PhD (Candidate) in Sports Innovation Management

PhD (Candidate) in Sports Innovation Management

Published Deadline Location
26 Apr 19 May Amsterdam

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Job description

We invite prospective researchers to apply for an exciting PhD position in the field of sports innovation management, offering a unique opportunity to make a significant impact both on the ‘field’ and in broader society. Delve into the intricacies of sports innovation, exploring its composition and devising effective measurement strategies. Your research will illuminate the role of sports innovation in tackling diverse organizational, sporting, and societal challenges, while identifying avenues for maximizing its impact. Join us in shaping the future of sports and driving positive change!

This PhD trajectory encompasses a diverse array of methodologies, including both quantitative and qualitative approaches. For instance, you will be involved in developing and implementing quantitative measures of sports innovation at both national and European levels, across various types of sports organizations, including competitive sports and recreational activities. Also, you will conduct case studies of sports organizations to gain deeper insights into sports innovation and related factors and mechanisms. This research will explore both technological aspects, such as R&D and digitalization, and non-technological aspects, including new forms of interorganizational collaboration, organizational and governance innovation, and innovative management approaches.

The research will be conducted as part of a collaboration between the Amsterdam Business School of the University of Amsterdam, Mulier Institute, and the Utrecht University School of Governance. All three institutes take part in the doctoral supervision, allowing you to leverage and integrate the unique and pertinent expertise of each. The trajectory is financially supported by ZonMw, on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, in cooperation with SportInnovator. Your research will be partly embedded within the scope of an Erasmus+ sports innovation index project spanning multiple European countries. Besides focusing on publishing in top-tier academic journals, you will also disseminate relevant insights to the broader sports community. Upon successful completion of the trajectory, you will earn a doctoral degree from the University of Amsterdam.

What are you going to do
As a fulltime PhD Candidate, your tasks and responsibilities include:
  • Conduct rigorous quantitative and qualitative research on sports innovation management with a high level of practical relevance;
  • investigate the challenges sports organizations, policymakers and other entities face in successfully developing or fostering various types and dimensions of sports innovation;
  • synthesize theories related to strategic management, innovation, and sports to develop novel conceptual frameworks;
  • conduct a sports innovation survey in the Netherlands, building on a baseline measurement developed in 2020;
  • contribute to the development and validation of a comprehensive sports innovation index that will be transformed into a self-assessment tool for sport organizations;
  • publish and present work at (inter)national conferences and in academic (top) journals and practitioner journals, and engage in workshops/masterclasses to share findings;
  • become active in the research community and collaborate with other institutes that are affiliated to the project.

You will join the Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation, which is part of the Strategy & International Business section of the Amsterdam Business School.

Your profile
  • Master's degree or an equivalent program in a relevant discipline (completed), such as business administration, sports policy, business economics, business informatics, governance, economic policy or sports management.
  • proficiency in both Dutch and English at an advanced level (both spoken and written);
  • strong research orientation and research skills, e.g. as demonstrated in your Master Thesis;
  • sincere interest in the field of sports, sports management, and innovation management;
  • ability to collaborate productively in teams with members from a variety of different institutes and countries;
  • dedicated to publishing in top-tier academic journals and sharing insights within the sports-related community.

Our offer
We offer an employment contract for 38 hours a week with an initial period of 18 months, and after an intermediate evaluation after 18 months there is the possibility to extend it for 30 months (in total the contract will be for four years), preferably starting from September 1st, 2024. The end-result should be a PhD thesis. An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) conferences. The gross monthly salary will range between €2,770,- in the first year to €3,539,- in the last year for full-time employment (38 hours per week), excluding holiday allowance (8%) and year-end bonus (8.3%).

The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

In addition, the UvA offers excellent study and development opportunities and encourages employees to continue to professionalise;

The compensation package is competitive at the European level and includes several secondary benefits. Favorable tax agreements may apply to non-Dutch applicants. To know more about working at the University of Amsterdam, please check this link and

Additionally, the University of Amsterdam offers excellent benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • A maximum of 29 days of annual leave based on full-time employment;
  • solid pension scheme (ABP);
  • contribution to commuting expenses, an internet and homework allowance;
  • excellent work (from home) facilities.

What else do we offer you?
  • A function in which your own initiative and input are strongly valued;
  • collaboration opportunities in an active and diverse research group;
  • a challenging workplace with varied tasks and plenty of room for personal initiative and development in an inspiring organization;
  • in addition, the UvA offers excellent study and development opportunities and encourages employees to continue their professional development;
  • you may participate in the open UvA lectures.

About us
The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, offering the broadest range of degree programmes. An intellectual hub with 42,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates, all connected by a shared culture of intellectual curiosity.

The Amsterdam Business School, part of the Faculty of Economics and Business, belongs to the 1% of the business schools in the world with a Triple Crown accreditation. The School consists of a large group of highly active researchers and students, covering a wide range of topics.

The Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation (ACBI) operates within the Strategy and International Business section of the Amsterdam Business School, which is renowned for its research on business innovation, sustainability and business ethics. ACB is one of the leading knowledge centers of the UvA. Its focus is on researching innovation in the broadest sense of the term and on disseminating relevant insights that help directors, managers, and policy makers to strengthen the innovation-driven performance of organizations, sectors, regions, and society in general.

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Find more information about the Strategy & International Business section on

Find more information about the Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation:

If you have any questions about the position, please contact prof. Henk W. Volberda, Professor of Strategic Management & Innovation and Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation:

Job application

Studies show that women and members of underrepresented groups only apply for jobs if they meet 100% of the qualifications. Do you meet the educational requirements but do not yet have all the required experience? Then the UvA encourages you to apply anyway.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 19 May 2024. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications in one pdf should include:
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • any other required information.

The first round of interviews will take place in May 2024.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

No agencies please.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • PhD
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 12831


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Roetersstraat 11, 1018WB, Amsterdam

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