Three PhD positions on ‘Policies for Smart Specialisation’ (POLISS) - Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (1.0 FTE)

Three PhD positions on ‘Policies for Smart Specialisation’ (POLISS) - Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
6 Mar 19 Apr Utrecht
We are looking for three creative PhD Researchers with analytical skills and an interest in geographic data analysis.

Job description

Utrecht University invites applications for three Early Stage Researcher (ESR) Fellowships funded as part of the Marie Curie European Training Networks, under the European Commission’s H2020 Framework Programme. The recruited ESRs will join the project 'Policies for Smart Specialisation' as PhD Researchers of the Department of Human Geography and Planning at the Faculty of Geosciences (curriculum Economic Geography).

The activity of the three ESRs will start at the beginning of a.y. 2020-21 (September).
Policies for Smart Specialisation (POLISS) is a European Training Network for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) including 7 leading European academic institutions and 14 partners spanning local governments, development agencies, international organizations, research institutes and private companies. Smart Specialisation is a successful innovation policy concept which has become a cornerstone of the European cohesion policy and also addresses several of the Sustainable Development Goals. POLISS brings together a diverse set of actors from all the fields contributing to Smart Specialisation. Building on their expertise and everyday engagement with SmartSpec policies, POLISS aims at: a) providing new systematic evidence and methodological tools to scholars, policy makers and local practitioners for designing and assessing SmartSpec actions in EU regions and beyond; b) building a PhD programme where a new generation of experts in regional development and innovation policy will be trained and once graduated will be possibly employed in regional, national and European private or public organisations that work on regional development and innovation; c) providing a forum for coordinating the vast community of researchers and practitioners working on local development and innovation, which is often sparse and fragmented.

Within the broader scope of the project, the specific PhD projects at Utrecht University will focus on the following themes:

ESR 6 - Design and implementation of Smart Specialisation strategies: How to set priorities in EU regional cohesion policy? Should regions base their policies on bottom up approaches? How to translate priorities into a roadmap of activities? How can regions implement these action plans and make them effective? The success or failure of Smart Spec policies depend crucially on how they are designed and implemented. Improving these processes is crucial for the economic development of regions that are recipient of EU cohesion funds. The objective of this project is to design and test methodologies and scripts in order to improve radically the procedures of Smart Spec design and implementation. Jointly with the WIPO team the PhD candidate will build methodological tools based on patent and publication data to support the process of setting priorities and design policies. The project will focus in particular on transition and less advanced regions within the EU and beyond.

ESR 8 -Talents and Regional Diversification in the EU: The competitiveness and innovative capacity of regions relies more and more on their ability to attract talented workers. However, the shortage of skilled workers has led to a race for talents both within Europe and worldwide. By mapping the knowledge space of EU regions we investigate which ones are better positioned to attract talents, and which talents they can attract. We also investigate the impact of foreign talents on regional innovation performance. For this analysis we will make use of European publicly available dataset (e.g. European labour survey, EPO patent data), national datasets (e.g. employer-employees matching data) and web-based data (e.g. LinkedIn). Although they are often considered key assets for regions, there is also a backlash against migrants as they compete with locals for jobs, in particular in high skilled jobs. The project will provide a contribution to the academic and policy debates on the role of knowledge migrant workers within the EU.

ESR9 - digitalization and regional resilience in the EU:  Digitalization and automation will have a huge impact on regional performance. Studies have attempted to identify which jobs and skills in the labour market are threatened. This project will map for all European regions where these jobs and skills under threat are located in the EU, and which regions will be more negatively affected. Then, we will use the relatedness framework developed at Utrecht University to identify which regions will have alternative job opportunities to absorb the redundant ones, and thus will show most resilience. Finally, we will identify which regions will host the new jobs and skills needed to participate in the new digital era. For this analysis, we will make use of European publicly available datasets (e.g. European labour survey, EPO patent data) and national datasets (e.g. employer-employees matching data). This Phd project will provide a contribution to the academic and policy debates on the effects of digitalization and automation within the EU.

