Research Project Maastricht

Research Project Maastricht, an initiative supported by Maastricht University, aims to successfully conduct company specific research in emerging economies on a non-profit basis. The project is carried out annually and aspires to meet the unique and specific demands of Dutch firms, varying from small- and medium sized firms to multinational enterprises. RPM is best suited to companies with international ambitions and a global orientation. Each year since 1989, RPM has performed research in emerging economies including Brazil, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. This year the focus will be on the emerging and developing economy of China.

RPM consists of a multi-disciplinary team with twelve highly skilled students in the final phase of their studies. The team members are carefully selected from a large pool of applicants and possess the technical knowledge, as well as the cultural and linguistic skills required to successfully work in an international business environment. The team members’ competences range from legal to social to economic and business studies.

In previous years, RPM has performed various types of research, including market and sector analyses, competitive analyses, identification of investment opportunities, and searching for new distribution channels or possible new business partners. In order to ensure the highest quality research, the current economic, political, legal and cultural environment of China will be analysed extensively. Furthermore, preparatory company specific research is conducted in the Netherlands before departure to China.

Team departure is planned for the beginning of January 2019. Accordingly, from January to April 2019, the RPM team is eager to investigate, explore and evaluate opportunities for your business in China.

Research Possibilities

Research Project Maastricht conducts tailored research in which it aspires to closely meet the unique demands of your company. The project focuses on investigating business opportunities for internationally orientated companies, varying from small and medium sized firms to multinational enterprises. Several examples of possible researches are illustrated below.


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Market Analysis

Research Project Maastricht is able to provide a comprehensive analysis of different markets by segmenting and mapping potential target markets, and thereby to provide up-to-date market information to your company.


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Outsourcing Possibilities

Research Project Maastricht can research the possibilities for outsourcing business activities according to the requirements set by your company.


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Consumer Behavior Analysis

Research Project Maastricht can provide an overview of current or potential target groups including the characteristics, purchasing power and buying behavior of these groups.


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Competition Analysis

When entering a new market it is essential to explore the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Research Project Maastricht is able to analyze all products and services offered by the local competition, meeting your company specific demands. Furthermore, RPM can provide a comprehensive overview of your potential competitors in China.


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Import and Export Analysis

Potential import or export possibilities can be evaluated. Additionally, RPM is able to research all logistic, legal and tax issues that a company doing business in China might encounter.


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Investment Possibilities

Investing in emerging markets may imply a relatively high number of potential risks. Research Project Maastricht can outline the risks for your company as well as suggesting the best ways to cope with these risks.


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Business Partner Analysis

Research Project Maastricht can identify potential business and/or distribution partners in China according to a predefined set of company specific requirements.


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Market Expanding Opportunities

China offers great opportunities for foreign direct investments. If your company is considering to expand its business operations abroad, RPM can help identify new investment opportunities in China.


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Sector Analysis

The trends, opportunities and threats in any specific sector can be analyzed. Additionally, RPM can offer your company an extensive analysis of the suppliers, distributors, competitors and infrastructure of a particular sector.


Project startup

Phase 1:

November until April

Acquisition phase

Phase 2:

May until November

Contractual research in China

Phase 3:

December until April

Reporting phase

Phase 4:

May and June


Application timeline start-up board Research Project Maastricht 2020

October 2018 

  • Information evening: click here for the FB event
  • Towards the end of the month, deadline handing in application portfolio

November 2018

  • Interviews and results


Application timeline rest of the team Research Project Maastricht 2020

January 2019

  • Information evening: date and other details will be communicated via a Facebook event. Link will be posted here when available.

February 2019

  • Deadline handing in application
  • Job interviews and results


General timeline Research Project Maastricht 2020

For the timeline from here, please look at our “timeline” section on the website.


Requirements application 

  • 3rd year bachelor or master student
  • Enrolled at Maastricht University
  • Fluent in both Dutch and English
  • Available from: start-up board: November 2018 – June 2020, team: March 2019 – June 2020


Job descriptions 

Start-up board

  • Choosing a destination
  • Employing the team
  • Governing the overall project

LPR committee

  • All logistics concerning the research phase: visa, flights, accommodation etc.
  • Public relations: maintain LinkedIn, website, newsletters, contact with stakeholders
  • Next to LPR committee tasks, 75% of your time will be spend on the same tasks as the Acquisition committee

Acquisition committee

  • Arranging and doing company visits
  • Visiting industry-related events
  • Writing research proposals