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PhD Position: Open Data Usability

Are you passionate about research with a societal impact? Do you want to be part of an excellent, world-leading team of engaged open data researchers and practitioners? Check out this position!

3 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


This fully funded PhD position is part of the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie ITN project entitled "ODECO: Towards a Sustainable Open Data ECOsystem" (see www.odeco-research.eu). ODECO is a four-year project involving 15 PhD projects covering each a specific part of the open data ecosystem. The central aim of the ODECO consortium network is to train the next generation of creative and innovative early stage open data researchers, to unlock their creative and innovative potential to address current and future challenges in the creation of user driven, circular and inclusive open data ecosystems.

Current developments in the field of open data are characterised as highly fragmented. Open data ecosystems are often developed in different domains in isolation of each other and with little involvement of potential users, resulting in approaches that significantly limit open data reusability for users. This reduces innovation and the ability to create new valued added goods and services. Isolated domains also undermine interoperability for users acting as a barrier to data sharing. Efforts are also uncoordinated in open data training and research, where multidisciplinary approaches are scant.

Bringing together different sectors (research, private sector, government, non-profit) and different perspectives (public administration, law, business, engineering), ODECO aims to address the central challenge of realizing a user driven, circular and inclusive open data ecosystem. Through its novel research and training programme, ODECO will provide early stage researchers with relevant open data knowledge, skills and research experience.

The offered PhD position is to explore the influence of resources provided by Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) on the usability of Open Government Data. Considerable research on open government data has been conducted in the past decade. At first, much of this research focused on the provision of open government data, while this slowly started shifting towards data usability in the past few years. For example, recent research examines how citizens can become more engaged with their government when they use open government data. However, not much is known about the influence of resources offered by NGOs on the usability of open government data. For example, some NGOs combine, enrich and visualise open government data. By doing so, NGOs function as an intermediary or infomediary, making government data more useful and understandable for citizens. However, NGOs' role as an intermediary between governments as data providers and citizens as data users has not yet been investigated in-depth, while this type of research may lead to valuable insights for open data policy makers on how to improve open government data usability.

During the PhD, the candidate will conduct this research and prepare scientific articles presenting the research at conferences and in journals. To enable the candidate to do this successfully, the TU Delft offers personal and professional training courses in the form of a graduate school, in which the candidate will participate (the fee is paid by the project and there are no additional costs for this). Furthermore, in addition to her/his scientific supervisors, the applicant will receive an independent senior researcher as mentor, to aid her/his personal career development.

As a Marie Curie ITN researcher, you will have the opportunity to conduct practical internships at world leading universities and case studies at excellent NGOs (for example, Open Knowledge Belgium and the Open State Foundation) through the EU ITN network.


The TU Delft will recruit prospective talented researchers of any nationality, gender, culture, religion, sexual orientation or age.

Since this PhD position is part of a Horizon Marie Curie ITN project, several hard selection criteria apply to be eligible:

  • You comply with the early-stage researcher definition: at the time of recruitment (January 2022), you must be in the first four years (full‐time equivalent research experience) of your research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • You comply with the mobility rule, meaning that you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (January 2022).
  • You are expected to be embedded for 2 to 3 months at other organizations in Belgium and the Netherlands in the consortium as part of placements and assignments; secondments.

Candidates not meeting these requirements will be rejected.

In addition, you must have a master's degree in public administration, information science, business administration, engineering, or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering. Experience with qualitative research methods is expected and experience with quantitative research methods is 'nice to have'. Proficiency in English is required, as well as good communication skills, both oral and written.


The 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. Coming to Delft Service organizes diverse events for new international employees and their accompanying partners, like Partner Career Workshops and Dutch Culture Workshops. Located on campus are the International Children’s Centre and an international primary school which are subject to availability as well as several bilingual schools in the nearby surrounding. 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 TU Delft Graduate School for more information.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Marijn Janssen Full professor, M.F.W.H.A.Janssen@tudelft.nl, tel: +31 15 27 81140 or Dr. Anneke Zuiderwijk, Assistant Professor, email: a.m.g.zuiderwijk-vaneijk@tudelft.nl, tel: +31 15 27 85828.

For more information about the selection procedure, please contact Olivie Beek, HR Advisor, email: hr-tbm@tudelft.nl.