Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • University Graduate

Are you interested in studying how an international consortium of leading university researchers and life sciences businesses is using open innovation approaches to accelerate the development of new biomarkers for dementia? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 1.0

Job description

The KIN Center for Digital Innovation teamed up with researchers from leading biomarker labs and life science companies to study new approaches for finding biomarkers that help us better diagnose and treat various forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. Last summer, this consortium has received a prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant from the European Union for its MIRIADE Innovative Training Network. While the majority of consortium members focus on the life sciences aspects of this research project, the KIN Center team contributes expertise on innovation management and open science as a highly complementary asset to the consortium. The team will study how open innovation approaches can be used in scientific collaborations to improve and accelerate challenging tasks such as biomarker development. 
In this context, the KIN Center is looking for candidates to fill a four-year PhD position. 

Your main tasks and responsibilities in these projects are:
  • study processes of biomarker discovery in a research network consisting of heterogeneous partners
  • identify and study complementarities by combining alternative discovery strategies used by different partners
  • study how the biomarker development process across different research groups can be orchestrated through collaboration
As a PhD candidate, you work in close cooperation with your supervisor team, including Hans Berends, dr. Philipp Tuertscher, dr. Sander Smit and prof.dr. Sascha Friesike. Within the KIN Center, you will be part of a young, multidisciplinary team, including 20 faculty members and 12 PhD students. 


We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic early-stage researcher with a strong interest in science and open innovation. You are pro-active and ambitious, have excellent communication skills, and you like collaborating with others. You are passionate about doing high-quality research and have an intrinsic motivation and capacity to continuously improve yourself.

Specifically, you meet the following requirements:
  • MSc in business administration, innovation management, entrepreneurship, or equivalent, with excellent grades; life sciences or science studies background is considered an advantage
  • ability to combine creative and analytical thinking
  • affinity with qualitative research methods
  • motivation and ability to generate high-quality research with the aim of publishing top-level articles for both an organizational science and practitioner audience
  • excellent communication skills in English; Dutch proficiency (or willingness to learn) welcome
  • interest in teaching (tutorials) at both a bachelor and masters level in Business Administration
Also, to be eligible for this position, you satisfy the following conditions conforming the Marie Curie admission requirements:
  • must not already hold a PhD
  • must be within the first four years (full-time equivalent) of your research career
  • must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) within the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before your recruitment
  • willingness to travel to attend secondments, training and academic events;
  • ability to work within an internationally diverse consortium and to comply with the requirements of the funder

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts to €2,325 (PhD) per month in the first year, increasing to €2,972 (PhD) during the fourth year, based on full-time employment. The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years. 

Successful candidates will receive an attractive base-salary in accordance with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, for 36 months. The exact (net) salary depends on the EU-defined country correction factor, and on local tax regulations (for additional information see EU MSCA website). In addition, the KIN Center for Digital Innovation will fund the position for a fourth year. 

Next to your local PhD training, you will participate in an attractive educational program customized to the MIRIADE early-stage researchers. The MIRIADE training program consists of annual training weeks across Europe to optimally develop your academic and transferable skills, as well as the basis of innovation and entrepreneurship. This training program prepares you for a prosperous career as an open innovation in life sciences expert.

Fellows will also benefit from a mobility allowance. In addition, a family (if applicable) allowance (an additional financial allowance paid with the salary) is on offer to fellows with a spouse and/or children at time of recruitment. 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
  • solid pension scheme (ABP), contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • you may also be eligible for a favorable tax ruling for high-skilled expats (the so-called 30% ruling), which means that 30% of the salary is free of taxes, resulting in a higher net salary
You will follow the 4 year PhD programme of the Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI). The school offers opportunities to attend conferences, meet other international researchers and participate in various training modules that support PhD candidates’ knowledge and skills development. Many of our PhD candidates spend some time abroad during their trajectory. The prospects for the school’s doctoral graduates on the labour market are excellent, both inside and outside the academic world. At the KIN Center for Digital Innovation, you will benefit from:
  • a vibrant research community
  • a very international research group
  • an established international network
  • a lively and creative atmosphere

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,500 students. We employ more than 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

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 4,200 Bachelor’s and Master’s students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 500 people.

About the KIN Center for Digital Innovation
The KIN Center for Digital Innovation is one of the departments of the School of Business and Economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The KIN Center conducts research on the development, use and business value of innovative organizational processes and technologies. The research contributes to an international field that is relatively new and multi-disciplinary. We work closely together with faculty and researchers from other universities, and cooperate with an extensive network of business partners. The KIN Center for Digital Innovation is also responsible for several courses in the Business Administration curriculum at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and facilitates the Master Digital Business and Innovation.

About the MIRIADE project
The project is being pursued in the framework of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network MIRIADE (Multi‐omics Interdisciplinary Research Integration to Address DEmentia diagnosis). The overarching goal of the MIRIADE project is to train a novel generation of scientists able to accelerate dementia biomarker development. MIRIADE comprises of ten world-leading research organisations, 5 small to large industries and 2 patients organisations, from 12 countries in the EU, South-Korea and USA. A total of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be hosted across the network. The project will leverage existing proteomics datasets to identify the most promising candidate biomarkers for the major forms of dementias. While most of the ESRs have a life sciences and/or computational biology background, two ESRs will study the project from an innovation management and open science angle and focus on the innovation process. ESR14 will study how data are organized, shared, reused and integrated in academia and ESR15 will compare and evaluate different workflows of biomarker development. 


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until August 30, 2020

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Philipp Tuertscher
Position: Principle Investigator
Telephone: +31 (0) 20 59 85988

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