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Hiring: PhD Scholarship in Sustainable Entrepreneurship in World Heritage Sites (B067218)


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is an international place of knowledge.

Campus Fryslân, is the university’s newest faculty, located in Leeuwarden, the capital of Fryslân. The faculty’s goal is to connect regional themes with interdisciplinary global issues. To achieve this, research activities are organized under four “Frisian Flagships”, which are areas of interest to the region: (1) Governance, (2) Sustainable Economy, (3) Culture, Language & Technology, and (4) Food & Health.

Scholarship opportunities

The Faculty Campus Fryslân is accepting applications from prospective PhD students, to work on the Interreg funded project ‘PROWAD LINK PROTECT & PROSPER’. This interdisciplinary research seeks to enhance small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sustainability in the North Sea Region. The project will focus on the development and testing of innovative tools and strategies, using co-creation processes with knowledge partners. The project will be carried out transnationally and implemented in selected pilot areas (Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, Geiranger Fjord World Heritage Site, Wash & North Norfolk Coast European Marine Site).

The PhD studentship may focus on identifying challenges and tensions of day-to-day SME performance and offer instruments that demonstrate how SMEs can improve sustainability performance. The PhD studentship may involve identifying sustainability indicators for SMEs, mapping SME business models of best practice and improvement, as well as assessing ecological and socio-cultural limits of the region to help support SMEs to design their products and services to be truly sustainable without risking overuse of the World Heritage site. Results will be co-developed with local SMEs and stakeholders and integrated into recommendations, brochures, a guidebook, and contribute to an online learning module.
Candidates are asked to write a short research proposal (500 words max) in connection with the broad goals of the Prowad Link project.

The PhD student will be given the opportunity to present results at specialist conferences and co-author articles on the outcomes of their research in international scientific journals. The articles will form the core of the PhD thesis.
During the course of the PhD, the students will develop research and teaching competencies as well as leadership skills. For this, the PhD students will receive a tailor-made programme from the GSCF. The PhD students will be enrolled in our Graduate School Campus Fryslân (GSCF).

The intended start-date for the position is 1st October 2018.

New PhD students are expected to live in Leeuwarden or at a viable commuting distance.

For more information:
Campus Fryslân
Centre for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Graduate School of Campus Fryslân


We seek candidates in entrepreneurship/business or equivalent fields with:
• master’s degree in business/ management or related social sciences
• excellent record of undergraduate and graduate study
• strong motivation to complete a PhD dissertation in four years
• highly developed conceptual capacity and analytical skills
• Very good individual and collaborative working skills, including the ability to plan, organize and monitor work
• excellent command of spoken and written English
• motivated to work on one of the UN sustainable development goals
• open to transdisciplinary teaching and research.


The successful candidates will be part of the University of Groningen’s PhD Scholarship Programme. After nine months, and thereafter annually, the progress will be evaluated. At these evaluations, it will be considered whether the results are sufficient for a successful and timely defense of the PhD thesis. As part of the programme, the PhD scholarship student will take part in the Career Perspectives Series, which provides a thorough preparation on the career after the PhD, inside or outside academia.

General information about the University of Groningen’s PhD Scholarship Programme can be found at


You may apply for this position until 9 August 23.59h / before 10 August 2018 Dutch local time.

Candidates must submit the following documents:
• a letter providing their motivation and key qualifications (letter of motivation attachment)
• a current curriculum vitae (CV attachment)
• a copy of diploma with list of course grades and reference letters from two academic referees (extra attachment)
• a research proposal, consistent with the broad parameters provided above, of up to 500 words, covering the main research questions, the theoretical framework, the proposed (methodological) approach and a provisional timetable (extra attachment 2)
• a writing sample of no more than 5000 words, e.g. an essay or part of a Master’s thesis (extra attachment 3).

The application system can handle five uploaded documents. First join the document you wish to send to a maximum of five documents, save the documents in pdf and upload the pdf files. The intended starting date is October 2018. Interviews will be scheduled end of August 2018. Candidates may be asked to give a presentation.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • Dr. Thomas B. Long, assistant professor in sustainable entrepreneurship (information about the PhD), +31 (0)6 38 68 1770,
  • Dr. Joop Houtman coordinator Graduate School of Campus Fryslân (general information PhD Scholarship),

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

Last modified:27 September 2019 08.45 a.m.