Doctoral Studies

EBS doctoral programme in Management aims to broaden our understanding of the world by giving deep knowledge of organisational theories and society while developing critical and analytical thinking and research skills. Upon the successful competition of the programme, one has developed the ability to make continuous and logical arguments and synthesise new ideas. PhD degree in Management offers challenges and career opportunities in the academia as well as raises one’s value on the labour market. 

Programme Organisation

EBS PhD programme that focuses on the research of business, public and civil society organisations is the only doctoral programme in Management in Estonia and offers a comprehensive perspective on management and organisation studies. The programme is taught in English and has an international student body. On-going development activities and quality assurance of the programme is managed by the EBS Research and Development Council. 


The total volume of the programme is 240 ECTS, of which the studies give 60 ECTS and research activity 180 ECTS. Studies consist of compulsory and elective courses, doctoral/research seminars and teaching internship. The programme curriculum serves as a guideline for doctoral students, but each student has the right and obligation to put together an individual study plan. Research of the doctoral student is carried out according to individual study plan under the guidance of a supervisor. The progress of a doctoral student is evaluated yearly by the evaluation committee formed by the EBS R&D Council.


All doctoral students have an opportunity to go on exchange with the goal to pass part of their studies or conduct research in a foreign university. To exploit this opportunity is highly encouraged.


The doctoral thesis presented to apply for the doctor’s degree may be in the form of an independent thesis, a series of publications provided with the summarising review article, or a published monograph.


Compulsory courses Research Design and Writing - Management Theories - Institutional Economics - Philosophy and Methodology of Science - Qualitative Research Methods - Quantitative Research Methods - Organization Theories: Meta-theoretical Perspectives of Traditional Theories and Alternative Views to Organizational Reality - Contemporary Paradigms of Social Science Foundations of Teaching - Developing Teaching Skills
Elective courses Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis - Research in Strategy and Innovation - Logic - Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital - Theories of Management of Organisational Changes - Ethics and Responsibility in Management - Cultural Psychology - Cost-Benefit Analysis - Systems Science - Multicriteria Decision Making Methods - Structural Equation Modeling - Values in Theory and Practice   
Teaching internship Passing the teaching internship under the supervision of a professor is compulsory for all doctoral students and it takes place at EBS. Aim of this internship is to give the doctoral students the necessary skills and experience of teaching at the university level. The volume and period of internship are set in the individual study plan.
Exchange studies Every doctoral student at EBS has the opportunity to visit a foreign university or research institution with a goal to take courses and carry out research. Hosting institution is chosen by the doctoral student himself or with the guidance of the supervisor, and then coordinated with the home university. The goal of the exchange is to increase the circulation of knowledge and establish academic contacts. Length of the exchange can vary from one to five months.
Doctoral thesis

There are three different options for building up your doctoral thesis: 

  • Series of publications (minimum 3) with a conclusive article that is published by EBS as a dissertation.  
  • Monograph published by EBS as a dissertation. Monograph must be peer-reviewed by at least two internationally recognised and independent scholars. 
  • High-level peer-reviewed monograph published by a well-known international publisher

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 upon possibility accepts visiting PhD students.

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

As there is a limited number of scholarships and research fellow positions EBS also offers the possibility of becoming a PhD student as an individual or independent student. In this position, the student is affiliated with EBS as a student only and must pay tuition fee. 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. Independent students have no additional teaching obligation, but they must pass a teaching internship. 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 from the scholarships section.


Prerequisite for applying to the doctoral programme in Management is a master’s degree in social sciences or business administration (or equivalent qualification). 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:


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 1 April 2021.
Application deadline for EU students is 1 June 2021 (inc. Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus 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 Skype (for the foreign candidates) or in EBS. Next presentations take place on 25 August 2021.

Please contact Kaisa Lindenburg for any questions you may have.


Call for PhD Positions for study year 2021/2022

Labour Market Challenges and Education Institutions.png

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EBS Doctoral Research Position Behavioural Research and Circular Economy

EBS Doctoral Research Position Data Analytics for Social Sciences

EBS Doctoral Research Position Smart Tourism


Tuition & Scholarships

Doctoral students who are not applying for a research fellow position but wish to enrol as individual/independent PhD students have to pay tuition fee. The tuition fee for students is credit point-based: the fee for one credit point is 120 €, the fee for the supervising, co-supervising and consulting of the Doctoral thesis is 1350 € in 1st - 4th semester and 2250 € in 5th - 8th semester, and fee to cover the expenses of the defense of the Doctoral thesis is 2800 €.

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 2021/2022 academic year tuition fees.

Financing of research fellows

Research fellows are exempt from tuition and employed by EBS. 

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. 


Doctoral studies regulations

Principles of doctoral studies and the defence of doctoral theses

Formatting of Doctoral Theses in EBS
Evaluation Procedure of Doctoral students

Defended Doctoral Theses


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 the following scholarships for master and doctoral students, and young researchers.


Upcoming Doctoral Courses 

Autumn semester 2021/2022 courses:

Research Design 3 ECTS

Faculty: Dr Riina Koris
Monday, October 11 at 14:00-17:15
Thursday, October 14 at 14:00-17:15
Monday, November 22 at 14:00-17:15
Thursday, November 25 at 14:00-17:15

In an increasingly competitive research community within a rapidly changing world, it is essential that we formulate research agendas that are of lasting importance, with clean research designs that lead to generalizable knowledge, and with high likelihood of yielding results that will have impact in the world. Thus, we are offering this professional skills course that targets the research and writing methodology that are needed in order to excel in the research community, both during your PhD thesis and in your professional career.


