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PhD in Stimulating farmer adoption of the precision agriculture innovations

PhD in Stimulating farmer adoption of the precision agriculture innovations

Eindhoven University of Technology is looking for a PhD candidate with a background in Industrial Engineering, Marketing/service management or Agriculture economics/econometrics interested in empirical field research on the interface of Marketing, Technology/Smart Industry, and Agriculture.
Faculteit Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences


Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the world’s leading research universities (ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement) and is particularly well known for its joint research with industry (ranked number one worldwide by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies). The Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) of Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the longest-established engineering schools in Europe, with a strong presence in the international research and education community, especially in the fields of Operations Management and Innovation Management, which are at the core of the undergraduate BSc program. The graduate programs (MSc and PhD) in Operations Management & Logistics and Innovation Management attract top-level students from all over the world. Researchers are a member of the Beta research school.

The PhD candidate will be located in the Innovation, Technology Entrepreneurship & Marketing (ITEM) group. The group is part of the School of Industrial Engineering of the department IE&IS. The ITEM group consists of about 25 FTE faculty members and 20 FTE PhD’s who participate in and contribute to the research, education and service program of the ITEM group. This program is one of the leading programs in the world and emphasizes means for measuring and improving the process of conceiving, developing, and launching new products and businesses, and also managing these products and businesses post-launch. More information about the group can be found at:

Short description of the PhD Project
The PhD candidate will be part of the Synergia consortium funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) that aims to help firms develop new solutions using precision agriculture technologies. We have a multi-disciplinary team with biology, ecology, agronomy, technology and social science backgrounds, study different aspects of this issue. This specific project focuses on creating the market and business models for the B2B market, i.e. farmers.

While the development of high tech ecology-based farming can provide a competitive edge to farmers, the new technology also represents risk. New technology often involves data sharing and require careful integration with the farmers’ existing business processes and systems. While customer involvement and co-creation in use-cases will help increase the usefulness and ease of use of applications, suppliers still will need to develop marketing strategies to find customers and ensure implementation in a way that guarantees the customer its value-in-use. The aim is to study value based selling as an effective way, to overcome potential bottlenecks (e.g., privacy issues of data, perceived performance risk, financial risk) and convince customers to adopt the new product-services developed. Further, different value propositions and business models will be explored, including alternative pricing and bundling/service strategies.

Based on the research a roadmap on how to best approach customers will be developed, as well as a tool to help suppliers build the right capabilities for business model transition when pursuing precision agriculture innovation.

The PhD candidate will benefit from the strong industry relationships of the consortium, and the use cases specified. It will facilitate interviews and access to data, and will help ensure the practical relevance of the research. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to interact closely with other PhDs working on different aspects of ecology-based farming.

Job description
You, as a successful applicant, will perform the research project outlined above as part of a small team, and collaborate also with other Phds in this workpackage. The research will be concluded with a PhD thesis. A small teaching load may part of the job.


  • You have a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering, Marketing/Service Management, Agriculture economics/econometrics or an other related, relevant field.
  • You have a strong affinity with interdisciplinary research, as well as collaboration with industry.
  • You have strong analytical skills, and multivariate statistics and quantitative modeling are your competences.
  • You have the potential and ambition to become a high-level management scholar.
  • You like to take initiative and are able to work on a challenging topic that has both basic and applied research aspects.
  • Your verbal and written communication skills are excellent as is your proficiency in English and your ability to collaborate in an international setting.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • Gross monthly salary is €2.325,- in the first year up to €2.972,- (gross) in the fourth year on a full-time basis.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program)
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving.expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie

Additional Information
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact dr. Shantanu Mullick (, Néomie Raassens ( or prof. dr. Ed Nijssen (

For information about terms of employment, please contact Susan Opgenoorth, personnel officer ( Further information about the Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at

We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter (2 page max), which includes a motivation of your interest in the vacancy and an explanation of why you would fit well with the project.
  • Detailed curriculum vitae.
  • List of courses you have taken in Masters and Bachelor programs (including grades).
  • Results of a recent English language test, or other evidence of your English language capabilities (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).
  • Name and contact information of two references.

If you are interested, we invite you to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. You can send us your application through the online job portal of the TU/e. We do not accept applications sent by e-mail. You can only upload a maximum of 5 documents of 2 Mb each. If you have more than 5 documents, you will need to combine them.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.