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 1 - Strategies for Blockchain Innovation (DC-1)

Since Blockchain is a distinctive new technology with unique features, strategy making and innovation in the context of this technology requires a reconsideration of existing best practices and knowledge. Innovation in the context of Blockchain technologies has incumbent organization juggling challenges at different levels of analysis, such as organizational, alliance and ecosystem. Moreover, as Blockchain entails value propositions that are at odds with existing (linear) strategic approaches, (circular) processes for strategizing innovation5 needs to be better understood. The implications of the Blockchain strategy on organizational identity and the related tensions is another aspect that will be studied in this project. How to organize for Blockchain innovation, including the bridging role of the innovation unit as well as effective strategies for value co-creation and appropriation in ecosystem, are important aspects that will be covered by DC-1.


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.

Human resources, Health, Safety and the Environment
The HRM, Health, Safety and Environment department (HRMAM) is responsible for our personnel policy, HR advice and personnel support, along with our working conditions policy. We work closely with university faculties and other service departments to ensure that our policies and services are aligned with the university's primary process.

Working at HRMAM means having a real and lasting impact on our employees and on our university as a whole. Talent development and sustainable employability are key themes for HRMAM. Working for us, you will contribute to these themes either directly or indirectly. A total of 150 people work at HRMAM in four departments: Advice & Development, the HRM Service Center, Strategy & Policy and Occupational Health, Safety & the Environment.


  • PhD
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 13724


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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