Phd Student: How adoption of research practices can cause or cure bad science

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 31 May 2019


Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences

Reference number


Job description
Eindhoven University of Technology

TU/e is a leading international university of technology specializing in Engineering Science & Technology. Through excellent teaching and research we contribute to progress in the technical sciences, to the development of technological innovations, and as a result to the growth of prosperity and welfare in the region and beyond. TU/e maintains close links with industry, healthcare and the building and logistics sectors.

Departmental setting

The department Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences consists of two Schools. The mission of both Schools is to conduct excellent scientific research in combination with providing excellent education. The School of Industrial Engineering focuses on the design, execution, support and optimization of operational and innovation processes in high-tech business, firms and institutes. It covers disciplines as innovation science, operations management, information systems and organizational psychology. The School of Innovation Sciences investigates how humans and societies bring about technological change, and how technological innovations change society and human behavior. Related disciplines are psychology, human-computer interaction, philosophy, ethics, social economics and history, all in relation with technology.

At the departmental level both Schools combine their research in cross-disciplinary research themes, addressing grand societal challenges, such as Sustainability, the Value of Big Data, Humans & Technology and Logistics with its Interfaces.

The department has more than 110 scientific staff members with about the same amount of PhDs and Postdocs. All permanent staff contributes to teaching in the various BSc and MSc programs of the department, educating around 1300 students each year.

The position is situated in the Technology Innovation & Society (TIS) group at the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences. The TIS group is an ambitious, international group. Our research focuses on understanding the development and use of technology in a business and societal context. Our main research topics are the knowledge economy, the economics and governance of innovation, system innovation and sustainability transitions. Our staff teaches in the BSc programme 'Sustainable Innovation', and the MSc programme 'Innovation Sciences', as well as in university-wide programmes for engineers.

This project is a multi-disciplinary collaboration with the Human-Technology Interaction (HTI) and the Philosophy and Ethics (P&E) groups. By studying technology and how it relates to humans and human well-being, HTI develops and contributes to new scientific niches at the crossroads between humans and technology, whilst contributing to its core disciplinary domains. P&E works at the interface of fundamental philosophical issues and real-world problems that arise from the design, implementation, use and regulation of innovative technologies.

The project

Several areas in the medical, social, and economic sciences have started to question the reliability of published findings, which is partly due to the use of suboptimal or questionable research practices. The leading question of this project is: How does the migration of scientists from one institution or discipline to another cause or cure such suboptimality? For instance, practices that require lower-effort input and that lead to increased research output may gradually erode disciplinary standards, if the use of such practices does not meet negative social backlash in the new environments that scientists are migrating to. Alternatively, migrating scientists might introduce norms familiar from their original field, which might raise standards if they are embraced by enough scholars working in the new field. This project aims to track this migration and diffusion by studying how good and questionable research practices are transferred and adopted by scientists.

Job Description

You will conduct empirical research by analysing how research practices and social norms spread within and between research areas. You will perform network analyses of bibliographic data, theoretical analyses and/or computational modelling. You will have the opportunity to conduct qualitative and quantitative research among scientists. Your main objective will be to model how good and questionable research practices spread through scientific disciplines. In addition to research, you will spend part of your time (no more than 15%) on teaching.

Job requirements

The ideal candidate will meet the following requirements:

  •      A master’s degree (or an equivalent university degree) related to the fields of expertise of the team, such as Innovation Sciences, Psychology, Information Sciences, Sociology, Statistics, or Philosophy of Science.
  •      Expertise in network sciences, statistics, programming (for example R or Matlab), or bibliometrics
  •      A collaborative and research oriented attitude
  •      Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team
  •      Fluency in spoken and written English, as demonstrated in a sample research document written by the candidate (a relevant working paper, or a master thesis)
  •      An interest in teaching (previous experience will be appreciated)

Conditions of employment
  •  A full-time appointment for a period of 4 years at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). With an intermediate evaluation after nine months
  • Gross monthly salary from € 2.325 (first year) to € 2.972 per month (last year).
  • An attractive package of fringe benefits, including holiday and end-of-year allowance, a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program), and excellent sport facilities.

Information and application

Information about terms of employment can be obtained from Kim van Puijenbroek, HR Advisor IE&IS (pz.ieis[at] Further information about Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at .

More information about the TIS group can be found at Questions about this position, or more details about the research proposal, should be addressed to: Elena M. Tur, e-mail: e.m.mas.tur[at] 


Your application must contain the following documents (all in English):

  • Cover letter (max. 2 pages), in which you motivate your interest in this vacancy and explicitly describe your fit with this research project.
  • A detailed curriculum vitae
  • A sample research document written by the candidate: a relevant (working) paper, or a master thesis
  • Name and contact information of two references
  • If your degree is not from an English-spoken program, a proof of proficiency in English needs to be included in your package (such as IELTS or TOEFL)

Note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

We ask candidates to apply before the deadline of May 31st 2019. Interviews are scheduled in the second week of June. Planned starting date is between the 1st of September 2019 and the 1st of November 2019. 

To apply please use the “apply now” button. Please note that a maximum of 5 documents can be uploaded, so if you have more than 5 documents you will have to combine them. Please do not send us applications by e-mail.

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