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PhD on Technical universities as agents for sustainability transitions

PhD on Technical universities as agents for sustainability transitions

Irène Curie Fellowship
Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences


We are offering a PhD position on the project which focuses on the role of technical universities, TU/e in particular, as change agents for sustainability transitions. A successful applicant will perform this action research project in line with the activities of the university sustainability ambassador, Dr Anna Wieczorek. The specific tasks of the PhD candidate include: i) research into specific roles technical universities can assume in sustainability transition; ii) support to the development of participatory sustainability assessment of the ongoing TU/e research, education, operations and/or governance; and iii) research into how universities can mobilize their staff and student community around sustainability transitions.

The candidate will report the research findings at international conferences and in scientific journals. Given the very practical dimension of this project, the research findings will be applied in practical environment of the TU/e and disseminated via non-academic channels. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to profit from what such an environment has to offer. The PhD candidate will fully participate in relevant project activities and support the ambassador in the management tasks. A small teaching load is part of the job description.

Institutional Setting

The PhD position is embedded in the Technology, Innovation & Society (TIS) group. The TIS group is part of the School of Innovation Sciences, one of the two schools of the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS). Research at TIS concerns how humans and societies bring about technological change, and how technological innovations change society. Researchers in the TIS group study these processes in a systemic, transdisciplinary, and transnational perspective. The research focus of TIS covers both short-term processes (innovations) and long-term, fundamental processes (transitions), and addresses multiple aspects of the innovation journey – invention, innovation, diffusion, appropriation, governance, policy intervention along with local and global impacts on society. Many of the TIS research projects are strongly embedded in practical environments and involve co-creation and an action research approach.


  • Master’s degree in sustainable innovation, sustainability transitions, or equivalent.
  • Knowledge of and eagerness to engage with participatory, action oriented or transdisciplinary approaches to research.
  • Experience with university or student-oriented sustainability initiatives.
  • Experience with participatory sustainability assessment methods.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills and proficiency in English, Dutch is a pro.
  • Strong methodological skills and proven experience with mixed methods designs.
  • Enthusiasm, self-reliance, strong organizational skills, scientific mindedness.


A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.
  • You are part of the TIS PhD community.

Informatie en sollicitatie

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring manager dr. Wieczorek, A.J.Wieczorek[at] 

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact hrservices.ieis[at]

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


Candidates should submit their applications through the TU/e application platform. The application must include the following documents in English (please note that a maximum of 5 documents of 2 MB each can be uploaded):

  1. 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.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV) including name and contact information of two references
  3. A 1500-word research proposal that outlines how you would approach this topic and ideas for conducting the research.
  4. A sample research document written by you: a relevant paper, or a master thesis.
  5. Results of a recent English language test, or other evidence of your English language capabilities.

The deadline to apply is 31 January 2023. However, candidates are invited to apply as soon as possible. The intended starting date for this position is February, 2023 but will be filled in earlier if a suitable candidate is found. The interviews will be held in the week of 6 February 2023. We do not accept applications sent by e-mail or incomplete ones. The position will be filled earlier if a suitable candidate has been found.