Areas of Research

For those who do not have a clearly defined research topic yet, the academic staff provides assistance and the possibility to join their international research network.


Potential research topics and fields

Innovation and regional development

Technological innovation is the most important source of modern economic development of regions. Students interested in the role of innovation in regional economic growth and in policies that might be followed to help regions succeed in a technology-based development path will have the possibility to be involved in internationally well-recognized innovation-related research projects. Topics include regional systems of innovation research (including research on the role of regional actors such as universities, local firms, multinational companies in innovation), the analysis of the role of global knowledge network embeddedness in regional innovation as well as impact assessment of knowledge-based regional development policies via extensions and applications of the GMR model system. For further details contact Professor Attila Varga (vargaa [at]


Entrepreneurship research and policy development

This type of research is based on the world’s largest individual entrepreneurship data collection, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor ( data set. Our academic staff lead by Professor László Szerb, together with other highly recognized scholars (Zoltán J. Ács, London School of Economics; Erkko Autio, Imperial College, London; Raquel Ortega-Argilés, University of Groningen) have developed the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI) and its regional version, the Regional Entrepreneurship and Development Index (REDI) ( The uniquely designed Penalty of Bottleneck (PB) methodology provides the possibility for tailor-made entrepreneurship policy implementation at country, regional and local (city) levels. Interested students are invited to participate in this top research that is in the absolute forefront of examining the role of entrepreneurship in economic development. For further details contact Professor László Szerb (szerb [at]


Financialization/financial globalization and its spatial implications on the EU financial markets

The key aim of this research is to discuss the most recent developments in the on-going global financial crisis and to critically examine the continuing financialization of economic processes that have shaped, and have been shaped by, the global and European circuits of finance. The financial crisis has demonstrated the global and geographical interconnectedness of the European financial system as a whole. While finance has traditionally been considered to be a domain of financial economics, it is evident that financial markets and financial crises are intensely geographical in nature and therefore the spatiality of finance and the approaches in Regional Economics, New Economic Geography and in Financial Geography cannot be ignored to address these challenges. The research is based on the finding of both the FP7 (RASTANEWS) network on the future of macroeconomic financial integration in Europe ( and on the Regional Studies Association sponsored Research Network on Geographies of Finance and Post-Socialist transformations

( is external) 

Doctoral students can get access to the FP7 dataset on country-level external imbalances to analyze regional imbalances within Europe and especially within EMU that are at the root of the European sovereign debt crisis. In the last 25 years a great emphasis has been put on financial market transformation in the post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. This research aims to identify to what extent the financial market integration of CEECs contributed to the regional imbalances within the European Union and the Eurozone comparing the pre- and post-crisis periods. The research examines the patterns of post-crisis readjustment in CEECs’ banking sectors and it also discusses the current policy arrangements and possible scenarios of the extension of the Eurozone to non-member CEE EU countries. For further details contact Dr. Zoltán Gál, Associate Professor and Senior Researcher (galz [at]


Network structure and macroeconomic stability

The economy is a complex adaptive system, which can be adequately described by network concepts. As a result, advances in network theory can be used to describe economic phenomena. Exploring, analyzing and modelling the different layers of connections between economic agents can improve our understanding of many economic phenomena. At the same time the explicit integration of systems of relationships may help us developing more precise micro and macroeconomic models. The research topic focuses especially on the stability of economic processes and tries to understand and model this subject with tools inherited from network theory or game theory. Requirements: MA in Economics, some experience in modeling and econometrics. For further details contact Professor Tamás Sebestyén (sebestyent [at]


Territorial governance and regional development (public administrative, political science, public policy approaches)

  • the mission of local and regional self-governments in planning and economic development.
  • national models of management of European cohesion policy  (especially in CEE countries)
  • public actors, networks in regional development (partnership schemes and practices)
  • comparative studies of territorial governance systems focusing on the meso level
  • territorial reform sin Europe (rescaling, regionalization)

For further details contact Professor Ilona Pálné Kovács (palne [at]


Universities and regional development

Universities are unique institutions that provide multiple contributions to economic and social development. The medieval teaching universities were translated into teaching and research universities during the 19thcenturies by first academic revolution, whereas the second academic revolution of the 20th century created the entrepreneurial university model where teaching, research and regional development are the explicit tasks of universities. This research topic focuses on the third mission of universities and all the related aspects of that.  Areas of interest include the legal and institutional changes that support the entrepreneurial turn of universities, the changes of individual attitudes/motivations, respectively risks and educational consequences guiding the entrepreneurial turn. For further details contact Katalin Erdős (erdosk [at]


Tailor-Made Research Support

A distinctive feature of the International PhD Program in Regional Development is its personal, tailor-made support system aiming to assist independent, quality research and publications. The Scientific Research course in the first semester introduces students to independent research. Research Seminars starting in the second semester provide students the practical knowledge in the design and execution of their own research and then writing publications that follow international standards. By the end of the fourth semester, students are expected to be able to write a research paper that can be submitted for publication consideration to a scientific journal.