existing Doctoral Schools of the University of Luxembourg, a transversal Doctoral Programme becomes available, spanning across Faculties and reaching out to the Interdisciplinary Centres, as well as to the public research centres LIST and LISER. DRIVEN benefits from an existing doctoral education framework and established best practices, allowing to focus on innovative doctoral training strategies for its highly interdisciplinary research directions.

DRIVEN contributes, in conjunction with strong national and European initiatives such as Digital Lëtzebuerg and the Important Project of Common European Interest on HPC and Big Data Enabled Applications, to boosting Luxembourg's competitiveness thanks to an increased ability to make use of the vast amount of data generated worldwide on a daily basis.

More information about DRIVEN


The collaborative Doctoral Training Unit MINLAB is funded under the framework of the PRIDE scheme of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). It emerges from a strong cooperation between two faculties of the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).

The DTU on “Migration, Inequalities and Labour Markets” (MINLAB) consists of an interdisciplinary group of 16 supervisors affiliated to two Doctoral Schools who present a joint strategy for research and PhD training, and provide an innovative high quality training environment.

MINLAB specifically supports the development of applied socio-economic research (Economics and Quantitative Sociology) on issues around migration, labour markets and inequalities.

More information on the Doctoral Training Unit

The DTU gathers members across three Luxembourgish research units and institutions:

  1. the Center for Research in Economics Analysis and Management (CREA) and the department of Economics and Management in the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) at the University of Luxembourg (UL)
  2. the INtegrative research unit on Social and INdividual DEvelopment (INSIDE) in the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) at the University of Luxembourg (UL)
  3. the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)

The DTU benefits from CREA's excellence in economics and methodology, INSIDE's expertise in quantitative socio-economic analysis of inequality and social problems, and LISER's comparative advantage in public policy analysis.

Two doctoral schools are involved in the DTU: the Doctoral School of Economics and Finance (DSEF) and the Doctoral School in Social Sciences (DSSS) which are respectively responsible for the doctoral education in Economics (for CREA in FDEF) and Social Sciences (for INSIDE in FLSHASE).

The DTU finances employment of PhD students for up to 4 years, organizes training and provides generous funding for participation to workshops and conferences.

Two Doctoral Schools

The Doctoral School in Social Sciences at the University of Luxembourg

The Doctoral School in Social Sciences (DSSS) is based in the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education of the University of Luxembourg.

The DSSS is dedicated to the study of social change—one of the most urgent and pressing phenomena in Europe today—and sustainable economic development as the answer to regulate and steer as well as prevent impacts of social change. Sound scientific descriptions and previsions of socio-economic developments in core areas of social life as well as a sound sustainable policy on integration and social inclusion, employment, education and health provision are required in order to balance social and economic demands. One of the leading tasks of a university at the beginning of the 21st century is to develop research programmes that elaborate knowledge structures and action models which will secure a sustainable social development.

The general aim of the doctoral school is to develop international and interdisciplinary research excellence and to prepare the candidates for an academic career in research as well as other professional careers in the field of social sciences, economics, social policy as well as social management and development.

The Doctoral School in Economics and Finance at the University of Luxembourg

The Doctoral School in Economics and Finance (DSEF) is based in the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance of the University of Luxembourg.

The DSEF aims at providing doctoral candidates with a high-caliber research environment meeting the standards of the best universities in Europe and North America. The doctoral candidates will focus on developing their ability to cope with new, original research questions and address them with up-to-date quantitative tools and methods. The objective is to train highly skilled professionals and to contribute to the dissemination and advancement of knowledge in economics and finance.

Through the collaboration of the School's researchers with private partners as well as local and international public institutions, the doctoral candidates will have the opportunity to exchange with external experts and organizations.

The interdisciplinary nature of the School offers candidates a rich training environment and diversity of research topics, as well as a better opportunity of academic and professional placement within and outside Europe.

Two partner institutions

University of Luxembourg

Founded in 2003, the University of Luxembourg is the only public university of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Multilingual, international and research-oriented, it is also a modern institution with a personal atmosphere. Close to the European institutions and to Luxembourg's financial centre, the University of Luxembourg offers a large variety of doctoral trainings in the framework of its 7 Doctoral Schools.

