Doctoral Studies

EBS Doctoral Programme in Management is a unique, highly individualised double-track PhD programme, which focuses on real-world impact. Doctoral candidates are offered a choice between:

  • a classical academic research track, focusing on theories, analyses and critical thinking in areas related to contemporary management, business and entrepreneurhip related subjects;
  • an applied/experimental track, where research is directly combined with the development and implementation of real-life changes in organisations (private or public) or with the design and launch of new business or societal-impact ventures based on innovative product or service concepts.

The PhD programme is aimed both at candidates looking to pursue an academic career in management-related disciplines and candidates looking to implement change in their organisations or to design, develop and implement new innovative business concepts. 

Classical academic research track

This strand of the PhD programme aims to broaden our understanding of the world by providing deep knowledge of organisational theories and society while developing critical and analytical thinking and research skills. Upon successfully completing the programme, one has developed the ability to make continuous and logical arguments and synthesise new ideas. A PhD degree in Management offers further career opportunities in academia and increases one’s value on the labour market.  


Read more here

Applied and experimental research track

This strand of the PhD programme focuses on implementing real-life changes in organisations and on developing and putting into practice innovative entrepreneurial ideas and business models. The applied track provides students with the necessary skills and an extensive support toolbox for:

  • the development and “live” implementation of organisational changes and new business models in the context of specific organisations, or;
  • exploring, building, incubating and implementing new/early-stage business or start-up ideas. 

The academic outputs of the applied track are directly based on the data collected, experiences and analysis gained in the course of the practical implementation activities performed by the candidates. 


Read more here


Both tracks are interdisciplinary and candidates will draw on the expertise of different thematic groups at EBS depending on their area of study:

  • Management and Organisations;
  • Marketing and Communication;
  • Finance and Accounting;
  • Digitilisation and Entrepreneurship;
  • Economics;
  • Methods and Design;
  • Green Economy and CSR;
  • Education and Labour Markets;
  • Political Economy and Society. 

Both tracks have a volume of 240 ECTS. Candidates have the possibility to switch between the two PhD tracks during the course of their their studies. The programme is taught in English and has an international student body. On-going development activities and quality assurance of the programme are managed by the EBS Research and Development Council. 

PhD Programme in Management



  • Core subjects 36 ECTS
  • Special subjects 12 ECTS
  • Doctoral seminars 9 ECTS
  • Pedagogical internship 3 ECTS
  • Doctoral Thesis and related research 180 ECTS


  • Core subjects 12 ECTS
  • Special subjects 21 ECTS
  • Doctoral seminars 9 ECTS
  • Pedagogical internship 3 ECTS
  • Applied concept preparation/validation/testing/feedback/adaptation 15 ECTS
  • Doctoral Thesis and related research/data collection 180 ECTS
Important dates

Application deadline for non-EU applicants


Application deadline for Estonian and EU students*

Routes to a PhD 

There are two different “routes” to obtaining a PhD in EBS. You can either apply for a research fellow position or be admitted as an individual doctoral student. EBS also accepts visiting PhD students from similar focus areas.

Research fellow

When applying to EBS to become a PhD student with a topic from the „Call for PhD Positions“ section EBS Research and Development Council may offer you an opportunity of becoming a research fellow. The research fellow will work in a research group with a specific research topic. These positions are financed either by EBS or external funding (or in a combination of both). The research fellow is thus employed by EBS but is also a student at EBS being enrolled in the PhD programme. As an employee, research fellow is provided with a workplace, and as a student, teaching and supervision. This scholarship and position include an obligation to contribute to teaching at EBS. The duration of the employment is four years according to the nominal PhD study period. Research fellow positions are limited and offered to exceptional PhD candidates with a similar vision to fit the EBS academic faculty.

Individual PhD student

PhD students concentrating only on their studies and research are called individual or independent PhD students. Individual PhD students do not get a scholarship and will pay for their PhD studies. Independent students have no additional teaching obligation, but they must pass the teaching internship which is a mandatory part in the curriculum. Information about tuition fee can be found from tuition and scholarships section. The tuition fee can be funded personally or by an employer or another external funding provider. The requirements for enrolment as an individual student are the same as for research fellows, but as an independent student, you do not have to apply for a vacant PhD position. You can, therefore, choose any research topic within the EBS research field.

Visiting PhD student

PhD students from other institutions, who wish to spend a period of study at EBS, should contact the department they wish to visit. Individual agreements may be made on supervision, participation in courses and a workplace between the student and the department.  Information about visiting PhD student scholarships can be found below the scholarships section.


Requirement for applying to the doctoral programme in Management is a master’s degree or equivalent. Documents can be submitted all year round, but new doctoral students are admitted once a year – in August.

Following documents must be submitted to apply:

  • Application form in the DreamApply platform
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • University diplomas and diploma supplements (bachelor and master's studies)
  • Research proposal -> Template for the research proposal
  • Letter of motivation
  • Copy of a passport or ID card 
  • Certified translations of graduation documents -> only when the official documents are not in English

The decision of admission is made by the EBS R&D Council based on the research focus of EBS, the motivation of the doctoral student and argumentation presented in the proposal.


Application deadline for non-EU applicants is May 1, 2023. 
Application deadline for Estonian and EU students is August 1, 2022 (*inc. USA, Canada, Japan, Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and countries who do not need a visa to enter Estonia).


At the final stage of admission, you have to make a 5-minute presentation of your research proposal and answer the questions of the admission committee. The presentation can be done via MS Teams (for the foreign candidates) or at EBS. Next presentations take place on June 9th, 2022 (Non-EU candidates) and August 25th, 2022 (Estonia, EU, Schengen area). Admission decisions will be announced in a week. 

Please contact Kaisa Lindenburg for any questions you may have.

Tuition & Scholarships 

Doctoral students enrolling as individual PhD students have to pay a tuition fee. The tuition fee is €600/month (€7200/year), which provides PhD candidates with full and unlimited access to all EBS resources. The tuition fee is payable either directly or through in-kind means (such as participation in teaching, involvement in external projects, involvement in spin-off companies etc.). In addition, for the applied track, separate pricing applies to the validation/acceleration module depending on the direction chosen by individual students.


All doctoral students independent from their status can equally apply for several additional one-time scholarships aimed to enhance research activity. More information on financing your studies and research scholarships can be found below.  

Translation of the resolution of the Board of SA Estonian Business School of the 2022/2023 academic year tuition fees

Financing of research fellows 

Research fellows financed by the Estonian Government’s doctoral research grants are exempt from tuition fees. 

EBS internal scholarships 

Doctoral students who have shown notable results in research or development activities can apply for EBS scholarships that either partially or fully cover their tuition. Scholarship decisions are made by the EBS R&D Council based on the application by doctoral students, supervisor’s recommendation and the results of last scheduled evaluation by the end of September.  

ERF Scholarships 

ERF Dora Plus programme



Dora Plus programme offers several research-oriented scholarships with the aim to enhance the circulation and creation of knowledge. Dora Plus programme is financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme offers following scholarships for master and doctoral students, and young researchers.

Doctoral studies regulations

Principles of doctoral studies and the defense of doctoral theses

Formatting of Doctoral Theses in EBS
Evaluation Procedure of Doctoral students