PhD position: Socio-economic and Sustainable Regional Development Impacts of Hubs for Circularity

PhD position: Socio-economic and Sustainable Regional Development Impacts of Hubs for Circularity

Published Deadline Location
26 Oct 14 Dec Enschede

Job description


Despite the ongoing efforts of the European Union policies, heavily industrialized clusters are lagging in the implementation of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) to transit to more resource- and energy-efficient setups. To advance IS implementation, a promising future research direction is Hubs for Circularity (H4C). H4C provide spaces where diverse actors, such as businesses, governments, researchers, and civil society, collaborate to accelerate the net-zero Circular Economy (CE) transition. UT acquired the large-scale Horizon Europe project entitled "Sustainable Circular Economy Transition: from Industrial Symbiosis to Hubs for Circularity: IS2H4C”. IS2H4C will deliver a systemic approach to sustainable CE transition, helping to materialise Sustainable Development Goals.

Our focus? Resource efficiency, IS matchmaking, Life Cycle Assessment, renewable energy, waste prevention, and innovative circular technologies, through an integrated approach combing physical and digital H4C. Ensuring community and government support, sustainable business and financial models, and respect for our planet is paramount.

Our vision? Make IS2H4C the blueprint for Europe's sustainable future and promote H4C as a reference sustainable regional development model. We're starting in four H4C pilot sites across the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, and Türkiye, collaborating with 35 partners from nine European countries.

Join us! UT is hiring six PhD students for IS2H4C, each with unique roles and qualifications. Be part of an interdisciplinary team shaping the future of CE and IS2H4C while advancing your research.

Key takeaways

The primary objective of this PhD project is to conduct a comprehensive social network analysis, gather and analyse data on societal engagement by statistical methods, and integrate this information into input-output models.

The aim of this PhD project is to identify relevant stakeholders, their needs, non-technical (regulatory, ethical, societal) challenges and barriers that arise in connection with the establishment of Hubs for Circularity (H4C). Apart from the stakeholder analysis and engagement, you will analyse the regional/societal impact of the H4C by means of regional input-output models and the integration of non-technological aspects into H4C. During the project, the PhD candidate will perform research on the following aspects:
  • Stakeholder Analysis and Engagement: Define relevant stakeholder groups and their connection to H4C, identify the needs and interests of these stakeholders, recognize non-technical challenges and barriers to H4C implementation.
  • Systems Thinking and Statistical Analysis: Identify circular resource streams and products and their acceptance by society taking into account sustainability characteristics of these products by means of System Dynamics approach and Statistical Analysis Techniques
  • Socio-Technical Configuration: Map the socio-technical landscape using social network analysis techniques to understand the relationships and interactions among stakeholders.
  • Development and Measurement of Sustainability Indicators: Create socio-economic and sustainability indicators to measure stakeholder engagement. Evaluate the progress of solutions in terms of societal readiness level.
  • Regional Impact Assessment: Develop (multi-)regional input-output models to assess the broader regional impact of H4Cs.


University of Twente (UT)


We look for a highly motivated, enthusiastic researcher who is driven by curiosity and has/is:
  • A master’s degree in a relevant field, such as Sustainability, Circular Economy, Industrial Engineering, Environmental Economics, Business/Data Analytics, Operations Research, or a related discipline;
  • Strong knowledge in statistical analysis;
  • Knowledge of input-output modelling (at meso- and macro level) or a solid base in linear algebra to quickly acquire input-output modelling skills;
  • Familiarity with or a willingness to learn social network analysis;
  • Ability to quickly learn and adapt to new software, tools, and techniques such as System Dynamics;
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on sustainability challenges;
  • Proficiency in coding (as a plus);
  • A strong team spirit and enjoyment of working in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment;
  • Able to carry out independent research and willing to develop writing and publication skills;
  • Ability to collaborate with stakeholders from academia and industry;
  • Good communication skills and an excellent command of English. IELTS or TOEFL certificate is required.

Conditions of employment

We encourage high responsibility and independence, while collaborating with colleagues, researchers, other university staff and partners. We follow the terms of employment by the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO). Our offer contains: a fulltime 4-year PhD position with a qualifier in the first year; excellent mentorship in a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities; and a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School. It also includes:
  • Gross monthly salary of € 2.770 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.539 in the fourth year;
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
  • A training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision;
  • A green campus with free access to sports facilities and an international scientific community;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • A full status as an employee at the UT, including pension, health care benefits and good secondary conditions are part of our collective labour agreement CAO-NU for Dutch universities.


The HBE cluster is dedicated to encouraging a supportive and inclusive working culture. Our aim is that all job applicants are given equal opportunities. When we select candidates for employment, it will be on the basis of their competence and ability. To support the workforce diversity, we are open to offer flexible working conditions on an individual basis to support work-life balance, that may include contract of employment, working hours and location, or child care arrangements.

Please have a look at this video to learn about our wider HBE department:

The High Business Entrepreneurship corporate video can be watched via this link.

Additional information

“Due to the urgency for an early start, we aim to fill in this position as soon as possible and we will start conducting interviews with short listed candidates starting from 23 November 2023; however, the application deadline is extended to 14 December 2023. Interested candidates can still apply until 14 December 2023.”

Are you interested to be part of our team? Please submit your application latest 14 December 2023 and include:
  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, and motivations to apply for this position;
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications and references;
  • An IELTS-test, Internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT), or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE). Applicants with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet. TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

Please ensure that your application is submitted by the deadline. Do not make submissions via e-mail as they will not be considered.

Additional information can be acquired via e-mail from Dr. Patricia Rogetzer ( with a cc to Dr. Devrim Yazan (


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1497


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 14 Dec 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).