PhD position in SMART4L project

University of Twente (UT)

14 Oct 2023
Job Information

University of Twente (UT)
Research Field
Cultural studies
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
10 Nov 2023 – 22:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract
Job Status
Not Applicable
Hours Per Week
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

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.

Specific Requirements

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.

Additional Information

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.

Additional comments

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] .

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
Universiteit Twente
Postal Code
Drienerlolaan 5

Where to apply



Drienerlolaan 5
Postal Code
7522 NB


View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email – cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.