The initiative of the University of Groningen in which research trips are offered to companies already exists for more than 30 years. International Business Research has its origin in 1988. At that time, the student association BIG of the Faculty of Business was the first student association in the Netherlands that organised a research trip to an emerging market outside of Europe. This project, at that time, was called ‘International Study Project’. This first project went to two destinations; Indonesia and Singapore. Every year the ISP departed with one group of 24 senior students who conducted tailor-made research in pairs of two. They were selected based on their skills, motivation, and academic results. During the project, two professors and a varied Board of Recommendation, consisting of people from the business world, secured the quality. In total the BIG organised 18 trips.

In 1992 the EFV, study association of the Faculty of Economical studies, also organised a first research trip, which went to Argentina. In this first year the project was concluded with a symposium in which all the acquired results were presented. This part is left out in successive years in order to focus on conducting market research only. Also during this project, a group of 16 to 20 students departed to a developing economy to conduct market research there. Two professors secured the quality of the research that in the end was also assessed and graded. In total the EFV organised 14 trips.

In 2007 the faculty of Economical Studies merged with the faculty of Business after which also both study associations merged into the EBF; the Economics and Business Faculty association. Due to these mergers also both research projects have merged into IBR; International Business Research. Several aspects of both projects are combined in IBR to establish a project with the best possible aspects. Doing so created a project that organises two trips to different continents every year. During these research trips, 20 students conduct tailor-made research for Dutch companies with broad international ambitions. Both countries are visited by 20 research students, five board members, and two professors. In the course of the years additional aspects were added to the project such as the special research course, specifically developed for IBR in 2015. All participating students follow this course “Research Projects in Emerging Markets’’ which is taught by Janny Hoekstra, professor at the University of Groningen. Miss Hoekstra also supervised the project for six times already.


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