PhD Position on Open data and public values (MSCA-ITN ODECO)

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Belgium

August 20, 2021

Description

PhD Position on Open data and public values (MSCA-ITN ODECO)

(ref. BAP-2021-607)

Last modification : Thursday, July 15, 2021

As part of the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie ITN project ODECO, KU Leuven's Public Governance Institute is looking for a highly motivated, talented, and creative PhD candidate interested in research on open data and public values in governmental context. Public Governance Institute (PGI) is an internationally-oriented and interdisciplinary research/education institute that focuses on different aspects of public administration and public governance. Major research topics of PGI refer to policy development, political sciences, co-creation, government organisation/HRM, digital transformation, performance/finance management.

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Project

The EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie ITN project ‘ODECO: Towards a Sustainable Open Data ECOsystem' (see www. odeco-research.eu) is a four-year project involving 15 PhD projects covering each a specific part of the open data ecosystem. The central aim of ODECO is to train the next generation of creative and innovative early stage open data researchers and unlock their creative and innovative potential to address current and future challenges in the creation of user driven, circular and inclusive open data ecosystems.

Current developments in the field of open data are characterised as highly fragmented. Open data ecosystems are often developed in different domains in isolation of each other and with little involvement of potential users, resulting in approaches that significantly limit open data reusability for users. This reduces innovation and the ability to create new valued added goods and services. Isolated domains also undermine interoperability for users acting as a barrier to data sharing. Efforts are also uncoordinated in open data training and research, where multidisciplinary approaches are scant.

Bringing together different sectors (research, private sector, government, non-profit) and different perspectives (public administration, law, business, engineering), ODECO aims to address the central challenge of realizing a user driven, circular and inclusive open data ecosystem. Through its novel research and training programme, ODECO will provide early stage researchers with relevant open data knowledge, skills and research experience.

ODECO has two open positions for a PhD fellowship at KU Leuven:

  • One position on Open data and public values at the Public Governance Institute
  • One position on Assessing the value of – open - Data at the Spatial Applications Division Leuven (SADL)
  • Tasks

    This particular ESR-position on ‘Open data and public values' at the Public Governance Institute is related to the individual research project on ‘Enhancing open data ecosystem: government as a user perspective'.

    The main objective of this research project is to identify the role and responsibilities of the central/regional government in the open data ecosystem as a user from a public values perspective. The needs, values and roles of the government can play a key role in how they interact within the open data ecosystem. The sub-objectives are:

  • To elaborate a systematic literature review of related theories to government (public) values for open data ecosystems
  • To identify how government (public) values are affected by open data in an ecosystem setting
  • To elaborate a systematic analysis on the role and responsibilities of government as user of open data (or other roles), and
  • To elaborate a systematic analysis on structural and managerial instruments to be applied by the government
  • To design a governance framework leading to the optimization of the government (public) values for open data ecosystems
  • To test the validity of the governance framework for the federal Belgian government as well as the Flemish government
  • During the PhD fellowship, the candidate will conduct this research and prepare scientific articles presenting the research at conferences and in journals. To enable the candidate to do this successfully, KU Leuven offers personal and professional training courses in the form of doctoral school, in which the candidate will participate (the fee is paid by the project and there are no additional costs for this). Furthermore, in addition to her/his scientific supervisors, the applicant will receive an independent senior researcher as mentor, to aid her/his personal career development.

    As a Marie Curie ITN researcher, the candidate will have the opportunity to conduct practical internships at world leading universities and case studies at excellent open data institutions through the EU ITN network.

    Profile

    Since this PhD position is part of a Horizon Marie Curie ITN project, several hard selection criteria apply to be eligible:

  • You comply with the early-stage researcher definition: at the time of recruitment (January 2022), you must be in the first four years (full‐time equivalent research experience) of your research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • You comply with the mobility rule, meaning that you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Belgium for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (January 2022).
  • You are expected to be embedded for 2 to 3 months at other organizations (outside Belgium) as part of secondments foreseen under the project.
  • In addition to these criteria, the candidate also :

  • has a master's degree with demonstrable interest in digital government, digital transformation and technology at large,
  • preferably has some experience with designing and conducting scientific research, and the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods,
  • has a high level of proficiency in English, both spoken and written,
  • is keen to learn and test new environments and new methods.
  • Offer

    The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers. The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married or equivalent legally recognised status and/or dependent children).The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

    Interested?

    For more information please contact Prof. dr. Joep Crompvoets, tel.: +32 16 32 31 34, mail: joep.crompvoets@kuleuven.be or Mr. Cesar Casiano, tel.: +32 16 32 63 39, mail: cesar.casiano@kuleuven.be.

    To apply, you should submit:

    • A short motivation letter explaining your personal motivation in pursuing a PhD as part of ODECO, including how you see the PhD fitting into your career trajectory

    • A CV, which should include details of your eligibility (degree and residency)

    • A sample of writing, e.g., master thesis, scientific publications, professional or popular science writing

    • The name and contact details of two references.

    The selection is conducted via a three-step process:

    (1) a shortlist of candidates will be compiled on the basis of the provided materials,

    (2) shortlisted candidates will be invited for a first round of interviews (in the first half of September)

    (3) a second round of interviews with selected candidates will take place in (in the first half of October) to determine the final ranking of the candidates

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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