Doctoral position on measuring innovation and technological development

Updated: 17 days ago
Job Type: Permanent

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Technology & Innovation Management (TIM) Group at ETH Zurich is looking for a doctoral student. We are seeking a candidate interested in doing research in the general area of technology management and behavioral strategy. We are specifically interested in candidates with a strong technical background in data collection and analysis (e.g. web scraping, machine learning). The project, which will be co-designed with the successful candidate during the first year, will focus on measuring innovation and technological development, using patent statistics (among other data sources).

The doctoral program lasts a minimum of four years, often extended to a fifth. ETH Zurich offers a highly competitive doctoral salary, at the international level.

Project background

We build on the tradition of research that looks at technologies as large socio-technical systems of interconnected components, whose evolution depends on both deliberate choice and emergent properties.

Measuring knowledge, innovation, and technological development more broadly has long been an important part of research in technology management. For example, researchers have used patent statistics to measure the knowledge bases and capabilities of firms, trace the flow of innovation over time and through industries, and map firms’ technology strategies.

This field of study is currently undergoing a resurgence, as new methods (e.g., text analysis, machine learning, big data analytics) and data sources are becoming available, and this PhD project aims to build upon and further develop these methods and applications.

We are interested in explaining both industry development and firm performance, in a variety of industrial settings such as additive manufacturing.

The following two papers are examples of relevant work that focus on industrial policy and firm performance, respectively:

Job description

We are integrated into the international scientific community, with access to a global network of leading scholars in both management and economics. We perform interdisciplinary research that cuts across social and natural sciences. Within the group, we are open to both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. While this project is quantitative, we expect you to learn how to collaborate with people who rely on different methods, and possibly expand their methodological skillset over time.

Your profile
  • a relevant MSc (120 ECTS) in either social (e.g. management, economics) or engineering sciences (e.g. computer sciences, mechanical engineering)
  • a strong technical background (e.g. machine learning)
  • excellent communication skills in English
  • a willingness to learn new methods
  • and the ability and motivation to challenge their colleagues constructively

Your workplace

Your workplace

We offer

The TIM Group provides a challenging, dynamic, and very diverse work environment, with access to state-of-the-art research facilities that support both field and lab studies. More information about the group can be found here .

chevron_right Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich
We value diversity

In line with

our values

, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our

Equal Opportunities and Diversity website

to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter (max 1 page)
  • Two reference letters
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • A short video recording (max 5 minutes), in which you motivate your application and explain your initial ideas for the PhD project, based on the project outline and research papers in this call. If you prefer, audio-only recordings are welcome too.

The position will remain open until it is filled, with evaluation on a rolling basis. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview, and will have the opportunity to meet several team members. The starting date is flexible, ideally early 2024.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Axel Zeijen, email (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

View or Apply

Similar Positions