Two Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD positions (scholarships) on The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development (722295-RUNIN)
38.0 hours per week
€ 2191 - € 2672
University of Twente (UT)
The University of Twente and Regio Twente invite applications for two PhD positions (scholarships) in Regional Development
and Innovation Studies, one at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) of Faculty of Behaviour, Management
and Social Sciences at the University of Twente and one at Regio Twente.
These positions aim to give promising Early Stage Researchers an opportunity for professional development, ultimately leading
to a doctoral degree. The PhD scholars will be appointed for three years, starting 1 February 2017.
The PhD positions are funded by the EU-financed Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) "The Role of
Universities in Innovation and Regional Development" (www.innoresource.org/runin/
). The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
ensure excellent and innovative research training as well as attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through
cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers, to better prepare them for current and future societal challenges.
The Innovative Training Networks scheme aims to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage
The RUNIN ITN comprises 14 PhD positions in nine partners from seven European countries, including 7 universities associated
with the European Consortium of Innovative Universities as well as regional development agencies in the involved regions.
RUNIN is an interdisciplinary project which examines the multi-faceted roles of universities in contributing to innovation
and economic development in different European regions, e.g. through education, industry collaboration and policy-relevant research.
Alongside the individual research projects, the RUNIN network also provides a dedicated portfolio of courses aimed at promoting
the research of the participating PhD candidates as well as developing their transferable skills for future careers in the academic
or non-academic sector. Each PhD candidate will have a co-supervisor from an international institution in the network and a
non-academic mentor from a regional partner organization, and will also spend two periods during the PhD process on secondment
at one of the other partner organisations in another country.
For both positions, priority will be given to candidates who have a strong background in sociology, human geography, public
administration, political science or related fields.
New modes of university governance for dynamic regional stakeholder engagement (University of Twente)
This PhD project explores universities strategic priority setting processes in a context of strategic modernisation through
a study of one such specialised aim (regional engagement) within this new strategic landscape dominated by ideas of ’strategic
modernisation’ and increasing inter-institutional competition. Drawing on a comparative analytic case study of a set of
regionally engaged universities focused on two universities which have made increasing regional engagement a specific strategic
aim (Universities of Twente and Linköping), the Early Stage Researcher - PhD candidate - studies how universities determine,
set and implement strategic priorities negotiating between these tensions for universal values (excellence, quality) and their
other missions. This Early Stage Researcher (ESR) contributes both to academic debates foregrounding the unexpected tensions
inherent in regional engagement activities as well as university management debates concerning the practicalities of delivering
regional engagement that is well connected to and supportive of universities other missions. This ESR contributes to debates
around higher education modernisation, and more general public administration conversations on post-new public management and
public value management theory. The ESR also creates impact for a wider set of higher education professionals in creating
understanding about effectively integrating engagement missions into universities strategic steering perspectives. Planned
secondment: Linköping University and the LiU innovation office.
Knowledge systems for intelligent university regional engagement policy (Regio Twente)
This PhD project seeks to explore how policy interventions can generate understandings of the reality of university-industry
engagement in regional contexts, and in turn be linked to effective regional policy making in these regions. There has been
growing policy interest in stimulating universities to engage more systematically with their regions, including specific
regional funding streams in a number of countries. But there has been a parallel concern that policy interventions are
often based on a relatively ’thin’ understanding of the ways that specific interventions (e.g. supporting
spin-offs, innovation vouchers) feed into changes at the regional level. There is a huge gulf between micro-data of
project outcomes and linking it to meso-data of regional development, and hence understanding which university regional
engagement projects and programmes are most effective in policy terms. This ESR therefore specifically seeks to trace,
understand and conceptualise linkages between a range of policy interventions, and changes key regional economic development
data and indicators. Using a comparative study of highly-engaged universities in the participating regions, the ESR
contributes to academic debates concerning university management for public value in the context of the university as
an overstretched, stakeholder organisation. The ESR creates impact in public policy networks developing appropriate
policies, instruments and tools for stimulating university entrepreneurship and impact in a wider regional context.
Planned secondment(s): Lincolnshire County Council, and University of Lincoln.
The PhD candidate should ideally have:
- a master’s degree in sociology, human geography, public administration, political science or related fields. A research master is an advantage;
- strong research skills in qualitative research methods; for PhD position 2, research skills in quantitative methods are also required;
- affinity with multidisciplinary research;
- knowledge in the field of regional economic development & innovation and/or higher education & regional engagement is an advantage;
- experience in communicating with project partners, ministries, funding agencies, etc. is an advantage;
- fluency in English for both positions. For position 2 is notice of the Dutch language required.
Moreover, the PhD candidate should be able to work independently and as a member of a team and demonstrate creativity and innovativeness.
