Fully-funded PhD position at Utrecht University on 'Innovation, Digitalization and Sustainability' (1.0 FTE)

Updated: 3 months ago

Fully-funded PhD position at Utrecht University on 'Innovation, Digitalization and Sustainability' (1.0 FTE)

Functie Digitalization is a pervasive trend in the economy and society as a whole. Digital technologies affect value chains, innovation processes, and business models. In this PhD project, we address the specific question of the linkage between digitalization and greening of industries. The PhD project is part of INTRANSIT , an eight-year research center in which Utrecht University collaborates with the University of Oslo and SINTEF, which delivers research and policy advice on the future of the Norwegian economy.
The project deals with digitalization and new sustainable business models in the context of the Norwegian economy, possibly in comparison with other European countries. Among the topics that the candidate can focus on are servitization, industry 4.0, re-shoring, and online platforms. Relevant sectoral contexts include the maritime sector, the agricultural and fishery sector, and smart manufacturing. Within the broad topic of digitalization and sustainability, the candidate can develop his or her own foci along the way.
In the project, both quantitative and qualitative methods can be deployed. Candidates will become part of the Innovation Studies group of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, led by Professor Koen Frenken. Travel grants allow applicants to go abroad to our partner institutes within INTRANSIT and elsewhere.
Profiel We seek highly motivated candidates with a MSc degree in innovation studies, economics, management, geography, or a related discipline. We are looking for candidates who:
  • know about theories of innovation, diffusion and (sustainability) transitions;
  • have an interest in sustainability;
  • are familiar with social science methodologies, preferably both quantitative and qualitative;
  • are proficient in English;
  • have excellent scientific writing and planning skills.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE), initially for one year, with an extension to a total of four years upon successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The gross salary ranges between €2,325 in the first year and €2,972 in the fourth year (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions  (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

Over de organisatie

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University , the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

Aanvullende informatie

For more information about this position, please contact Prof K. Frenken (Professor in Innovation Studies), via k.frenken@uu.nl .


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below.

The project can start sometime between 1 August 2020 and 1 November 2020.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Corona virus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews may be subject to change.
Reageren uiterlijk 26/06/2020
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