PhD Position Responsible Innovation Ecosystems: Shaping Technology for the Public Good

Research / Academic

What does it mean to organise the ecosystem of businesses and organisations that are developing quantum technology such that this technology realises the public good? Innovation ecosystems tend to have technology development and economic success as the end goals of innovation governance. Less is known about the governance of innovation ecosystems with respect to ethical and societal concerns. Quantum Delta NL is the Dutch national quantum ecosystem that aims to deliver on economic competitiveness and on societal benefits of quantum technology development or what is termed ‘quantum for good’.In order to achieve ‘quantum for good’, the ecosystem will need to align its processes and outcomes with societal needs and expectations such that quantum development in and by the ecosystem is acceptable, desirable and sustainable.
The governance of innovation ecosystems for the public good may be seen as the next step in responsible research and innovation of technology. The goal of this PhD position is to take this next step toward responsible innovation ecosystem development by exploring the conditions and interventions necessary to shape a quantum ecosystem in ways that promote ‘quantum for good’.
In order to realise this goal, the candidate will engage in the following activities:

  • Advance ethical frameworks for ‘technology for good’ within an ecosystem perspective.
  • Build on and refine early work integrating Responsible Research and Innovation and insights from innovation studies to develop an ecosystem perspective on the ethics of quantum technology development.
  • Development of practical interventions and recommendations for intervening in shaping the national quantum ecosystem towards ‘quantum for good’.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Conducting research on responsible innovation management within the context of the Quantum Delta NL ecosystem.
  • Publish and present scientific articles in international journals and conferences.
  • Contribute to educational activities.
  • Write a dissertation (monograph or paper-based).
  • You will be part of the Ethics/Philosophy of Technology department at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, and work within the Dutch Quantum Delta NL programme. You work together with Dr Pieter Vermaas and Dr Clare Shelley-Egan, TU Delft, and collaborate with researchers working on ethical, legal and society issues part of Action Line 4 of Quantum Delta NL Action-line-4-Ethics-and-Society.pdf (


  • A Masters degree in management of technology, ethics and philosophy of technology, innovation studies, organisation studies, or Science and Technology Studies.
  • Knowledge of and affinity with Responsible Research and Innovation as a mode of technology governance.
  • Familiarity with literature addressing  innovation ecosystems development.
  • Experience in conducting case studies.
  • Ability to work in teams.
  • Ability to collaborate with researchers from other disciplines.
  • Good academic writing skills.
  • Proficiency in expressing yourself verbally and in writing in English; please see for requirements.
  • Proficiency in Dutch language would be helpful but is not required.
  • Interested in participating in interdisciplinary educational activities.

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. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Salary Benefits:

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.

Work Hours:

36 - 40 hours per week


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