Are you interested in researching the wider technological, organizational, and societal challenges and opportunities of DLT? Then we would like to get to know you.

Location: Multiple locations across Europe.
FTE:  1.0


When it comes to DLT (Blockchain), organizations are required to resolve technological, innovation, governance, and stakeholder management challenges at the organizational (internal innovation development and management), ecosystem (alliances, platform emergence) and societal level (government, user adoption). Consequently, industry and research bodies must join forces and share expertise to properly investigate the phenomenon and maximize the societal and economic impact of DLT for EU and global entities.

We are looking to recruit a motivated candidate interested in the area of digital ecosystems/Digital Transformation to study the complexity of DLT adoption and management. The positions will be part of the DIEM (DLT: Innovation & Ecosystem Management) Marie Curie Industrial Doctoral Network. DIEM is a consortium of leading academic, industrial, and governmental organizations involving: Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam, NL), the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, NO), IE Business School (Madrid, ES), Durham University (Durham, UK), Accenture (FR), the Ministry of Digital Governance (GR), WEST Trade (M), CRH (IE) and multiple other associated partners.

The Doctoral Candidates will be spending 18 months with an academic partner and 18 months with an industrial partner. The goal of the project is to offer excellent training and networking opportunities and develop the Doctoral Candidates into thought leaders in the areas of DLT, Digital Transformation and Innovation Management so that they can pursue a successful career in academia or industry.

The Doctoral Candidates are expected to successfully complete a rigorous training program, participate in research and networking events, orchestrate the content creation and social campaigns for DIEM, and deliver research excellence.

A career development plan will be prepared for the Doctoral Candidate in accordance with their supervisors and will include training, planned placements/secondments and outreach activities. Doctoral Candidates are expected to complete their PhD thesis by the end of their employment.

The Project
Project 3 - Blockchain Business Models (DC-3)
The digital economy presents a different set of challenges for innovators than did the industrial economy. Platform technologies, such as Blockchain, further complicate the business problem of incumbent organizations and entrepreneurs. Given their networked nature and unique governance structures platform technologies require less standard business models and strategies for value to be created and captured. In this setting, platform leaders assume the role of architects for these ecosystems, and must design, manage, and alter ecosystems as conditions change – extremely complex tasks given the number of actors involved, the multi-faceted characteristics of these ecosystems, and high uncertainty6. The different roles between leaders and complementors, competition and cooperation, giving and protecting, create a novel field for studying how value is captured for DLT implementations and platform technologies in general. A specific dimension of this topic will concern how blockchain technology interacts with other emerging technologies to generative disruptive business models such as space technology. 


  • Applicants must have obtained (or be about to obtain) an MSc/MRes/MPhil (or equivalent) in an appropriate area 
  • Demonstrate evidence of independent research experience, through e.g. an empirical master’s thesis.
  • Demonstrable ability to work independently, to prioritize tasks, manage time and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • GMAT/GRE (criteria vary among academic partners)
  • Candidates will be required to meet the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral Candidate eligibility criteria: and the entry requirements for the PhD programme at their host university
  • Following the EU Marie Curie eligibility criteria, the researcher to be appointed must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc) in (INCLUDE THE HOSTING COUNTRY) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Moreover, he/she shall at the date of recruitment be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of the research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Affinity with the FinTech, DLT, Digital Ecosystems themes.
  • Affinity with new technology and forms of collaboration as technology and new business model drivers.
  • Knowledge of social network modeling.
  • Knowledge of R (statistics program) or other advanced statistical modeling programs or advanced qualitative research methods.


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,541 (PhD)
and a maximum €3,247 (PhD), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • contribution to commuting expenses, space for personal development
Funding: The EU studentships are funded through the Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). They consist of tuition fees (if applicable), as well as a Doctoral Stipend. Additional research, travel and support funding is also available. Studentships will be 3 years full-time, with the possibility for partially funded/unfunded extensions.


The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) provides high-quality education and excellent research in business administration and economics with a focus on contributing to the social, economic and ecological challenges of our time. Whether it is the use of robots in society or big data, labour market participation or flexibility in the labour market, traffic jams or the housing market, flash crashes in the stock market or choice behaviour in gambling, leadership or change management: we believe in goal-oriented scientific research and understand that progress in academics, the business community and society is achieved through cooperation, openness and social responsibility.

At SBE, all of our highly-motivated colleagues work together closely in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment to achieve our collective goal of encouraging society to make informed choices. Approximately 7,000 Bachelor’s and Master’s students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 600 people.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 01/04/2023. Job interviews will be planned in May 2023.

We reserve the right to re-advertise or extend the closing date for the position. Additionally, we reserve the right to start the recruitment process anytime, even if the deadline of the advert hasn't passed yet, if the consortium wishes to.

This position is recruited in line with open, transparent, merit (OTM) and competency-based recruitment.

By applying the applicant approves the sharing of his/her application with other DIEM consortium members.  

Applications should include the following documents:
  • A one-page letter outlining a) why you want to be part of DIEM and which university partner you would like to apply for; b) why do you consider yourself a suitable candidate for this position; c) a list of three achievements in your life that you are proud of
  • A detailed CV listing education, work experience, publications, and relevant other activities
  • Names and contact information (address, email, phone) of between two to four referees
  • Academic transcripts
  • A copy of academic works such as papers or thesis (if available) Demonstrated English proficiency

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Prof. dr. Tjemkes

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