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PhD position on "Fostering student entrepreneurship: closing the gap between entrepreneurial intention and action".
In the context of the SEE-VLab project, an interreg project sponsored by EFRO, cluster EMR, TU/e is looking for a PhD candidate with an interest in student entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behavior.
SEE-Vlab is a joint project with the intention to foster student entrepreneurship by closing the gap between entrepreneurial intent and action. Besides TU/e, two other universities participate in the project: University de Liège and University of Aachen.
The key objective of this project is to contribute to fill the gap between entrepreneurial intent and action among the young generation and to infuse early on in their projects an international dimension.
In order to achieve its objectives, the project is built around three key actions that reinforces each other. The current PhD position refers to the third activity (research student entrepreneurship).
1° Bridging the gap for international entrepreneurial action. While students have innovative ideas and entrepreneurial drive, they often lack experience and have a limited access to a network of contacts. In most cases, these are strongly focused on their local area. They desperately lack the international mind-set. One dimension of this project aims at facilitating students' and young graduates' networking across partnering regions by organizing joint activities (i.e. events, contests, start-up week-ends...), providing acces to lean start-up process (opening doors to student-entrepreneurs for cross-border projects) or supporting teams developments.
2° Providing knowledge and pedagogical support for young entrepreneurs engaged in cross-border projects. In relation with the previous point, more educational support needs to be developed to promote a better understanding of entrepreneurial opportunities, in particular, with a cross-border perspective. Also most existing support is not exploiting modern technologies that young generations favor to acquire knowledge (i.e. social media platforms, including videos, podcasts, streams, Twitter,...). So far most of the knowledge content and support is created individually by each of the project partners. The intention is to develop and share this material for the benefits of young entrepreneurs in each region. The platform will be articulated around the timeline of entrepreneurial actions (Idea generation --> Start-up --> Growth).
3° Research and sharing best practices across partner institutions. As the creation of start-ups by students has been a rather recent trend (at least in the European context), researchers have still a limited understanding of this phenomenon. Further, each partner institution has developed its own action plan to promote entrepreneurship in its region but there has been little sharing of knowledge, experience and best practice. Thus, developing a better understanding of the factors instrumental to student entrepreneurship is of crucial importance in order to better support the students in their endeavors. Therefore, we plan to organize joint research activities to share best practices and to build a critical mass of research relating to student entrepreneurship in particular.
TU/e is responsible for the development of best practices (using a design science approach) for supporting student entrepreneurship. The objective is to investigate current support programs for student entrepreneurs and investigate their effectiveness. One variable of interest to investigate effectiveness is to consider the extent to which students move from intent to action. But other outcomes are still possible depending on the interest of the PhD student. Based on the outcomes of these studies, we will formulate a number of recommendations to further improve the quality of existing support programs for student entrepreneurs. In sum, TU/e is responsible for the research part of the project, while Aachen and Liège will cover the practical part of the project and develop training programs and organize events.
You, as a successful applicant, will perform the research project outlined above in an international team. The research will be concluded with a PhD thesis. A small teaching load is part of the job.
Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the world's leading research universities (ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement) and is particularly well]known for its joint research with industry (ranked number one worldwide by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies). The Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) of Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the longest-established engineering schools in Europe, with a strong presence in the international research and education community, especially in the field of Operational Processes, Innovation Management & Technology Entrepreneurship, which are at the core of the undergraduate BSc program. The graduate programs (MSc and PhD) in Operations Management and Innovation Management attract top-level students from all over the world.
The PhD candidate will be located in the Innovation, Technology Entrepreneurship & Marketing (ITEM) group. The group is part of the
School of Industrial Engineering of the department IE&IS. The ITEM group consists of about 25 FTE faculty members and 20 FTE PhD's who participate in and contribute to the research, education and service program of the ITEM group. This program is one of the leading programs in the world and emphasizes means for measuring and improving the process of conceiving, developing, and launching new products and businesses, and also managing these products and businesses post-launch.
- You have a Master's degree in Innovation management, Innovation & entrepreneurship, industrial engineering, or a related field.
- You have a strong affinity with interdisciplinary research, as well as collaboration with industry.
- Strong analytical skills, demonstrated competences for qualitative and quantitative research methods
- Potential and ambition to become a high-level entrepreneurship scholar
- You are able to work on a challenging topic that has both basic and applied research aspects.
- Your communication skills are excellent as is your proficiency in English and your ability to collaborate in an international setting.