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PhD Assignment: Designing Circular Products - A consumer-centred approach to the circular economy

We currently have a vacancy for a PhD position in design for a circular economy with a consumer-centred approach. Circular products (e.g. a refurbished …

4 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


We currently have a vacancy for a PhD position in design for a circular economy with a consumer-centred approach.

Circular products (e.g. a refurbished laptop) and services (e.g. a pay-per-use washing machine) participate to the circular economy by lenghtening lifetimes and reducing environmental footprint. However, for circular products/services to work, consumers need to accept them as a viable alternatives for new ones (van Weelden, Mugge & Bakker, 2016). As circular products/services are previously used and/or change the type of ownership, consumers are expected to respond differently. To enhance the success of circular products/services, designers can influence consumer response through product design. For example, designers may create designs that allow consumers to easily change/upgrade certain product parts in the refurbishment process or use the design to share stories of the first usage.

The main research question of this PhD project is: How can designers positively influence consumers' acceptance of circular products/services? The PhD student will investigate how consumers choose between circular products/services and new ones as well as how product design influences these responses. The aim of the project is to contribute to the literature on the circular economy by proposing guidelines for designers on how to improve the design of circular products/services to ensure consumers' acceptance.

The PhD candidate will also be part of the Circular Design lab within the faculty. This lab brings together students and researchers with an interest in circular economy.


We are looking for a candidate with a background in design, consumer behavior, psychology, or sustainability, and who has a strong interest in studying the intersections between design, consumer behavior, and sustainability.

The candidate should meet the following criteria:

- a Master degree in Industrial Design, Marketing/Consumer Behaviour, Psychology or in any related field,

- excellent research and methodological skills.

All applications must be submitted in the form of two PDF files:

1) A motivation letter of not more than 1 page

2) A curriculum vitae including all grades obtained for the BSc degree and MSc degree. 


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information. 

Additional information

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Prof. dr. ir. Ruth Mugge, Professor, via R.Mugge@TUDelft.nl or +31 (0)15 27 83 008.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Hanneke Sosef- de Haan, Secretary, via secretariaat-PIM@TUDelft.nl .