PhD Candidate on Developing a Responsible Innovation Scan

PhD Candidate on Developing a Responsible Innovation Scan

Published Deadline Location
25 Nov 12 Dec Nijmegen

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Job description

How can firms improve their responsible innovation activities? As a PhD candidate, you aim to help answer this question by investigating how responsible innovation takes shape within firms digitalising in their ecosystems. Join an interdisciplinary research project with societal impact, where you can develop yourself as an aspiring researcher and learn new skills.

This project is interdisciplinary in character. You will be part of the Marketing and Innovation group of the Department of Business Administration, which collaborates with the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment on this project.

Embedding digital technologies in new products and services, such as AI-based software to detect fraud, can bring sometimes unexpected harmful consequences to the fore, such as discriminating people with specific backgrounds. To prevent such harmful consequences, firms need to be responsible when engaging in innovation activities. Responsible innovation here refers to a view on the ethical acceptability, sustainability and societal desirability of the innovation process and its marketable products. It requires governance from governmental bodies and firms relating to SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).

Empirical research on how responsible innovation takes shape within firms digitalising in their ecosystems is critical. An approach to assess responsible innovation at the firm level should take into account three things. First, assessing responsible innovation at the firm level requires understanding of the organisational assets and capabilities needed to incorporate these different principles into stages, structures and systems of the innovation process. Second, digital innovations, such as robotics, AI-infused services and smart products, are not only ubiquitous, but also prone to confront firms with responsibility dilemmas. Therefore, assessing responsible innovation should specifically take into account the unwanted consequences of digitalisation. Third, it should also include the local, regional and global business ecosystems in which responsible innovation takes place. Innovation, in particular related to digitalisation, is embedded in the regional context through, for example, innovation hubs and digitalisation initiatives.

Building on these insights, this project aims to measure responsible innovation at the firm level and apply the instrument in regional ecosystem settings with specific attention to digitalisation. It has three objectives, which should result in three papers:

  1. It aims to develop a measurement instrument for responsible innovation at the firm level that is broadly applicable and also addresses the digitalisation aspects of many current innovations as well as regional ecosystems.
  2. It aims to establish the success factors of responsible innovation by determining the main drivers and barriers of responsible innovation as well as the performance impact of responsible innovation.
  3. It aims to provide insights into how firms can implement responsible innovation in their organisation.

This project combines insights from Business Administration, especially Innovation Management, with insights from Social Geography to better understand responsible innovation.

You will work on this PhD project under the supervision of Prof. Arnoud Lagendijk and Dr Robert Kok, in close cooperation with a post-doctoral researcher appointed at the Department of Business Administration. A more detailed project description is available upon request from Dr Robert Kok.

On the basis of this project description you will be expected to develop a more elaborate research proposal in this area in the first year of your appointment. This proposal will have to be approved by the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Nijmegen School of Management.

Your teaching duties will be about 120 hours per year (e.g. supporting existing courses, and Bachelor's and Master's theses supervision). Of course you will be given the opportunity to take various PhD training courses.


Radboud University


  • You hold a Master's degree in Business Administration or Economic Geography.
  • A background in and affinity with digitalisation is preferred.
  • You have a genuine interest and experience in academic research, especially in the area of innovation management, sustainability and regional ecosystems.
  • You have strong social science methodological skills, both quantitative and qualitative.
  • You have strong conceptual thinking skills.
  • You have excellent writing skills in English.
  • You have the ability to work in a research team and a willingness to take initiative.
  • Fluency in Dutch is preferred. 

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) or 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to € 2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to € 3,247 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


The Nijmegen School of Management enables students, institutions, companies, societal actors and governments to play their part in a transformation towards sustainable societies. In doing so, the faculty is committed to Radboud University's mission of contributing to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. In the context of our 'Responsible governance for sustainable societies' mission, we address scientific and societal challenges from a good governance perspective. Our work focuses on the topics Beyond Economy, Climate, Inclusivity, Safety, and Democracy. By building, questioning and extending the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), we acknowledge their interrelatedness and focus on a number of grand challenges within society. We contribute to innovation and sustainable growth on topics such as inequality, gender and decent work, and poverty. Furthermore, we address environmental and climate challenges, seeking to contribute towards resolving them.

At the Nijmegen School of Management, academic research and teaching are carried out in challenging educational programmes. These programmes are offered in the areas of Business Administration; Economics and Business Economics; Geography, Planning and Environment; Political Science; and Public Administration. Academic research takes place within the Institute for Management Research (IMR). Research is carried out within the above-mentioned domains and in interdisciplinary research groups: the Hotspots. The Nijmegen School of Management currently has around 400 staff members and 5,000 students. As a PhD candidate, you will officially be based in the Chair Group of Marketing and Innovation, which is part of the Department of Business Administration, but you will work closely with the Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment.

Radboud University
We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • PhD; Research, development, innovation; Finance
  • Economics
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1200619



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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