PhD at MSI in Circular Business Models for Repair and System Dynamics

PhD at MSI in Circular Business Models for Repair and System Dynamics

Published Deadline Location
25 Apr 22 May Maastricht

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Job description

Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI) offers an exciting opportunity for a fulltime PhD position for four years in circular business models and ecosystems.

Job Description
The PhD in circular business models and ecosystems will be funded through project Fixophobia which is about Improving repair practices for consumer electronics.

Project Fixophobia is a collaborative NWO funded project involving several Dutch academic and business partners, led by Delft University of Technology with Maastricht University as one of the key academic partners. Fixophobia aims to extend the product lifetime of consumer electronics by providing the much-needed, scientific theories, societal tools and system innovations for a multi-actor system change towards a circular economy for consumer electronics. Thus, we intend to increase repair practices among all value chain actors of consumer electronics (incl. consumers), by developing and testing the value of new repair system innovations.

The PhD candidate is expected to conduct novel research with a focus on systems dynamics and circular business models for consumer electronics related to the project. Objectives of the work e.g., include:
  • Mapping key actors and their relationships in the transition towards a circular economy in consumer electronics
  • Conduction of participatory system modelling workshops to identify (perceived) barriers, enablers, and potential solutions to implement repair for consumer electronics
  • Exploring current business models of organizations with different levels of integration of repair practices
  • Creating new, innovative business models for product repair, conduct business model experiments and implement pilots

The candidate will be working in a transdisciplinary team, led by Prof. Nancy Bocken, based at Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI), Maastricht University, and will be co-supervised by Dr. Joana Wensing at MSI. The candidate is expected to contribute to teaching activities in the field of Sustainable Business at the department, taking max. 20% of his/her time. We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally oriented organisation. MSI has strong collaborations with other institutes and departments at Maastricht University and elsewhere.

We are looking for:
  • Eligible candidates must have successfully completed a Master degree in relevant areas to the project, including, for example: Sustainability Science, Sustainable and Circular Business, Science and Technology Studies (STS) or Innovation Studies (with a focus on sustainability).
  • Someone who has a record of high academic achievement (e.g. good grade for final thesis, other research papers and/or involvement in other academic activities).
  • A candidate with a good competence in written and spoken English.
  • Strong collaborative and networking skills are desirable.
  • Affinity with / or experience with collaborating in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Affinity with / or experience with environmental sustainability issues in consumer electronics and sustainable / circular business model issues (e.g., demonstrated via a relevant thesis or group work).
  • Someone who is willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht.

What we offer
As PhD at MSI in Circular Business Models for Repair and System Dynamics at School of Business and Economics, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale P according to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,00 and €3539,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 18 months with a scope of 1,0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 2,5 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?
At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

The School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) is one of Maastricht University’s six faculties. Our mission is to contribute to a better world by addressing societal problems, by co-creating knowledge and developing team players and leaders for the future.

By joining SBE, you will be part of the 1% of business schools worldwide to be Triple Crown accredited (EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA). You will join an inspiring and international environment, where learning and development is priority.

Maastricht Sustainability Institute
Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI) is part of the School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University, and with its focus on sustainable development in research and education centrally at the interface of science, policy and society. The institute offers the Master programme Sustainability Science, Policy and Society (which attracts a large international, multidisciplinary student population) which has a new specialization in Sustainable Business. The institute provides sustainability and circular economy education also at bachelor level. The multidisciplinary staff (ca. 40 persons) has an interdisciplinary working style and transdisciplinary interest for addressing sustainability problems.

Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Annet Grol via for more information.

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new PhD at MSI in Circular Business Models for Repair and System Dynamics? Apply now, no later than May 22, 2024 for this position.
  • Applicants are expected to include a concise CV, and a motivation letter (max. 1 page) which makes reference to their background and thesis in the field of Sustainable or Circular Business and/ or System Dynamics. In addition, a 2–3-page research proposal related to the topic will need to be submitted (with references and reference list, using APA-referencing style). This is to get a broad idea about how you would be addressing this topic.
  • The first interviews preferably take place on the 4th and 5th of June.
  • The candidate will start the position by September 1st, 2024.
  • The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • PhD
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 915


Maastricht University (UM)

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