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Apply by: 2022-10-13

Funded 4-year PhD Position on the digitization of retail supply chains at the bottom of the pyramid

Published 2022-08-16

As part of a substantial research program, and supported by a grant of the Dutch Research Council (NOW), we study the operations and digitization of the 50 million nanostores that flock the cities of the developing world. The PhD candidate will be embedded in the productive, collegial, and engaged Supply Chain Management (SCM) Research Group at Tilburg University. The group consists of faculty, lecturers, postdoctoral fellows, and PhD candidates. The PhD candidates are also enrolled in the world-class CentER PhD Program, where they will take about 40 european credits of courses as part of working towards the PhD degree. Two of the SCM faculty members are designated as advisors to the candidate for this project. For this candidate, in principle the advisors will be Professor Jan C. Fransoo and Dr Han K. Oh.

Your work consists of the design and execution of 3 research projects as part of our nanostore research program, and reporting on those projects in academic publications. The execution of the research work itself will involve the collection, processing and quantitative analysis, using advanced econometric and machine learning techniques, of data from nanostore operations. In addition, experiments may be conducted in our excellent behavioral laboratory at Tilburg University. Since in many projects we interact with companies for getting access to data, stakeholder management is also an important part of your tasks.

In addition to conducting research, you will take courses at CentER, and you will spend at most 20% of your time teaching and/or assisting with teaching in our Master and Bachelor programs.
Upon successful completion of your courses and your research work, as demonstrated by a submitted and approved PhD dissertation and the subsequent defense, you will be awarded a doctoral degree by Tilburg University.

1)    An academic Master’s or MPhil/Research Master’s degree in econometrics or business (in the latter case with a sizeable share of quantitative courses. The degree should demonstrate an excellent background in analytical skills. 
2)    Completed the previous degree with an excellent GPA (top 10% of class)
3)    Proficiency in English to be proven by means of an IELTS score of at least 7.0, with no sub scores below 6.5, a TOEFL score of at least 100 (internet based) or 600 (paper based), a Cambridge CAE (at least B) or a Cambridge CPE. 
       Exemptions can be provided upon request to native English speakers or to candidates who have obtained their bachelor’s and master’s degree in English in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, or New Zealand.
4)    For candidates from a university outside Europe: a recent GRE or GMAT test score of at most two years old. 
If you have any of the following additional skills or evidence of skills, please include them specifically in your application, as they can be of value in the selection process:
5)    Knowledge of Python / R programming and/or other evidence of data science skills (including certificates obtained through online education)
6)    Evidence of econometric and/or data science work conducted with empirical data.
7)    Excellent academic writing skills (a writing sample of a thesis or paper can serve as evidence)
8)    Knowledge of any of the languages of the countries where we do field work would be considered an additional asset. These would include Spanish, Portuguese, French, and/or Swahili.
Tilburg University is rated among the top Dutch employers and has excellent terms of employment. The appointment will be for the total of 48 months. The selected candidates will initially be appointed for 16 months, with an extension for the following 32 months based on a positive evaluation. The evaluation will take place after about 12 months.

During the first year, you will receive extensive training in theory and methods by taking several PhD-level courses. There is also a good travel budget for attending summer schools, working visits and conferences. The training can be adapted to the previous educational achievements of the PhD candidate by mutual agreement with the supervisors. For the remaining three years, 80% of the position’s time will be dedicated to the completion of your PhD research, and 20% to the acquisition of academic skills through teaching courses and supervising master/bachelor theses within the department.

The appointed PhD candidate will be an employee of Tilburg University.  The starting gross salary is 

€ 2,541 per month (for a full-time appointment) in the first year, up to € 3,247 in the final year. There is a holiday allowance (8% in May), and end-of-year bonus (8.3% in December). 
All university employees are covered by the so-called civil servants pension fund (ABP). Researchers from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance equal to 30% of their taxable salary. The university will apply for such an allowance on their behalf. The university offers very good fringe benefits (it is one of the best non-profit employers in the Netherlands), such as an options model for terms and conditions of employment and excellent reimbursement of moving expenses.

Tilburg University is one of Europe’s leading universities in the fields of business and economics, ranking #5 in Europe in the field of Business Research (UT Dallas World Ranking) and #20 in Economics & Business Worldwide (US News Ranking 2021). The School of Economics and Management has 7,000 students (26% international) and 400 academic staff (50% international).  The campus provides a green, academically centered environment with modern facilities and convenient local transportation.  Tilburg’s central position in the Benelux offers excellent regional and international access.  Major airports nearby include Amsterdam (Netherlands), Brussels (Belgium) and Düsseldorf (Germany).  English is the working language of the university.