The University of Twente and Regio Twente are equal opportunities employers and the candidates will be recruited under
gender-neutral recruitment processes. The project aims for gender balance among the researchers recruited to the network.
Female candidates are in particular encouraged to apply.
As the programme aims to promote cross-border mobility, a condition for eligibility for the scholarship is that the candidate
has not resided, or been primarily employed or studying in the Netherlands for more than 12 months of the 3 years immediately
preceding the recruitment date. The position is also open to non-European citizens. Furthermore, candidates must be in the
first four years of their research careers and cannot hold a doctoral degree.
Application and information
To apply for this position, we invite you to send us a letter of application setting out how you meet the requirements of
the profile, your academic curriculum vitae, a list of your publications and conference presentations (where applicable),
as well as an essay in English of no longer than 2 pages, potentially including:
- an academic reflection on the overall RUNIN ITN;
- an academic reflection on either of the two PhD projects (above);
- a summary of a short paper you have written recently (last two years).
These documents should be uploaded via the application link below before 4th of December 2016.
Interviews will take place after 4th of December 2016.
For more information on this position please contact Dr. Paul Benneworth (PhD position 1),
; or Inge Bakker (PhD position 2), I.Bakker@regiotwente.nl
If you have questions regarding the practical issues concerning the application procedure, please contact Brigitte Tuk,
Conditions of employment
Both PhD candidates will be appointed for a full-time position for a period of 36 months. The starting date for the PhD
candidate is 1st of February 2017 and the gross monthly salary increases from € 2.191,- in the first year to € 2.672,-
in the final year. In addition, the University of Twente and Regio Twente offers additional attractive employment benefits.
Appointment to the position is subject to the PhD being admitted to the Twente Graduate School.
The PhD candidate for position 1 will be appointed at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies, a department at the
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS) of the University of Twente, which offers an inspiring,
multidisciplinary environment. The PhD candidate for position 2 will be appointed as a junior researcher at Kennispunt
within Regio Twente (see below). Besides collaborating closely with the colleagues in CHEPS and Kennispunt of the Regio
Twente, both PhD candidates will be appointed to the Twente Graduate School and - potentially - become a member of the
Netherlands Institute of Government, which both offer postgraduate training opportunities in addition to the programme offered by the RUNIN Network.
The University of Twente
. We stand for science and technology, high tech, human touch, education and
research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente
is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational
programs. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope
for carrying out pioneering research. The Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences strives to hold a
leading position in their fields in relation to the science and technology research programs of the University of Twente.
In all these fields, the faculty provides bachelor, master and professional development programs.
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social
sciences (BMS) strives to play a pivotal role in understanding, co-engineering and evaluating innovation in society.
Innovation is driven by advances in technology. Through ’social engineering’ these technological advances are embedded
in society befitting human needs and behaviour, within proper public and private management and business structures.
For this the faculty of BMS upholds high quality disciplinary knowledge in psychology, business administration, public
administration, communication science, philosophy, educational science and health sciences. All with a focus on the
challenges in society. Research is strongly connected to our Institutes on Governance (IGS), ICT (CTIT), Health (MIRA)
and Nanotechnology (MESA+).
Center for Higher Education Policy Studies
The Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS),
which is an interdisciplinary research institute with a strong international reputation. Its research, education and
consultancy activities focus on higher education and research policy at the institutional, national and international
levels. More information on CHEPS can be found at www.utwente.nl/mb/cheps/
Regio Twente is a statutorily-based governmental collaborative body covering the fourteen municipalities
in Twente, a region in the East of the Netherlands, with a total population of 628,000. Regio Twente has two main areas
of competence: public health and territorial development. Regio Twente organizes a range of programmes and projects
across a range of areas under these two main domains, including socioeconomic development. Connect to collaborate
is what Regio Twente aspires for and with the 14 municipalities and social partners, for a vital, innovative and
powerful Twente (see www.regiotwente.nl
Kennispunt Twente is hosted by Regio Twente. It is an independent research organisation,
intermunicipal and cooperative, covering the urban municipalities in Twente. Kennispunt Twente www.kennispunttwente.nl
services all municipalities in the region of Twente. It seeks to strengthen the knowledge position of the Twente municipalities
and the Regio by undertaking applied research that generates high value-added management information and knowledge for current
policy formulation and decision-making. Kennispunt is working closely with key regional knowledge institutes (university of
Twente and university of applied sciences Saxion) to pursue these goals. The research covers all areas of significance for
the municipalities and the region. Kennispunt Twente provides an infrastructure in which municipal and regional problems
are formulated into concrete applied research tasks, which are then implemented and translated back into policy knowledge.