PhD Pervasive standards and their impact on standardization ecosystem & society

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 01 Mar 2020

Ph.D. vacancy: Pervasive standards and their impact on the standardization ecosystem and society Starting date: as soon as possible


Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences

Reference number


Job description

The Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) of the Eindhoven University of Technology is opening a 4-year, fully funded Ph.D. position. The position is designed to foster research on the project “Pervasive standards and their impact on the standardization ecosystem and society.”

The project:

In our increasingly connected world, technical standards allow us to define ways in which products and services can link and successfully work together. This is especially important for smart technologies that aim to address Grand Societal Challenges such as sustainability, energy, and mobility, and makes standards increasingly ubiquitous. But how does this changing nature of standards affect the ecosystem in which standards emerge, the actors within this ecosystem, and society? Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research techniques, this PhD project investigates the effects of the increasingly pervasive nature of standards on important aspects such as actor representation in standards setting, their depth of standardization involvement, the challenges these actors perceive, as well as challenges experienced by standardization institutions, such as ISO, ETSI, or NEN. The project will involve a number of case studies, and candidates include Intelligent Transport Systems (especially vehicle-to-x communication), Smart Energy Grids, and Industry 4.0.

Job description:

You, as a successful applicant, will develop state of the art skills in research through empirical analyses that combine quantitative techniques (network analysis, statistical analysis, regression analysis) and qualitative analysis (including interacting with stakeholders).  You will present the results of the research in a Ph.D. dissertation, to be completed within four years. A small teaching load is part of the job.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is one of the world’s leading research universities. Already for years, TU/e has been in the top 20 percent worldwide of the general Times Higher Education and QS rankings. TU/e is rated 12th in the ARWU/Shanghai ranking for Engineering Technology and Computer Science and is in the top 100 of the QS World Rankings for best universities worldwide. It is particularly well-known for its joint research with industry. Through excellent research TU/e aims at providing solutions to global societal challenges and contributing to the prosperity and welfare in the region and beyond. TU/e is located at the heart of Brainport Eindhoven, a world-class high-tech innovation hub, renowned for its high level of investments in R&D and for filing the largest number of patent applications per year in Europe.

Research group and supervision:

At Eindhoven University of Technology, you will be part of two groups. Firstly, the Technology, Innovation, and Society (TIS) group, which is a young, ambitious, and international group with an excellent track record. Our research focuses on understanding the development and use of technology in a business and societal context. Our main research topics are in the knowledge economy, the economics of innovation and intellectual property, system innovation, and sustainability transitions. Secondly the Innovation, Technology Entrepreneurship and Marketing (ITEM) group, which is a dynamic group focusing on understanding and improving new business and product development processes within firms, organizations, and institutions in a high-tech context.

During your PhD appointment, you will work under the supervision prof. Rudi Bekkers and dr. Paul Wiegmann.

This project is part of a collaborative project with the Delft University of Technology (Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management) and Erasmus University (Rotterdam School of Management) and is co-funded by the Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN). TU Delft has also a PhD vacancy “Stakeholder Networks and Standardisation”. Applicants are encouraged to respond to both vacancies. Submitted applications will be shared with dr. Geerten van de Kaa (TU Delft) unless candidates explicitly state that they do not want this.

Job requirements

Your profile:

  • You hold (or are close to obtaining) a Master’s degree in Innovation Sciences, Innovation Management, Information Sciences, or related fields.
  • You have expertise in empirical research methods, econometrics and/or data science.
  • You have a strong interest in the standardisation, economics of innovation and management studies.
  • You have an excellent command of spoken and written English.
  • You are ambitious and strongly motivated to conduct high-quality academic research.

Conditions of employment
  • Excellent working conditions in a multidisciplinary and open environment.
  • Intensive supervision and commitment.
  • Advanced training and learning opportunities in innovation sciences and fields relevant to the project.
  • Full financial support, including professional travels and IT equipment.
  • Opportunity to gain teaching experience.

Contract Features:

  • Ph.D. appointment for 4 years.
  • Gross salary in the range of  € 2.325 in the first year up to € 2.972 per annum (on a full-time basis) in the last year,
  • A yearly holiday allowance of 8% and 8.3% end of year allowance.
  • Workplace: TIS group, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Starting date: as soon as possible.

Information and application

Candidates should submit their applications through the TU/e application platform (see below). The application must include the following documents (all in English):

  • Cover letter (1-page max) which includes motivation for your interest in the position, and an explanation of why your profile would be a good fit for the proposed project.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • List of courses, with grades, in Master and Bachelor programs
  • Results of a recent English language test, or other evidence of your English language capabilities.
  • Name and contact information of two references (to be included in the CV).
  • A pdf copy of your Master thesis (if available). 
  • Application deadline: March 1, 2020.

Interviews with selected candidates will take place on Tuesday March 24 in Eindhoven.

For further information about the research project, please contact prof. Rudi Bekkers (r.n.a.bekkers[at] 

Information about terms of employment can be obtained from Ms. Kim van Puijenbroek, the HR advisor (pz.ieis[at]

Further information about the Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at .

To apply please use the “apply for this job” button. Please note that you have to combine your documents to 1 with the maximum of 10 MB.  Please do not send us your applications by email.

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