Published Deadline Location
6 Feb 1 Apr Amsterdam

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Are you interested in researching the wider technological, organizational, and societal challenges and opportunities of DLT? Then we would like to get to know you.

Job description

When it comes to DLT (Blockchain), organizations are required to resolve technological, innovation, governance, and stakeholder management challenges at the organizational (internal innovation development and management), ecosystem (alliances, platform emergence) and societal level (government, user adoption). Consequently, industry and research bodies must join forces and share expertise to properly investigate the phenomenon and maximize the societal and economic impact of DLT for EU and global entities.

We are looking to recruit a motivated candidate interested in the area of digital ecosystems/Digital Transformation to study the complexity of DLT adoption and management. The positions will be part of the DIEM (DLT: Innovation & Ecosystem Management) Marie Curie Industrial Doctoral Network. DIEM is a consortium of leading academic, industrial, and governmental organizations involving: Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam, NL), the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, NO), IE Business School (Madrid, ES), Durham University (Durham, UK), Accenture (FR), the Ministry of Digital Governance (GR), WEST Trade (M), CRH (IE) and multiple other associated partners.

The Doctoral Candidates will be spending 18 months with an academic partner and 18 months with an industrial partner. The goal of the project is to offer excellent training and networking opportunities and develop the Doctoral Candidates into thought leaders in the areas of DLT, Digital Transformation and Innovation Management so that they can pursue a successful career in academia or industry.

The Doctoral Candidates are expected to successfully complete a rigorous training program, participate in research and networking events, orchestrate the content creation and social campaigns for DIEM, and deliver research excellence.

A career development plan will be prepared for the Doctoral Candidate in accordance with their supervisors and will include training, planned placements/secondments and outreach activities. Doctoral Candidates are expected to complete their PhD thesis by the end of their employment.

The Project
Project 6 - Blockchain for responsible business I: planet (DC-6)

The main purpose of this project is to improve our understanding of how blockchain can drive responsible business behaviour. Businesses around the world are under ever increasing pressure by a more critical and ethically aware society. CSR is a board room top priority. Blockchain and Multi-Party technology is on track to become a key driver for these companies to prove their stakeholders that they can adhere to these higher ethical standards by improving transparency, security and traceability throughout their supply chains. Initial hypotheses on where blockchain can be applied for more responsible businesses considering our planet are: a) Sustainability: blockchain can be applied to provide transparency on the sustainability practices incl. carbon emissions of (consumer) products. Consumers can even become part of the ecosystem and incentivized to join companies in reducing carbon footprints, b) Multiparty Decarbonization: how blockchain and multiparty systems provide ways for consortiums/ecosystems/value chains to identify opportunities to reduce "waste" and emissions (i.e., improved food recalls through granular traceability, optimized logistics through multiparty supply network, etc.). During this project the DC will follow a secondment to NEXT, an SME exploring novel applications of technology and sustainability. Specifically, they will be involved in the ECOCOIN initiative of NEXT.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • Applicants must have obtained (or be about to obtain) an MSc/MRes/MPhil (or equivalent) in an appropriate area
  • Demonstrate evidence of independent research experience, through e.g. an empirical master's thesis.
  • Demonstrable ability to work independently, to prioritize tasks, manage time and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • GMAT/GRE (criteria vary among academic partners)
  • Candidates will be required to meet the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral Candidate eligibility criteria: and the entry requirements for the PhD programme at their host university
  • Following the EU Marie Curie eligibility criteria, the researcher to be appointed must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc) in (INCLUDE THE HOSTING COUNTRY) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Moreover, he/she shall at the date of recruitment be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of the research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Affinity with the FinTech, DLT, Digital Ecosystems themes.
  • Affinity with new technology and forms of collaboration as technology and new business model drivers.
  • Knowledge of social network modeling.
  • Knowledge of R (statistics program) or other advanced statistical modeling programs or advanced qualitative research methods.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,541 (PhD)
and a maximum €3,247 (PhD), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • contribution to commuting expenses,
  • space for personal development
Funding: The EU studentships are funded through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). They consist of tuition fees (if applicable), as well as a Doctoral Stipend. Additional research, travel and support funding is also available. Studentships will be 3 years full-time, with the possibility for partially funded/unfunded extensions.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) provides high-quality education and excellent research in business administration and economics with a focus on contributing to the social, economic and ecological challenges of our time. Whether it is the use of robots in society or big data, labour market participation or flexibility in the labour market, traffic jams or the housing market, flash crashes in the stock market or choice behaviour in gambling, leadership or change management: we believe in goal-oriented scientific research and understand that progress in academics, the business community and society is achieved through cooperation, openness and social responsibility.

At SBE, all of our highly-motivated colleagues work together closely in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment to achieve our collective goal of encouraging society to make informed choices. Approximately 7,000 Bachelor's and Master's students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 600 people.


  • PhD
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 13754


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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