PhD position in SMART4L project

University of Twente
November 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2.770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Developing a learning platform for accelerating (inter)regional collaboration in logistics

  • Are you interested in technology enhanced learning and exploring how platform technologies can accelerate IT innovations and collaboration within regional logistics ecosystems?
  • Do you like to be part of a multidisciplinary research team and develop a learning platform together with companies, regional networks and industry associations?
  • Is it your ambition to achieve impact based on systematic and evidence- based research?
  • Then consider applying for this PhD position within the SMART4L project!

    The successful applicant will join the Business Information Systems section of the High-tech Business & Entrepreneurship Department (HBE) at the Faculty of Behavioural Management and Social Sciences.

    The logistics sector is crucial for the Dutch economy and offers employment for 14% of the working population in the Netherlands. Due to global competition it is important to innovate. While IT innovations and emerging technologies develop rapidly, the current workforce often lacks the knowledge and skills to apply these innovations. Additionally, there are several major challenges, including lowering the environmental impact, transitioning towards alternative energy sources, and finding solutions for the growing shortage of qualified people. Acceleration of innovation adoption is needed to remain competitive and realize sustainability goals. Small and medium-sized enterprises are lagging behind and experience difficulties to keep up with technological developments. Addressing this societal challenge, the SMART4L project aims to increase the learning capacity of logistics companies and the employability of the logistics workforce by substantiating and optimizing (inter)regional smart logistics learning communities in which different companies, knowledge-, educational-, and sector institutions collaborate to learn, co-create, and adopt IT innovations.

    SMART4L aims

    SMART4L will (re)design, optimize, and substantiate learning communities in three regional contexts (Port of Twente, Logistics Lab Zwolle and KmD- Datalab). It will do so by (1) examining factors for sustainable cooperation, collective learning processes and individual outcomes in these two existing ecosystems; (2) developing a collaborative ICT platform to facilitate knowledge sharing, learning, and collaboration among stakeholders; and (3) identifying and optimizing social processes that increase innovation and learning processes at the micro- (from learning to innovation within organizations), meso- (the dynamics of learning and co-creation between organizations), and macro-level (the dynamics of co-creation within and between the three regions). Taken together, SMART4L will facilitate (inter)regional collaborations in the logistics sector to improve the learning and adoption of IT innovations, thereby increasing the sector's efficiency and sustainability.

    About the PhD project

    The main research goal is the design of the reference architecture of the SMART4L digital learning platform that will foster co-creation and innovation within and across logistics companies. The main function of the platform is to optimally support the emergence and coordination of collaborative open innovation activities and knowledge transfer within (inter)regional ecosystems. Utilizing (action) design science research methodologies, you will investigate the problem, gather requirements, determine the solution objectives, design the platform architecture, prototype, develop and demonstrate the platform, and validate/evaluate the platform with the consortium partners. In parallel, you conduct fundamental research and review the state-of-the-art on learning and innovation platforms and their impact on community emergence. Throughout the PhD trajectory, you will develop academic skills by taking courses at the Twente Graduate School and publishing your (intermediate) results in journals, international conferences and workshops. Furthermore, you will be actively involved in project consortium meetings, and other events with partner organizations and industry.

    Your profile

    We look for a highly motivated, enthusiastic researcher who is driven by curiosity and has/is:

  • Recently completed a MSc in Business Information Technology, Information Systems, Computer Science, or a related field,
  • Has experience with design science research and/or platform development and a broad interest in the societal impact of technology,
  • Is highly interested in and motivated to conduct high-quality academic research resulting in scientific publications, which is reflected in study results, personal skills and experience,
  • Has excellent oral and written language skills in English and (the ambition to develop) a basic understanding of Dutch,
  • Likes to work in a multidisciplinary team and collaborate with different stakeholders.
  • Our offer

    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.
  • Information and application

    Are you interested to be part of our team? Please submit your application before the 10th of November 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).
  • Additional information can be acquired via email from Sebastian Piest via [email protected].

    About the department

    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.

    About the research team

    You will be supervised by prof. dr. M.E. (Maria) Iacob (University of Twente) and J.P.S. (Sebastian) Piest PDEng (University of Twente) and part of the Business Information Systems team within the Hightech Business and Entrepreneurship department.

    The overall research program is led by Dr. M.W. (Menno) Vos (Windesheim) and consists of a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Dr. R.B.L. Sijbom), University of Amsterdam (Dr. M. Baas), Windesheim (Dr. C.A.M. de Ruijt), and Saxion (Dr. L.D. Collou). A second PhD position is vacant at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam's research group Organization and Management.

    The research team closely collaborates with an extensive consortium, consisting of companies in transport, logistics and manufacturing (Bolk Transport, Scania, Zehnder, Fuite), technology providers (Weesvaardig, Bullit Digital), regional network organizations (Port of Twente), learning communities (Logistics Lab Zwolle, Kansen met Data-Lab) and branche organizations (VNO-NCW, Evofenedex, and TLN). This consortium provides a rich and dynamic environment to conduct empirical research and ensure that your work has clear societal impact!

    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Behavioral, Management and Social sciences (BMS) aims to play a key role in understanding, jointly developing and evaluating innovations in society. Technological developments are the engine of innovation. As a technical university that puts people first, we tailor them to human needs and behavior and use social engineering to integrate them into society. We also ensure adequate governance at public and private level, and robust, inclusive and fair organizational structures. We do this by developing, sharing and applying high-quality knowledge in Psychology, Business Administration, Public Administration, Communication Sciences, Philosophy, Educational Sciences and Health Sciences. Our research and education in these disciplines revolves around tackling and solving societal challenges. The research programs of BMS are closely linked to the research of the UT institutes Mesa+ Institute for Nanotechnology, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

    As an employer, the Faculty of BMS offers work that matters. We equip you to create new possibilities for yourself and for our society. With us, you will become part of a leading technical university with increasing, positive social impact. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial atmosphere, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example through our flexible, adaptable benefits.

    Want to know more? Piest, J.P.S. (Sebastian)


    Piest, J.P.S. (Sebastian)


    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Sebastian for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

    Your Colleagues
  • Iacob, M.E. (Maria)
  • Personal page

  • Mes, M.R.K. (Martijn)
  • Personal page LinkedIn

  • Our mission Human Touch
  • At the UT it's all about people, in line with our university's High Tech Human Touch philosophy. In everything we do, the well-being and future of our students and staff are paramount. From research and teaching to personnel management, campus management and the use of new technologies.

  • Our mission We are a university of technology
  • Our university is a public institution that serves society. We are accountable to society for the ways in which we use our academic freedom. We are responsible for ensuring that the power of science and technology is harnessed to achieve the best possible impact in a changing world. We cherish our rich tradition of combining technical and social sciences in our five profiling themes: Improving healthcare by personalized technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

  • Our mission We help to strengthen society
  • We help society meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. But we are also transparent about what science and technology can and cannot do in finding sustainable solutions. And help translate these solutions into everyday life.

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  • We want our communities to flourish and show resilience, so we seize opportunities for innovation. We are knowledgeable and have an eye for what society needs. Our students and staff receive all the guidance they need in their quest for ecological, social and economic sustainability. “The University of Twente is all about people. Our sustainable technologies help to strengthen society.”

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