PhD candidate on Text mining to investigate creativity and innovation at the Graduate School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University

PhD candidate on Text mining to investigate creativity and innovation at the Graduate School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University

Published Deadline Location
29 Mar 19 Apr Maastricht

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PhD candidate on Text mining to investigate creativity and innovation at the Graduate School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University

Job description

The School of Business and Economics (SBE) of Maastricht University offers a 4-year PhD position on Text mining to investigate creativity and innovation. In today’s society using knowledge to come up with new solutions and ideas is of increasing importance. The increasing complexity of our digital world implies that it is not enough to learn how something works, but people constantly have to search for innovative ways to deal with the possibilities technology offers. In education there is a clear awareness of this trend and schools include creative problem solving and exploratory learning in their curriculum. A challenge in investigating creativity and problem solving in learning is the open nature of what people come up with. The best solutions are not known in advance, so measuring creativity and innovation by testing whether people give the right answer is an unsatisfactory approach. The aim of this project therefore is to analyse free text (1) to measure creativity and problem solving ability, and (2) analyse how people interact to tackle problems they are faced with.

Our analyses will be based on two large data sets. First in a survey among 9,000 German university students about 100,000 open text solutions to 6 problems have been collected. Second, online innovation communities constitute a novel source of data on ideas. We are currently exploring opportunities to use data from a number of innovation communities. Based on recent approaches in text mining and computer linguistics these databases will be analysed. Since part of the data is in German, Germany language proficiency is required.

Eligible candidates must have successfully completed a Master’s degree (MSc or MPhil) in Economics, Econometrics, Marketing, Innovation, Linguistics, Information systems, Computer Sience, Mathematics, or a related area (before September 2019) and have a good competence in written and spoken English and German. Programming and coding skills are essential (STATA, R, Python, KNIME, etc.) Graduation from a two-year Master’s programme (120 ECTS) and a quantitative background will be advantages.

The project is a cooperation between the department of Economics and the department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management and is supervised by Prof.dr. Lex Borghans and Prof.dr. Martin Wetzels ( The candidate is expected to contribute to teaching activities, taking max. 20% of his/her time.

We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally oriented organisation. Learning and Work is a key theme in the School of Business and Economics. The department of economics has a large group of researchers who work on education and the measurement of skills. The department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management has a digital marketing and innovation group focusing on the impact of digital disruption. The candidate will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.


Maastricht University (UM)


Please submit your application to

Before April 20, 2019. The application should include:

- Curriculum Vitae (CV)

- Motivation letter

- Diplomas/degrees including a grade transcript of previous education at Master level

- Name of reference who supports your application (e.g. professor/supervisor from MSc program)

- Proof of academic writing skills by one of the following: BSc, MSc thesis (if available) or a seminar paper.

Conditions of employment

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of € 2,325.- with a yearly growth to € 2,972.- gross a month (based on a full-time appointment). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings), you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings), you might be eligible for an allowance for alternative housing.Other secondary conditions include a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website: > Support > UM employees.


Maastricht University
Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 16,300 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

School of Business and Economics
The Maastricht University School of Business and Economics offers you a truly international perspective. We are an integrated, synergetic and society-oriented institute, focusing on conducting excellent research and educational innovation. Our renowned Problem Based Learning method fosters authentic students, critical thinkers and gives rise to societal conscious leaders. Our multidisciplinary approach inspires us to explore, in fundamental as well as in more applied research. As such we function as the interface between Society, Business and Academia. We work collaboratively, in openness, towards a sustainable future. We are driven to share responsibility with all those involved in the SBE community.

We inspire you to be an interdisciplinary and engaged professional.



  • PhD positions
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week, temporary
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University Graduate
  • AT2019.106


Maastricht University (UM)

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