PhD position in Design Leadership

PhD position in Design Leadership

Published Deadline Location
25 Jul 8 Sep Delft

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Job description

The department of Design, Organization and Strategy of TU Delft has an opening for a PhD candidate who will research the topic of Design Leadership. To have impact on organizations and society, designers need to develop effective and resilient leadership to trigger and implement change, to maintain stakeholders’ engagement and to influence strategic decision-making towards meaningful directions. We would like to conduct more research on what behaviors, mindsets, and practices can better support design leaders in their interactions with organizations and ecosystems. Possible directions that the PhD research might take include:

- Understanding how design leaders can balance intuitive and rational approaches in their decision-making and how they can help organizational stakeholders adopting the same balanced approach when dealing with innovation challenges.

- Investigate how design leaders can influence organizations in their strategic foresight activities, by combining data and storytelling, design capabilities and business skills, societal imperatives and business priorities.

- Explore how design leaders can co-create new forms of organizations that support and leverage a design-oriented culture to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability.

We are also interested in generating knowledge on how to educate competent and resilient design leaders. Thus the candidate should have an interest in design education and in how to translate research outcomes into educational experiences. You will also be required do a small amount of teaching in in related courses and co-supervise Master graduate students

In related topics.  The preferred start date for the position is Fall 2022. 


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)



  • Completed master in a relevant field (e.g., design, business administration, innovation management)
  • Experience in strategic design and/or innovation projects
  • Experience with qualitative research methodologies.
  • Scientific writing skills
  • Ability to work in a team, take initiative, and work towards results in a systematic way.
  • Experience in collaborating with people from other disciplines and/or working as a strategic designer in practice are a plus.

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

Fixed-term contract: 4 jaar.

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 € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 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 as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!



Faculty Industrial Design Engineering

Atching the evolution of people with the speed of the revolution of technology. This is the focus of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE). Delft designers act as a bridge between advances in technology and the needs of people, organisations and society to create products, services and systems with purpose.

IDE is a leader in design research across the application areas of mobility, sustainability and health, as well as its development of design tools and methods. A 350-strong research team and over 2,000 students work together in our inspiring hall, labs and studios.

In close cooperation with industry, the public sector and NGOs we rehearse possible futures in research and education to design for a complex future.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD02615


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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