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PhD position on Educating the Entrepreneurial Engineer

PhD position on Educating the Entrepreneurial Engineer

Do you want to play a significant role in how the future of engineering education will look like in the Netherlands? Then this vacancy might be of interest to you!
Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences


Wageningen University & Research, Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and University Twente have two positions for PhD candidates on Educating the Entrepreneurial Engineer. Both PhD positions are part of a program on entrepreneurial engineering education that aims to develop a coherent body of knowledge on entrepreneurial theory, mindset, and behavior, including its operationalization into educational modules. The program is financed by the 4TU Federation, Center for Engineering Education, The Netherlands. For more information on 4TU.CEE, see the website.

Description of the PhD Project

Do you believe that we should renew our engineering education in such way that it is sustainable, authentic, collaborative and experiential in nature? We perceive it as our mission to educate future engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurial engineers create sustainable value for others and thereby contribute to solving the grand challenges of our time (e.g., climate change, transition towards a circular economy, etc.) – irrespective whether they work as entrepreneur or employee. Do you share our ambition? Then we are looking for you!

We seek to ignite in the new generation of engineers a strong entrepreneurial mindset developed by novel educational interventions. These interventions nurture their curiosity, challenge them to create multiple forms of value together with stakeholders, and become leaders who can tackle grand challenges and contribute to significant socio-technical change in society either as independent entrepreneurs, or as game-changers in existing organizations. In short, we investigate how the so-called ‘wide entrepreneurship education’ can be implemented for all engineers at the four technical universities in the Netherlands.

In this specific PhD project, led by Eindhoven University of Technology and Wageningen University & Research, you will first elaborate on the question: who is the entrepreneurial engineer? What do they do? For instance, by reviewing scientific literature, studying practice-oriented literature (e.g., Entrecomp) and by conducting interviews with entrepreneurial engineers in de field. This first part of the research project will result in a profile of the entrepreneurial engineer that is capable of tackling grand challenges of our time.      

Next, you will dive into questions such as: how to facilitate the student in developing towards the entrepreneurial engineer? And how to grasp/measure this development with innovative instruments? Research methodologies could be (but are certainly not limited to) a case study or intervention study, providing an in-depth understanding in what learning elements (e.g., role of the teacher, learning activities, assessment methods) impact students’ learning as entrepreneurial engineer.

Ultimately, we want to increase our understanding of how we can bring the right conditions in place so that the entrepreneurial engineer can thrive. As such, this PhD project has both a strong scientific and practical component, requiring a pro-active attitude and entrepreneurial spirit from the candidate him/herself.


You have:

  • A successfully completed MSc degree in Entrepreneurship/Innovation, Life Sciences, Engineering and/or Educational Sciences.
  • A strong affinity with interdisciplinary research and collaboration with industry.
  • A study background in entrepreneurial, challenge-based learning in curricular or extracurricular activities (e.g., project-work in a student team or startup), and/or educational sciences (e.g., a teacher training track).
  • An entrepreneurial mindset, implying that you take initiatives, dare to take risks, like to collaborate with people with different backgrounds and stakes, and have your own ideas of what the entrepreneurial mindset actually means for you.
  • Strong methodological skills and proven experience with qualitative and action research methods, or mixed method designs.
  • A sensitivity to and a vision on the capabilities of the engineer of the future.
  • A proven interest in team-based work, exploring opportunities, project management and going that extra mile (in or outside of education).
  • A proven interest in and drive for education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
  • Excellent communication skills and proficiency in English (written and spoken).
  • Experience in educational design (preferred).


  • A meaningful job with a diverse supervisor team at two different universities (TU/e and WUR) and the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • 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 gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • 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

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would like to know more? Please contact
dr. Duygu Keskin (D.Keskin[at] or dr. Yvette Baggen (Yvette.Baggen[at]

For more information about terms of employment, click here or contact Susan Opgenoorth, personnel officer (HRServices.IEIS[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.), including a vision statement on entrepreneurial engineering education and an explanation of why you fit well with the project.
  • A detailed curriculum vitae.
  • List of courses taken in master and bachelor programs, including grades.
  • Brief description of your master thesis.
  • Results of a recent TOEFL, IELTS test.
  • Name and contact information of two references.

The deadline for applying is December 1st 2021!!!

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. The preferred starting date for this position is 1st of February, 2022 but will be filled in earlier if a suitable candidate is found.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary, please combine files.