PhD candidate in the Transition to a Circular Business Ecosystem

PhD candidate in the Transition to a Circular Business Ecosystem

Published Deadline Location
15 Dec 19 Feb Eindhoven

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Job description

Eindhoven University of Technology is looking for a PhD candidate with a background in Marketing, Management, Innovation Management, Technology Management, or Industrial Engineering (Engineering Management) interested in empirical qualitative and quantitative research with practical relevance in the area of the circular economy.

Short description of the PhD project
Circular economy is at the heart of the sustainability transition, as outlined in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and The Paris Agreement. Our current economic system, however, is far from circular. This is not necessarily due to a lack of ambition - many businesses today, small and large, have integrated clear sustainability goals into their strategic vision. Yet they find themselves struggling with the 'how to' question. How to redesign entire supply chains to close the loop? And how to reorganize the associated logistics and operations? One crucial condition is clear: Companies cannot achieve circularity on their own. Circularity, after all, is not a property of a single product, service, or business model - it is a property of an entire system. This project thus studies circularity from an ecosystem perspective.

A transition towards a circular business ecosystem starts with experimentation. This means starting small and learning while doing, and requires rethinking business models, reconfiguring and coordinating the organizational functions such as marketing, sales, R&D, production, logistics, IT, finance, and customer service within and across business units, and taking systematic steps for optimizing data, information, and knowledge flows by using digital solutions.

The aim of this PhD project is threefold by examining (i) how companies can organize for circular business models, (ii) how companies can break down the traditional silos between business units or departments and optimize data, information, and knowledge flows to create cross-departmental collaborative business processes and practices that drive companies to become more circular, and (iii) the role of digitalization in optimizing data, information, and knowledge flows in embracing circularity. By completing this PhD project, companies will have insights into how to implement circularity practices within their companies and broader ecosystems.

Job description
You, as a successful applicant, will perform the PhD project outlined above in an international team and in close collaboration with companies involved in the research consortium. The research will be concluded with a PhD thesis. You will be supervised by dr. Alex Alblas and dr. Néomie Raassens. A limited teaching load is also part of the job.

Research consortium
For this project, we will closely collaborate with a research consortium, consisting of more than thirty industry and valorization partners.

For this PhD position, the Innovation, Technology Entrepreneurship & Marketing group (ITEM) is involved. The ITEM group focusses on understanding and improving new business and product development processes by combining a management and engineering perspective to capture the complexity and multidisciplinary nature of these processes.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • You have a Master's degree in Marketing, Management, Industrial Engineering (Engineering Management), Technology Management, Innovation Management, or another related, relevant field.
  • You have a strong affinity with interdisciplinary research, as well as collaboration with industry.
  • You have strong analytical skills and demonstrated competences for multivariate statistics and quantitative modeling.
  • You have the potential and ambition to become a high-level management scholar.
  • You like to take initiative and 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.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V39.6143


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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