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)

LISER is a Luxembourgish public research institute under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Its research focus lies in the field of social and economic policy including the spatial dimension. The research activities of the Institute are carried out by three research departments labelled "Labour Market", "Living Conditions", and "Urban Development and Mobility".

Research streams

Each of the MINLAB PhD position is attached to a particular research stream and is associated to a dedicated PhD supervisor, a Doctoral School (DSSS or DSEF), and an employer (UL or LISER).

After picking one of the themes, applicants are invited to develop own topic suggestions around the given subject area. Alternative proposals can also be considered.

PhD in Economics at DSEF:

  • a - Understanding how public policies affect integration, migratory trajectories (including subsequent and return migration) and immigrants' ties with the home country. In the context of the EU and the current migration crisis.
    Advisors: Prof. Picard and Dr. Verheyden; DSEF; UL.
    (Filled) PhD Student: Mr. Alper Ünsal
  • b - Studying the impact of immigration policies increasing the match between immigrants skills and labour market needs on the economic performance of immigrants.
    Advisors: Prof. M. Beine (DSEF, UL).
  • c - Evaluating the impact of policies on labour market outcomes based on state-of-the-art research designs in applied econometrics using survey or administrative data.
    Advisors: Prof. Konstantinos Tatsiramos; DSEF, UL & LISER
    (Filled) PhD Student: Mr. Giuseppe Grasso
  • d - Improving econometric methodologies to predict missing observations in the merging of migration, labour and income inequality databases. Assessing the inverse probability tilting method developed by Graham et. al (2012).
    Advisors: Prof. Tripathi and Prof. Cosma; DSEF; UL.
    (Filled) PhD Student: Mr. Andreï Kostyrka
  • e - Analyze the effects of migration flows in the destination and the origin countries when countries experience strong economic integration and less restrictive migration policies, which enhance the tax base mobility and possibly regional/national asymmetries in economic activities.
    Advisor: Prof. Zanaj; DSEF; UL.
    (Filled) PhD Student: Ms. Victoria Maleeva
  • g - Differentiating conflicts and economic incentives as the determinant of emigration decisions. Understanding how the nature and location of conflicts and the local inequality matter for emigration. Empirical research.
    Advisor: Prof. Bertinelli; DSEF; UL.
    (Filled) PhD Student: Ms. Rana Cömertpay
  • j - Analyzing the impact of taxation on the migration of skilled and unskilled labour across occupations and across countries or regions. Assessing the capability of EU labour markets to absorb the country or regional disparities and job polarization.
    Advisor: Prof. Dupuy; DSEF; UL.
    (Filled) PhD Student: Mr. Alessio Monetti

PhD in Social Sciences at DSSS:

  • f - Studying the effects of economic insecurity, mass migration, destandardization of the life-course on health outcomes. Reconsidering the “healthy living in hard times” paradigm according to which health actually improves during economic downturns.
    Advisor: Prof. D'Ambrosio; DSSS; UL.
    (Filled) PhD Student: Ms. Giorgia Menta
  • h - Understanding inequality and migration as a determinant of intergenerational socioeconomic mobility. Revisiting the “Great Gatsby Curve” according to which the Gini index and intergenerational elasticity of income are negatively correlated. Use of the EU-SILC cross-sectional and longitudinal survey.
    Advisor: Prof. Chauvel; DSSS; UL.
    (Filled) PhD Student: Mr. Maximilian Schiele
  • i - Explaining inequalities in aging and health with life-course factors such as socioeconomic status, health, education, social network, employment trajectories, work ability, independent physical and cognitive functioning in older age.
    Advisor: Dr. Leist; DSSS; UL.
  • k - Studying the long term distributive impacts of social protection and tax-benefit mechanisms. Understanding how social protection, taxation and labour market institutions affect inequality, distribution and mobility (within and across generations). Use of tax-benefit microsimulation models and micro-econometric analysis.
    Advisor: Prof. Van Kerm; DSSS; UL.
    (Filled) PhD Student: Ms. Rhea Ravenna Sohst
  • l - Analyzing inequalities in civic engagement and perception of immigrants among native and immigrant youth before and after the "immigration crisis" in Europe. Focus on individual, parents', and school-level characteristics.
    Advisor: Dr. Valentova; DSSS; LISER.
    (Filled) PhD Student: Ms. Adda Justiniano Medina