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PhD positions Cooperation and optimizing maintenance in infrastructures

The projects are financed by a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and NGInfra,
Renewal and maintenance of infrastructures present an immense task the upcoming twenty years. Currently, infrastructure administrators renew and ...

9 maanden geleden


Broerstraat, Groningen, Groningen
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
€ 2840 per maand


The projects are financed by a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and NGInfra,
Renewal and maintenance of infrastructures present an immense task the upcoming twenty years. Currently, infrastructure administrators renew and maintain their infrastructure mostly without explicitly considering renewal and maintenance effects for other infrastructures or the usage thereof. Increasingly, however, stakeholders aim for collaboration and coordinated actions in order to save costs and reduce unpleasant disturbances. However, the effective coordination of maintenance activities appears hard in practice and scientific knowledge on this topic is scarce and underdeveloped. The proposed research project aims to generate new and useful knowledge on this important topic in two separate subprojects.

PhD project 1
In the first PhD project, the goal is to develop novel techniques to combine and analyse maintenance and renewal data building on the maintenance approaches and models currently used by infrastructure administrators, while incorporating overall goals such as accessibility of an urban area. Joint maintenance and replacement strategies have to be developed taking into account mutual influence, possibilities of clustering, and effects on the (undisturbed) usage of other infrastructures. We subdivide this project into two parts: the first part is mainly on the collection of the relevant information and data. The aim of the second part is to determine an optimal joint maintenance strategy for the infrastructures.

PhD project 2
In the second PhD project, the goal is to identify optimal gouvernance structures and facilitating decision-making processes for coordination and collaboration between stakeholders of the infrastructure renewal and maintenance activities. Building on insights from organisational theory on cooperation and alliances, we will examine how these structures can be adapted to fit with the specificities of multi-organisational and multi-stakeholder situations. We subdivide this project into two parts that are closely interrelated. In the first part the focus is on the gouvernance of multi-stakeholder infrastructure renewal and maintenance activities using information from real-life cases. The second part focuses on facilitating the decision-making processes and coordination mechanisms used to tune the decision processes of the individual stakeholders using an experimental intervention study.

The positions will be part of the SOM research programmes on Organizational Behaviour and Operations Management and Operations Research and of the signature area on “Resilience”.


For the first project, we are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree in Operations Research and a specific interest in maintenance modelling and optimization.
For the second project, we are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree in Business Administration, Organizational Behaviour, Social Psychology and a specific interest in organisational team processes.

Candidates should be excellent in academic writing, should have excellent communication skills and should be able to cooperate in a multi-disciplinary team.


The University of Groningen offers a salary depending on qualifications and experience. The gross monthly starting salary is € 2,222, which increases yearly to a maximum of € 2,840 gross per month. In addition, we offer a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% end of year bonus. The full-time appointment is temporary for a period of four years, under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year.

You may apply for this position until 20 November 23:59 h / before 21 November 2017 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The application package consists of the following separate documents:
1. Your cv and scan of your passport
2. A motivation letter (1 A4 max) and a short study proposal for the PhD project (2 A4 max).
3. A scan of your diploma including transcripts
4. Proof of English proficiency
5. Other relevant documents.
The documents 1-4 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages will not be taken into account.

Starting date: as soon as possible, but not later than 1 February 2018.

An assessment may be part of the procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.

For more information, please send an email to: somvacancies@rug.nl

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

Prof Dirk Pieter van Donk (information about the project)

Prof Gerben van der Vegt (information about the project)


Faculty of Economics and Business Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Belonging to the best research universities of Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Economics and Business
The Faculty of Economics and Business offers an inspiring study and working environment for students and employees. International accreditation enables the Faculty to assess performance against the highest international standards. It also creates an exciting environment of continuous improvement. FEB's programmes, academic staff and research do well on various excellence ranking lists.

SOM, the graduate school and research institute of the Faculty of Economics and Business has available

Two PhD positions for the project “Building cooperation capabilities and optimizing joint maintenance in infrastructures”