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PhD Position Digitalisation of Project Work

Posted 19 May 2024
Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
€2,770 - €3,539 per month
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)
16 Jun 2024 00:00

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Are you interested in researching digitalisation and how it pushes the boundaries of engineering project work, as part of an inter-disciplinary team?

Job description

Digitalisation is affecting all aspects of our lives through new technologies, processes, tasks and new forms of interactions. This research project focuses on how digitalisation affects project work and teams in the civil engineering field. The position will be embedded in the TU Delft, Faculty of Civil Engineering & Goesciences, Section of Integral Design and Management and will be positioned at the intersection of project management, digitalisation and social science.

This project aims to increase our understanding of how projects can be delivered leveraging the opportunities of digitalisation. Focusing on the people aspect of projects and the increased societal need for inclusive teamwork, wellbeing and job satisfaction, this project will focus on exploring ways that digitally-enabled projects contribute to social sustainability and a better world. We are seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate to join our research team, focusing on the research in the area of project management, digitalisation and wellbeing integrating social science methods and systems thinking. This PhD project presents a unique opportunity to research the balance of people and technology for project work which is relevant to solving grand challenges in the 21st century.

In your role as a PhD candidate, you will:

  • Engage in ground-breaking research to develop new concepts and theories;
  • Synthesise social science research methods and systems thinking to study projects, teams and individuals;
  • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to integrate socio-economic, cultural, and environmental factors into your research;
  • Engage with our industry partners through fieldwork and frequent consultations for data collection and dissemination;
  • Contribute to the development of new approaches and methods that can be applied to real-world problems;
  • Publish and present your research findings in high-impact journals and international conferences.

You will be supervised by Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki (promotor).


Due to the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of this project that bridges across project management, digitalisation, engineering and social sciences, the desire to work in a diverse and interdisciplinary environment is an essential requirement.

We are looking for a colleague with the following knowledge, skills and experience as seen in the following need-to-have criteria:

  • You have a (research) Master’s degree in Construction Management or Civil Engineering, Project Management, Business and Economics, Sociology or a closely related field.
  • You have a genuine interest and drive in understanding digital transformation phenomena.
  • You have a clear understanding of research methods and demonstrable experience with qualitative research methods in your papers or BSc/MSc theses or your grade transcripts and CV.
  • You have a passion for exploring real-world problems through scientific methods.
  • You have very good analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • You have excellent writing skills, demonstrated through your papers or BSc/MSc theses.
  • You can work independently, take leadership and responsibility for research tasks, but also collaborate professionally.
  • You are excited to work in an interdisciplinary team and able to interact with a variety of stakeholders in academia and industry.
  • You have strong communication and interpersonal skills to effectively communicate with supervisors, industry collaborators and colleagues.
  • You have excellent language skills, both written and verbal, in English.

Additionally, you could meet the following nice-to-have criteria:

  • You have some familiarity with the application of innovative digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), mixed realities, blockchain, digital twins and so forth in the construction sector. Hands-on experience is a plus.
  • You have hands-on experience in quantitative data analysis methods or the willingness to learn.
  • You have the interest to learn Dutch, especially to facilitate your interactions with the industry partners of the research project.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource availability, urbanisation and clean water. Our research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced of the importance of open science and supports its scientists in integrating open science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

De fascinatie voor science, design en engineering is wat ruim 13000 bachelor & masterstudenten en 5000 medewerkers van de TU Delft drijft. De Technische Universiteit Delft is niet alleen de oudste, maar ook de grootste technische universiteit van Nederland: een universiteit die continu op zoek is naar jou als (inter)nationaal talent om het onderzoek en onderwijs van deze unieke instelling…

De fascinatie voor science, design en engineering is wat ruim 13000 bachelor & masterstudenten en 5000 medewerkers van de TU Delft drijft. De Technische Universiteit Delft is niet alleen de oudste, maar ook de grootste technische universiteit van Nederland: een universiteit die continu op zoek is naar jou als (inter)nationaal talent om het onderzoek en onderwijs van deze unieke instelling op topniveau te houden. Met ongeveer 5.000 medewerkers is de Technische Universiteit Delft de grootste werkgever in Delft. De acht faculteiten, de unieke laboratoria, onderzoeksinstituten, onderzoeksscholen en de ondersteunende universiteitsdienst bieden de meest uiteenlopende functies en werkplekken aan. De diversiteit bij de TU Delft biedt voor iedereen mogelijkheden. Van Hoogleraar tot Promovendus. Van Beleidsmedewerker tot ICT'er.

5,000 employees