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A unique research programme involving seven simultaneous investigations into government regulations and inspectorates has begun at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). Seven employees of national regulatory and supervisory agencies have simultaneously begun carrying out doctoral research on their organisations that could see best practices adopted more widely between these government bodies. Among the newest researchers embarking on their PhDs are employees from the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate, the Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection and the Netherlands Vehicle Authority. The study is led by Prof. Muel Kaptein, professor of Business Ethics and Integrity Management, and researcher Dr Martin de Bree at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) in close collaboration with Prof. Martijn van der Steen, professor at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB).

Regulatory and supervisory organisations are always challenged to innovate their approaches to make regulation more effective and efficient. Although there is not much of it on this subject, scientific research does offer important information. Furthermore, because all the employees are conducting their studies at the same time, this initiative comes with the bonus of enabling Dutch regulatory organisations to benefit from cross-pollination if any findings identify advantages.

At the end of 2022, Kaptein and De Bree approached the Dutch regulatory and supervisory organisations to propose they send their employees to Erasmus University to conduct doctoral research for two days a week for five years. The idea was well received, and seven candidates were selected and admitted into the doctoral research project.

“For the participating organisations this is a great opportunity to work together, develop knowledge and thus improve their overview,” say Kaptein and De Bree. “Conversely, this is an excellent way of bringing science and supervisory practice closer together for Erasmus University.”

Programme participants co-operate with the Dutch Inspection Council, a partnership of government inspectorates (Inspectieraad) to maximise the valorisation of the research.

RSM offers a Part-time PhD Programme in Management (PT PhD) for professionals. It has the academic rigour of a full-time PhD degree, and produces new and practical knowledge that can be absolutely relevant to participants’ particular area of business.

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Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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