PhD student Trash to Treasure (1,0 fte)

March 31 2023

Nyenrode Business Universiteit is seeking a full-time PhD student with a research interest in innovation (specifically: how to organize innovation capabilities). The PhD program is a four-year fully funded program. The PhD-student will join the Center for Marketing & Supply Chain Management. Under the supervision of Prof. dr. Bo van der Rhee, and co-promotor role for dr. Richard Janssen from the Center for Strategy, Organization & Leadership, the PhD student will perform theoretical and empirical research on organizing innovation capabilities with a special focus on the role of the middle manager.

We are looking for candidates with a Master of Science in business administration, sustainability, or related field. Candidates must have strong analytical and research skills and a genuine interest in the topic. In addition, they should possess solid academic writing skills, solid communication skills and a profound command of English.

Organizing Innovation Capabilities

How can we make the world a better place through more sustainable (i.e., less wasteful) innovation processes? Organizational design theory states that ambidexterity, the ability of firms to simultaneously explore and exploit, allows firms to cope with uncertainty, adapt to change, and remain innovative. But how can companies organize their innovation capabilities to become (more) ambidextrous? We believe that middle management has a special role in this process, and the insights that we will generate can improve company’s innovation processes and contribute to the challenges of the 21st century.

This research will help (middle) managers to manage innovation processes more effectively, using fewer resources to address 21st century problems more effectively. Specifically, we are interested in how companies can organize innovation capabilities that can both explore new ideas and exploit existing ones, also called ambidexterity. Through this, we aim to provide insights into how incumbents can improve and accelerate their innovation processes by enhancing their dynamic capabilities.

Organizing innovation capabilities that address the grand challenges for the 21st century requires responsible leaders that are interested in new, sustainable solutions for society. Particularly in larger companies, middle management needs to take on a more entrepreneurial role in developing the dynamic capabilities around ambidexterity, the art and science of sensing and seizing new customer needs. As such, this research touches upon all three LES-values and goes towards Nyenrode’s mission of shaping responsible leaders.

We are interested in candidates with a clear academic research ambition and a background in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Candidates must have the ambition to publish in highly ranked international peer reviewed academic journals, and to develop a high-quality and original research portfolio that is relevant to academia and the business community. The objective is that the research project results in a number of high-quality, original academic research papers, suitable for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals.

This fulltime PhD position involves research, teaching, and contributing to the academic community. The teaching responsibilities will predominantly focus on assisting in thesis supervision through which research data can also be collected for the dissertation.


Who are we?

Nyenrode Business Universiteit offers a combination of sound theoretical knowledge, practical experience and personal development. Nyenrode aims to achieve a diverse mix of researchers and teaching staff with international experience, to optimize research and the education that is offered and to reflect the university’s distinguished status. Nyenrode is a small-scale private university, founded in 1946 for and by business, with an international orientation. Nyenrode offers degree and executive education programs in business, management, accountancy and controlling, and conducts research in these disciplines. The mission of Nyenrode is: ‘Serving society by shaping responsible leaders’. Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Stewardship are the core values, embedded in all the education programs offered at Nyenrode Business Universiteit.

The Nyenrode PhD School
As a PhD candidate you will be part of the Nyenrode PhD School that offers courses, guidance on article writing and opportunities for participation in scientific conferences and seminars. The candidate will work to produce a doctoral dissertation, which is to be written in English.


Who are you? 

You hold an MSc, MA, or MPhil degree in a relevant discipline from an accredited university, preferably in business administration, sustainability, or a related field. You have excellent results in your graduate study. You have a genuine interest in and a strong motivation for academic research. 


What do we have to offer?

Nyenrode is a knowledge institute that is characterized by a personal, informal atmosphere and a professional approach. Result-oriented work methods and attention to personal development go hand in hand; for instance, you can participate in exclusive seminars and lunch classes. Nyenrode has a dynamic work environment in which you are given a lot of responsibility and the opportunity to contribute to objectives in your own way.

  • A gross salary between € 2.766, - and € 3.708,- depending on your seniority and experience (Scale 8)
  • 30 days off (with the possibility of an additional five) 
  • Fixed 5,1 % end of year bonus
  • Flexible end of year bonus, up to 4,5%
  • Allowance of € 850 to be spent with Coolblue to facilitate a home office
  • Reimbursements for internet and working from home costs, travel allowance
  • Pension scheme
  • Bike scheme



We would like to receive your application package, consisted of:

  • A university degree of minimum five years (300 ECTS credits) within the field of business (Master of Science) or equivalent education, of which at least two years (120 ECTS) at the master level that includes a master thesis as the final academic accomplishment;
  • Curriculum Vitae + Motivation letter + two academic reference letters; 
  • A manuscript of master thesis;
  • Proof of excellent grades from the Master of Science degree or equivalent education (average of B or better and the same for the master thesis, or equivalent level in a different grading system);
  • Proof of excellent English written and oral language skills. Applicants from non-European countries where English is not the official language must present an official language test report; 
  • Good analytical skills and knowledge about research methods relevant for the proposed project.

Qualified applicants will be ranked according to the following criteria:

  • Grades;
  • Quality of the master's thesis;
  • Applicant's description of motivation for the doctoral dissertation;
  • Relevant experience from research work;
  • Teaching potential.


The application package should be sent to In addition to the formal requirements, the selection will be based on interview(s) with the supervisors, Prof. dr. Bo van der Rhee and dr. Richard Janssen. Screening of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled.


Nyenrode Business Universiteit ambition is to create an inclusive working environment where everybody feels involved, valued and recognized. In addition to your talent, experience and motivation, the specific aspects of your identity enriches our organization in various ways. Talent as basis, diversity as power.