PhD position Open Strategizing for Infrastructures in Transition

PhD position Open Strategizing for Infrastructures in Transition

Published Deadline Location
13 May 9 Jun Delft

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PhD Candidate: Open Strategizing for Infrastructures in Transition (PRONTO). Identify barriers and drivers for open strategizing for infrastructures in transition

Job description

The increasing role of data and data analysis, new types of sustainable energy, far-reaching urbanisation and the need for circularity are all examples of transitions that infrastructure managers have to deal with. Meticulous alignment between parties is vital for making various infrastructures as well as their management both climate resilient and futureproof. As a PhD candidate, you will investigate barriers and drivers of practices of open strategizing by infrastructure agencies and help develop governance and modelling approaches in support of these practices.

We are seeking a PhD candidate for the research project ‘Open Strategizing for Infrastructures in Transition’ (PRONTO). To shape socio-technical transitions, infrastructure agencies need to develop coordinated cross-sectoral infrastructure strategies. This requires infrastructure agencies to open-up their processes of strategizing. As a researcher in the PRONTO project, you will investigate what practices of open strategizing are enacted by infrastructure agencies and help develop governance and modelling approaches in support of these practices. The PRONTO project is funded by NWO and NGinfra and is a collaboration with University of Twente, University of Groningen, and Radboud University with Rijkswaterstaat, ProRail, Vitens, Alliander, Port of Rotterdam, and the province North-Holland.

Within the project, you will work on the work package ‘Inter and Intra-Organizational Governance of Open Strategizing’. This package studies which processes influence how infrastructure agencies can manage to plan for openness in infrastructure planning. It studies how key processes of infrastructure agencies (funding, operations, etc.) as well as those which govern (cross-infrastructural) infrastructure planning influence the capacity for open strategizing of infrastructure agencies.

You use an explorative case study approach to study what processes play an important role and how they feed tensions and dilemmas regarding open strategizing. The studies will investigate organizational and governance processes and analyze how they affect an infrastucture agency's capacity for opennes, focussing particularly on the concept of ambidexterity; a key factor for adaptability and openness. During this project, the PhD researcher will be embedded within infrastructure managers and collaborate closely with PhD researchers from the other work packages (especially University of Groningen).

Your tasks will include setting up the research, execute in-depth case study research, facilitate workshops, writing scientific articles, and disseminating knowledge. In addition, you may be required to engage in a set amount of teaching activities at the faculty. The team of supervisors consists of Dr. Mark de Bruijne, and Dr. Wijnand Veeneman.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for someone who:

  • has a Master's degree and a background in public administration or multidisciplinary field with a specialization in institutional economics or a related field; proven experience in explorative, in-depth case study research would be an asset.
  • affinity with qualitative research, and a sensitivity to the perspectives of the wide variety of stakeholders
  • affinity (and preferably also experience) with serious gaming
  • a strong, proven interest in academic research
  • proven organisational and social skills and is able to work well in a team.
  • is fluent in Dutch and English, both written and orally. A good command of Dutch is required (as part of the in-depth stay at infrastructure managers)

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 


Faculty Technology, Policy and Management

With its excellent education and research at the intersection of technology, society and policy, the Faculty of TPM makes an important contribution to solving complex technical-social issues, such as energy transition, mobility, digitalisation, water management and (cyber) security. We combine insights from the engineering sciences, the social and the humanities. We develop robust models and designs, are internationally oriented and have an extensive network with knowledge institutions, companies, social organisations and governments.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD02305


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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