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 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 Compulsory courses Theories - Social Systems and Organisational Theories - Contemporary Paradigms of Social Science Institutional Economics - Systems Science
Elective courses Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis ½ Structural Equation Modelling ½  Research in Strategy and Innovation ½ Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital ½  Theories of Management of Organisational Changes ½  Ethics and Responsibility in Management ½ Cultural Psychology ½ Cost-Benefit Analysis ½  Logic
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 necessary skills and experience of teaching at university level. The volume and period of internship is 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 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

To become a research fellow, you must apply for a vacant PhD position advertised on this webpage in the Call for PhDs section. Research fellow works 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, you are provided with a workplace, and as a student, you are offered teaching and supervision. This scholarship and position include an obligation to contribute to teaching at EBS. Duration of the employment is four years according to the nominal PhD study period.

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 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 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 from tuition and scholarships section.


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

  1. *Motivation letter for the research fellow position should include a short research proposal (name of the project outlined in the call, outlined research problem, previous knowledge in the field, skills and expertise concerning research topic, research methods and data student is intended to work with).


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 April 1, 2020.
Application deadline for EU students is June 1, 2020 (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 August, 2020.

Please contact Maarja Laos  for any questions you may have.


Call for PhD Positions for study year 2019/2020

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Tuition & Scholarships

Doctoral students who are not applying for a research fellow position but wish to enroll 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 110 € (core and special subjects), the fee for the supervising, co-supervising and consulting of the Doctoral thesis is 1000 € per semester and fee to cover the expenses of the defence of the Doctoral thesis is 1800 €.

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 and asked the study consultant. 

Translation of the resolution of the Board of SA Estonian Business School of the 2018/2019 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


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.


Upcoming Doctoral Courses 

Autumn semester 2019/2020 courses:

Philosophy and Methodology of Science 3 ECTS

Faculty: Amirouche Moktefi
Friday, October 11 at 9:00-16:15
Saturday, October 12 at 9:00-16:15


The course opens on a general introduction to the philosophy of science. Students are then invited to identify and construct the structure of their own research work. A visual tool will be offered to assess the extent to which their results are well supported by the evidence they provided.
The second part of the course is devoted to scientific reasoning and method. It addresses what science is and, hence, what stands as a scientific claim, what makes it so robust and what use can be made of it. Key concepts such knowledge, truth, paradigms are first surveyed before the basics of the scientific method are introduced, notably the practices of confirmation and disconfirmation.
The last part of the course addresses the social dimensions of science, notably in relation to technological progress. This topic is mainly addressed from the perspective of ethical decision-making. The course overviews the main theories in ethics, then discusses applications to science and technology.



Logic 3 ECTS
Faculty: Amirouche Moktefi
Monday, November 18 at 9:00-16:15
Tuesday, November 19 at 9:00-16:15

The aim of the course is to offer an analytical toolkit that will help students in constructing their arguments and assessing others’ arguments.

The course opens with a general introduction to logic. In particular, it introduces techniques on how to make definitions. Then, the course offers the analytic tools to recognize and assess arguments. Visual methods will help students to recognize and build structures of arguments and is expected to enhance students’ writing and reading skills. Students are also invited to detect fallacies found in common arguments. Then, the course surveys some techniques in formal logic to make and evaluate arguments. Finally, the course introduces students to the basic themes of inductive logic and its critical investigation.


Developing Teaching Skills 3 ECTS
Faculty: Marge Täks
Thursday, October 10 at 9:00-16:15
Friday, October 11 at 9:00-16:15
Prerequisite subject: Foundations of Teaching

The objective of the course is to develop an attitude of a social and reflective practitioner and the skills to systematically implement contemporary pedagogical practices. During the course students continue developing the syllabus and prepare for implementing it. Also working out the assessment methods and criteria that support acquiring the learning outcomes, also setting up an action plan how to support communities of practice in the university (collegial and cooperation communication/teaching/sharing practices). The students concentrate on practically implementing teaching competences.


Social Systems and Organisational Theories  6 ECTS
Faculty: Kätlin Pulk

Monday, October 7 at 15:00-16:00

Tuesday, October 8 at 9:00-15:00
Saturday, October 12 at 10:00-16:15
Wednesday, November 20 at 9:00-18:00
Thursday, November 21 at 9:00-12:15
Saturday, November 23 at 13:00-16:15


The primary aims of this module are that the students acquire an understanding of how the theory of social systems has been used in organizational theory as well as an understanding of the origins of the theory of systems.


Research Design and Writing  3 ECTS
Faculty: Professor Riina Koris
Tuesday, October 8 at 9:00-15:00
Thursday, October 10 at 9:00-12:15
Monday, November 18 at 13:00-16:15
Tuesday, November 19 at 10:45-12:15


The course will be based primarily on a series of reading and presentation assignments in which students will critically reflect on material they are exposed to and apply their insights to their own research agenda. There will also be in-class activities to offer students opportunities to apply and practice their skills. The bulk of the work outside of class will be devoted to a writing project of the student’s own choosing. The student is expected to work towards a research outline for either an on-going research project or a planned dissertation proposal.


Management Theories  3 ECTS
Faculty: Dr. Shiko Ben-Menahem
Tuesday, November 19 at 13:00-16:15
Wednesday, November 20 at 9:00-16:15
Thursday, November 21 at 9:00-12:15


The course covers the main directions of management theories and basic concepts and the main contradictions of these concepts are analyzed in order to explain to the doctoral student development opportunities in this field of theoretical thinking. Doctoral students discuss what is the nature of research objectives and hypotheses that can be developed on the basis of different theoretical foundations and which methodological assumptions are essential for research work in the framework of analysed theories. Compiling bibliographies and literature reviews, analyses of comparative specifications and conceptual schemes of theories, exercises for applying in case studies approaches that are based on different theories are used as learning methods.


Research in Strategy and Innovation 3 ECTS
Faculty: Dr. Shiko Ben-Menahem
Thursday, November 21 at 13:00-16
Friday, November 22 at 9:00-16:15
Saturday, November 23 at 9:00-12:15

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. The seminar will be highly interactive, with group discussions of published research papers on various topics in strategy and innovation, as well as students’ own research.


Students of EBS can register through ÕIS. Doctoral students of other universities should contact
Maarja Laos (