Co-creating circular value

Co-creating circular value

Published Deadline Location
9 May 1 Jun Delft

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Are you eager to make a meaningful contribution towards advancing the circular economy? Then this fully funded PhD position is for you.

Job description

The Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is hiring a doctoral candidate on the topic of "Co-creating Circular Value".

Co-creation emerges as a powerful tool in inspiring innovation and driving the adoption and scale-up of the Circular Economy. By involving stakeholders in the creative process, co-creation can unlock new directions for innovation that address societal challenges on a larger scale. However, despite our intuitive understanding of design’s contribution to large-scale societal challenges, finding ways to measure and make this value visible has been a challenge. Your research seeks to substantiate the benefits of co-creation in transition towards a circular economy, and to shed light on its role as a catalyst for positive change. You will address questions such as:

  • When and how during the development of circular propositions should co-creation be applied?
  • Which stakeholders should be involved in co-creating circular propositions and what qualities should they bring to the process to enhance co-creation's impact?
  • How can the long-term governance of co-creation processes contribute to successful outcomes?

During your PhD, you will work closely with industry partners, policymakers, end-users, and other stakeholders to conduct a critical analysis of existing research and industry practices concerning co-creation, assess their impacts, develop and validate co-creation models and frameworks, and propose innovative solutions to support the transition towards more sustainable product-service systems and circular economy practices.

About the Climate action program

This fully funded, 4-year PhD position is part of the Climate Action Program of the TU Delft. The Climate Action Program is a ten-year program focused on advancing research and education as well as the sustainability of the TU Delft campus and external partnerships for climate action. The program is an interdisciplinary effort of the eight TU Delft faculties engaging in research activities concerning climate science, adaptation, mitigation and governance.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • Driven, enthusiastic and independent thinker;
  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in design, social sciences, or a related subject;
  • Experience with co-creation or co-design methods and stakeholder engagement;
  • Demonstrated interest in sustainability, environmental issues, and circular economy, and motivation to contribute to positive societal and environmental impacts through research;
  • Ability to present complex concepts in a clear and concise manner. Data visualization skills would be an asset for this position;
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively with diverse stakeholders and in transdisciplinary research contexts;
  • The candidate should have a very good command of English language, in direct communication as well as writing skills. Mastery of Dutch is an advantage. 

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

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, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


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

Matching 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
  • Engineering
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03898


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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