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PhD vacancy: EXPLORE

PhD vacancy: EXPLORE

PhD vacancy: EXPLORE The Eindhoven University of Technology is looking for a PhD candidate with a background in innovation and/or system dynamics interested in research on innovation systems and platform experiments.
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 goal of the research project EXPLORE is to understand the effects of various forms of participation in the governance of the energy transition. The project is part of a cooperation with societal stakeholders such as the province of Noord-Brabant, Metropoolregio Eindhoven, DSO Enexis, Enpuls, Het PON/Telos and Energie Samen. EXPLORE entails a research cooperation with Radboud University (prof. van der Krabben) and Tilburg University (prof. dr. Groenleer). This specific PhD project concerns a sub-project within EXPLORE, directed to studying platform experiments by means of system dynamics.

The PhD candidate will do research on the existing platform configuration: A collaboration of governmental and other stakeholders in the Eindhoven region geared towards developing a Regional Energy Strategy (RES). In its current configuration, the platform aims to establish and spatially allocate the future energy mix for the region. However, making adequate spatial provisions for renewable energy is by no means a guarantee that this renewable energy is installed. Indeed, for the implementation of RES projects, participation—in its broadest sense—is crucial.

To study participation dynamics, the candidate is expected to develop a simulation model, capable of running what-if scenarios. Existing simulation models will serve as a starting point (Sterman et al., 2013, 2014), which will then be tailored to the specific situation of the province. We will use a so-called ‘participatory modelling’ approach (de Gooyert et al., 2017), which means that the platform partners will be actively involved in developing the model. The model will need to cover, among others, the technical aspects (regional energy system) and social aspects (e.g., societal support, urgency, hindrance) of the question at hand. One of the important challenges will be to incorporate the experiences from existing pilots and grassroots experiments in this simulation model—to test, among others, whether changes in existing institutional and market arrangements might better support local (grassroots) experiments.

The PhD candidate will benefit from the various disciplinary backgrounds of the supervisory team (Vincent de Gooyert, Radboud University; Gunter Bombaerts, Philosophy and Ethics group, TU/e; Madis Talmar, ITEM group, TU/e; Bob Walrave, ITEM group, TU/e) as well as from the strong industry/government relationships; both which will prove important for the succesfull execution of the project.

Job description
You, as a successful applicant, will perform the research project outlined above in an international team. The research will be concluded with a PhD thesis. A small teaching load is part of the job.


  • You have a master's degree in innovation sciences, industrial engineering, environmental/governance studies and a keen interest in the focal topics at hand.
  • You have a strong affinity with interdisciplinary research, as well as collaboration with (local) government and industry.
  • Strong analytical skills, demonstrated competences for (or affinity with) system dynamics modelling.
  • Potential and ambition to become a high-level management scholar.
  • You 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. Proficiency in Dutch is a plus.


  • A challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university.
  • A PhD appointment for a period of 4 years.
  • Gross monthly salary is €2.325,- in the first year up to €2.972,- (gross) in the fourth year on a full-time basis.
  • A yearly holiday allowance of 8% and 8.3% end of year allowance.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, savings schemes, coverage of costs of publishing the dissertation and excellent sports facilities).

Informatie en sollicitatie

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

  • Cover letter (2 pages 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 master and bachelor programs (including grades).
  • Results of a recent English language test, or other evidence of your English language capabilities (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).
  • Your master thesis.
  • Name and contact information of two references.

Additional Information
For more information, please contact dr. Bob Walrave (b.walrave[at]

Information about terms of employment can be obtained from Susan Opgenoorth, personnel officer (HRServices.ieis[at] Further information about the Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at

If you are interested, we invite you to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Selection will begin immediately and continue until the position has been filled. Please send your application through the online job portal of the TU/e. Applications by e-mail are not accepted. Please note that you can upload 1 document of 10 MB.