PhD position on "Studying Collaborative Innovation for Tackling Grand Societal Challenges through Open Science in Qualitative Management Research"

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: ;

Are you interested in studying various forms of collaborative innovation and inter-organizational collaboration for tackling grand societal challenges like climate change? Would you like to be part of a transformation of qualitative management research and collaborate with renowned national and international qualitative management scholars? Please apply for a Ph.D. position at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam's KIN research group.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is offering a fully funded, four-year PhD-position on studying collaborative innovation for tackling grand challenges, like climate change, through an Open Science Approach.

Studying the inter-organizational collaborations required to address grand societal challenges is time-consuming, meaning that individual researchers can only make limited progress. The PhD-position is part of the NWO-funded project “OPEN-QUAL: Innovating Methods for Open Science in Qualitative Management Research.” OPEN-QUAL advances an open science approach enabling the analysis of qualitative datasets collected by multiple researchers. Because of privacy and confidentiality, qualitative data cannot be shared openly. OPEN-QUAL develops methodological principles for an innovative, decentralized approach to data reuse without needing to share raw data. The decentralized analysis allows leveraging the versatility of qualitative data and enables comparison across cases and datasets.

As a PhD candidate, you will use various qualitative methods to experiment with the open science approach in multiple projects related to inter-organizational collaboration and collaborative innovation for tackling grand societal challenges. This can include multiple case studies where you enter the field and collect your own data to compare it with insights from other researchers or qualitative comparative analysis (QCA).

You will join several researchers who have already started working with open science approaches and have expertise in studying collaborative innovation for tackling grand societal challenges. Throughout your PhD, you will become part of the core team (two PhD candidates, four experienced management researchers, and two data management experts). Moreover, you will have the opportunity to interact with OPEN-QUAL’s esteemed international advisory board and a group of national and international researchers who will participate in OPEN-QUAL. As part of the project, you will likely work directly with

Hans Berends


Philipp Tuertscher

, and

Lukas Falcke


The preferred starting date for the position is September 1, 2023.

Your duties
You will need to develop a thorough understanding of qualitative research methods as well as of management theories on interorganizational collaboration and collaborative innovation, facilitated by the PhD training program of ABRI (Amsterdam Business Research Institute). You use the decentralized approach to data reuse in subprojects that research interorganizational collaboration and collaborative innovation for tackling grand societal challenges like climate change. Expected outcomes are articles on the specific topics studied as well as on methodological insights that are gained. PhD candidates will give a modest contribution to the department’s teaching program, with the opportunity to obtain a basic qualification teaching certificate (shortened BKO).

  • Motivated to conduct high-quality research with the aim of publishing top-level articles;
  • Research Master or MSc in business administration, organizational studies, sociology, or a related field;
  • Expertise and interest in qualitative research methods;
  • Interest in topics of interorganizational collaboration and collaborative innovation for tackling grand societal challenges;
  • Academic writing skills;
  • Proficiency in English;

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP), 
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) provides high-quality education and excellent research in business administration and economics with a focus on contributing to the social, economic and ecological challenges of our time. Whether it is the use of robots in society or big data, labour market participation or flexibility in the labour market, traffic jams or the housing market, flash crashes in the stock market or choice behaviour in gambling, leadership or change management: we believe in goal-oriented scientific research and understand that progress in academics, the business community and society is achieved through cooperation, openness and social responsibility.

At SBE, all of our highly-motivated colleagues work together closely in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment to achieve our collective goal of encouraging society to make informed choices. Approximately 7,000 Bachelor’s and Master’s students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 600 people.

KIN Center for Digital Innovation (KIN) ( ) is one of the departments of the School of Business and Economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. KIN researchers study the development, use, and business value of innovative organizational processes and technologies. Our research contributes to an international field that is relatively new and multi-disciplinary. We collaborate closely with faculty and researchers from other universities and cooperate with an extensive network of business partners. The KIN research group is also responsible for several courses in the Business Administration curriculum at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and facilitates the Master Digital Business and Innovation. Researchers at KIN regularly publish and hold editorial positions in leading journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, or Management Information Systems Quarterly. In recent years, PhD candidates of KIN were hired as assistant professors at leading European business schools (e.g., University of Cambridge, Stockholm School of Economics, Warwick Business School, Rotterdam School of Management).


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload a short letter (maximum one page) in which you describe your abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and two references (names and e-mail addresses) until


Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Prof. dr. ir. Hans Berends
Position: Professor of Organization & Innovation

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