NEWS: KIN is Hiring! PhD–position for Organizing Data-Driven Business Models

Are you our next PhD student who wants to conduct qualitative research on data-driven business models for connected products? With intensive supervision and training by leading researchers in the KIN Center for Digital Innovation? Then Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam would like to get to know you. Apply for the position of:




Location:                       AMSTERDAM

Hours per week:              38 hours


Job description

The KIN Center for Digital Innovation received funding to conduct research on the development processes of data-driven business models for connected products. The premise of this project is that digital technologies such as ‘Internet of Things (IoT) technologies enable developing so-called ‘connected products’—products that through connectivity technology enable data-driven digital services. Such technologies extent the usages of products and generate new opportunities for product and service innovation. However, the development and implementation of connected products is challenging. Product development processes as well as business models are likely to change when firms develop connected products. What complicates matters further is that the value of connected products depends on the collaborative efforts of heterogeneous parties (e.g., including third-party developers, retailers, IT-specialists, hardware connectivity suppliers, independent service providers, data scientists). Such collaborations go beyond the scope of traditional supply chains. To date, however, we know little about how connected products can be effectively developed and how the associated data-driven business models can be developed. Such business models operate on an ecosystem level and are thus difficult to develop and maintain using traditional tools and techniques for strategy and innovation, which are suited for firm-level applications.

This project will generate in-depth knowledge on business models in digital innovation through embedded, qualitative research in industry, including research at our partner BSH Home Applicances —a multinational technology and service development firm known from brands such as ‘Bosch’ and ‘Siemens’. By tracing the developments of new data-driven business models for connected products in industry, this project will identify best practices for other organizations to learn from as well as result in novel research findings that can be published in top international journals on innovation and management.

The PhD student can rely on intensive supervision and training offered by the leading researchers in the KIN Center for Digital Innovation and will follow the 3-4 year PhD program of the Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI). The Faculty offers opportunities to attend conferences, to meet other international researchers, and to participate in high-quality discussion groups in support of writing papers for publication. Many of KIN’s PhD students spend some time abroad during their trajectory. The prospects for the Faculty’s doctoral graduates on the labor market are excellent, both inside and outside the academic world.


Your duties

The PhD student will conduct qualitative, and possibly quantitative research and interventions, on the following themes:

  • development processes of data-driven value propositions and business models;
  • value creation and appropriation processes in ecosystems consisting in heterogeneous actors;
  • collaboration processes in ecosystems around connected products.



Candidates who would like to apply should meet the following requirements:

  • motivated to do high quality scientific research;
  • ability to combine creative and analytical thinking;
  • ability to collaborate in groups as well as carry out work individually;
  • demonstrable flexibility and strong communication skills required to collaborate with industrial partner(s) and perform research as an embedded researcher in a field setting;
  • affinity with innovation and technology management;
  • proficient in written and spoken English, preferably also proficient in Dutch;
  • academic writing skills;
  • MSc/ MPhil / Research master or an equivalent program (e.g., Junior Researcher Program) in Economics, Business Administration, Innovation Management, Technology & Management, Operations Research, Sociology, Industrial Design, or a related discipline; or a regular master in one of these disciplines with excellent research skills;
  • excellent grades;
  • expertise in and affinity with qualitative research methods.


What are we offering?

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,266 gross per month during the first year and increases to €2,897 gross per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment.

The appointment will initially be for one year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years


Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • considerable employer’s contribution to the ABP pension scheme
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package


About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 23,000 students. We employ more than 4,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.


School of Business and Economics

The School of Business and Economics (SBE) provides high-quality education and excellent research in business administration and economics with a focus on contributing to the social, economic and ecological challenges of our time. Whether it is the use of robots in society or big data, labour market participation or flexibility in the labour market, traffic jams or the housing market, flash crashes in the stock market or choice behaviour in gambling, leadership or change management: we believe in goal-oriented scientific research and understand that progress in academics, the business community and society is achieved through cooperation, openness and social responsibility.


At SBE, all of our highly-motivated colleagues work together closely in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment to achieve our collective goal of encouraging society to make informed choices. Approximately 4,200 Bachelor’s and Master’s students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 500 people.



Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.



Are you interested in this position? Send us an e-mail with your curriculum vitae, cover letter and transcripts of your MSc and BSc degree by 6 September 2018. Please mention vacancy number 18294.


Name:               Mrs. M. Maletic

Position:            Managing Director



Vacancy questions

If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:


Prof. dr. Frans Feldberg –

Prof. dr. ir. Hans Berends –

Dr. ir. Fleur Deken –


No agencies