Tasks of the PhD Researchers consist of (but are not limited to):
  • conducting scientific research;
  • data analyses;
  • publishing results in scientific journals and presentations in high-quality international conferences in these fields;
  • collaboration with academic and non-academic partners in the POLISS consortium;
  • developing teaching skills. Candidates are expected to contribute to the teaching programme of the department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning to a limited degree (up to 10%). It may also involve the supervision of Master's projects;
  • academic secondment of three months to Bocconi University (ESR6 and ESR8), Ingenio Research Center in Valencia (ESR9) to connect with co-supervisor and research group;
  • non-academic secondment of three months to WIPO-UN (ESR6), the Rabobank Group (ESR8) and Utrecht Economic Board (ESR9);
  • attendance of three summer schools (Utrecht, Pécs, Valencia) and two winter schools (Milan, Stavanger).
Your responsibilities:
  • start the project preferably in September 2020;
  • meet the goals/deadlines set out in the project proposal;
  • complete a PhD thesis within the 4-year contract period.

Specifications

Utrecht University

Requirements

We seek a highly motivated PhD candidate with a strong interest in thinking about regional diversification processes, specifically about the role of talents in this process, with:
  • an MSc degree in Economic Geography, Spatial Economics or related fields;
  • a strong affinity and motivation for doing basic scientific research in an interdisciplinary setting;
  • an open mind, the ability to think creatively and outside the box;
  • analytical skills and interest in geographic data analysis;
  • an interest in academic theory development and abstraction as well as theory application;
  • affinity with quantitative research methods and programs;
  • an independent, pro-active working style;
  • motivation to work in an international team with outside collaborators;
  • excellent scientific communication skills (written and spoken) in English;
  • eligibility.
As the PhD position is part of the H2020-MSCA-ETN project POLISS, specific eligibility criteria apply:
  • You must be in the first four years of your research career since obtaining the diploma granting you access to doctorate and must not have been awarded a PhD.
  • At the time of the deadline for submission you shall not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the past 3 years. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.
  • The working language of the POLISS network is English and Researchers must be able to demonstrate their ability to work and write in the English language. All deliverables for the project and all network meetings and training activities will be conducted in English. Any other language requirements will be specified by individual host institutions.

Conditions of employment

We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE), initially for one year with extension to four years in total upon a successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The gross salary ranges between €2,325 and €2,972 (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, the choice for a good balance between work and private (a good arrangement for leave, among other things), possibilities for development and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

Employer

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.


Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.


The Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning has its focus on the enhancement of long-term economic developments of cities, how to cope with social inequalities, and how to accelerate sustainability transitions of cities and infrastructures. Research on these topics takes place within our research program “Urban Futures: Transitions Towards Economic and Social Sustainability for Cities”. Our research programme is the basis for our Research Master's Human Geography and Geographical Information Management and Applications and Professional Master's in Spatial Planning, Human Geography and International Development Studies. The Department also runs a large and highly appreciated Bachelor's programme and is part of the Netherlands Graduate School of Urban and Regional Research for PhD candidates. Unique characteristics of the Department are a special team focusing on innovations within teaching methods, its strong involvement in the transdisciplinary sustainability research theme and professional consultancy for public partners.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact:
Andrea Morrison (Associate Professor), via a.morrison@uu.nl.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Economics; Natural sciences
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • max. €2325 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1095120

Employer

Location

Domplein 29, 3512 JE, Utrecht

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Application procedure

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send via the ‘apply’ button:

- Your CV
- a motivation letter
- a recommendation letter (optional)
- a transcript of master exams (optional),
- a master thesis or other publication

Apply for this job

Apply for this job

This application process is managed by the employer (Utrecht University). Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send via the ‘apply’ button:

- Your CV
- a motivation letter
- a recommendation letter (optional)
- a transcript of master exams (optional),
- a master thesis or other publication

Make sure to apply no later than 19 Apr 2020 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).