3 PhD positions on The Origins of Breakthrough Inventions [deadline for applications: 30 September 2015]
The 3 PhD-projects are part of the NWO-VICI grant “The Genealogy of Novelty: An evolutionary explanation of breakthrough inventions in science, technology, and the arts” and aim to analyze the personal, institutional and geographical conditions supportive of breakthrough inventions. One student will look at personal biographies of inventive individuals in science, business and the arts. A second student will reconstruct technological breakthroughs using empirical data on product characteristics characteristics. The third student will look at citations patterns among documents describing inventions such as patents, publications and art reviews. The guiding idea of the project holds that breakthrough inventions stem from diversity, because diversity allows for recombination of dissimilar items leading to radically new items. Diversity measures will be derived using genealogical data and analyzed using network analysis, where genealogies can be reconstructed from biographies (PhD student 1), product characteristics (PhD student 2) or, citation patterns (PhD student 3).
For all three project large databases are already available, which can be extended by the applicant. In each project, quantitative research can be combined with qualitative research. Students are also encouraged to come up with own theories or methodologies to extend the original framework. Travel grants allow applicants to go abroad to partner institutes including the MIT Media Lab, University College London and Lund University. Collaboration with Philips’ IP department or with government bodies is also possible. Candidates will become part of the Innovation Studies group of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. Professor Koen Frenken will act as supervisor.
We seek highly motivated candidates with a MSc degree in innovation studies, economics, management, geography, history, sociology, science & technologies studies, or a related discipline. We are looking for candidates who:
· have knowledge about theories of innovation;
· have affinity with, or willingness to learn about, evolutionary theorizing;
· have a background in quantitative methodologies;
· are proficient in English;
· have excellent scientific writing and planning skills.
All PhD students can spend the vast majority of their time on the research project; only 10% of their time will be spent on teaching, and supervision of (under)graduate research projects. Each project can start sometime between 1 November 2015 and 1 September 2016.
Conditions of employment
The successful candidate will be offered a full-time PhD position, initially for one year. Upon good performance, the contract will be extended for three more years. Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. Based on the experience and qualifications of the candidate, the gross monthly salary is between € 2,125.- and € 2,717.- (PhD salary scale) on a fulltime basis. The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.We offer a pension scheme, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). Facilities for sports and child care are available on our campus, which is only fifteen minutes away from the historical city center of Utrecht. For more information visit Working at Utrecht University.
Additional information about the PhD projects can be obtained by contacting prof. dr. Koen Frenken:firstname.lastname@example.org
directs research at the Energy Trans Lab