Management Theories 3 ECTS
Faculty: Dr Shiko Ben-Menahem
Tuesday, October 12 at 14:00-17:15
Wednesday, October 13 at 10:00-13:15
Thursday, October 14 at 10:00-13:15
Friday, October 15 at 10:00-13:15

Online course

The objective of the course is to give profound knowledge in the field of management combining the present theoretical concepts with the analysis of future trends.
To create a general understanding of the main areas of management theories.
To guarantee sufficient preparation for further development of theoretical principles of management in such a way that students achieve a whole understanding of basic concepts of management theories and basic contradictions in existing interpretations.


Philosophy and Methodology of Science 3 ECTS
Faculty: Prof Jukka Veikko Mäkinen

Tuesday, October 12 at 10:00-13:15
Friday, October 15 at 14:00-17:15
Monday, November 22 at 10:00-13:15
Friday, November 26 at 14:00-17:15


The aim of the course is to support research process and develop analytical skills in reading and writing research texts. The course offers the opportunity to rehearse basic philosophical tools for identifying the main features of different research approaches.


Organization Theories: Meta-theoretical Perspectives of Traditional Theories and Alternative Views to Organizational Reality 6 ECTS
Faculty: Dr Kätlin Pulk
Monday, October 11 at 14:00-17:15
Tuesday, October 12 at 14:00-17:15
Thursday, October 14 at 14:00-17:15
Friday, October 15 at 14:00-17:15

Monday, November 22 at 14:00-17:15

Thursday, November 25 at 14:00-17:15

Friday, November 26 at 14:00-17:15

Saturday, November 27 at 14:00-17:15


The aim of this course is twofold. First, this course aims to introduce thoughts of the leading scholars in OT from the meta-theoretical perspective. Second, the course aims to challenge the assumptions of the basis of traditional OT by introducing a process theory of organization.


Foundations of Learning 3 ECTS
Faculty: Dr Anneli Veispak
Tuesday, October 12 at 10:00-13:15
Tuesday, October 19 at 10:00-13:15
Tuesday, November 2 at 10:00-13:15
Tuesday, November 9 at 10:00-13:15

Wednesday, November 24 at 14:00-17:15


The ability to learn is an evolutionary survival mechanism. It not only keeps us alive in complex and changing circumstances, but it is also an endless source of meaning and value. Learning is made possible by cognitive mechanisms such as attention, memory, and executive functioning. The interaction of those mechanisms allows us to solve problems, plan ahead and mentally operate outside the restrictions of the here and now. Understanding how these mechanisms enable learning, allows us to become aware of how we learn ourselves as well as to start noticing patterns in others.
During the course we will discuss the functional organisation of memory and attention, the role of executive functions in self-regulation, how emotions and motivation influence our thoughts, actions and formation of new memory traces, what does stress do to our minds and bodies, and how metacognition- the awareness of our own thinking- has the power to make us move. Additionally, all topics will be considered from the perspective of a teacher- how can we as teachers contemplate the cognition of our students to create meaningful and optimal learning experiences.


Research in Strategy and Innovation 3 ECTS
Faculty: Dr Shiko Ben-Menahem
Tuesday, November 23 at 14:00-17:15
Wednesday, November 24 at 10:00-13:15
Thursday, November 25 at 10:00-13:15

Friday, November 26 at 10:00-13:15

Online course


The goal of this PhD seminar is to develop a broad overview of some of the core areas of research in strategic management and innovation, as well as to develop competencies in constructing research papers that contribute to current knowledge in these domains.


Ethics and Responsibility in Management
Faculty: Prof Jukka Veikko Mäkinen

Monday, October 11 at 10:00-13:15
Saturday, October 16 at 10:00-13:15
Tuesday, November 23 at 10:00-13:15

Saturday, November 27 at 10:00-13:15


The course creates an understanding about the main directions of business ethics and CSR studies and introduces the significant current approaches in the area. The basic aim is to develop conceptual thinking and research capabilities in this field. The course is organized as a research seminar focusing in the important studies in the area of business ethics and CSR.


From Factor Analysis to Structural Equation Models 1,5 ECTS

Faculty: Prof Kaire Põder

Tuesday, November 16 at 16:30-17:30 (online)

Tuesday, November 30 at 16:30-17:30 (online)

Tuesday, December 7 at 16:30-17:30 (online)

Tuesday, December 14 at 16:30-17:30 (online)

Tuesday, December 21 at 16:30-17:30 (online)


The aim of the course is to introduce students the concepts of principal components and factor analysis and structural equation models. Course also allows to build skills for applying these principals using relevant packages in R.

This online course is designed for the students who are willing to apply techniques that allow measuring of latent concepts, e.g. attitudes, believes, opinions, or allow dimension reduction before regression or other technique. In addition course gives experiences and skills for working with survey instruments and has the ambition to discuss and apply techniques for structural equation modelling.


Register through MyEBS.

Doctoral students of other universities should contact Triin Sillaots (