PhD in Digital Business Model Innovation for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

The traditional physical business model has been challenged by digitalization. In order to build a viable digital business model (DBM), firms need to engage their customers digitally via digital means such as websites, mobile devices and data management. The focus of this project is on Danish SMEs that have ambitions and capabilities to create DBM but meanwhile lack a concrete business case (a trigger) and struggle with defining clear action plans (tools). This project aims at providing the trigger and equipping the SMEs with actionable tools.

In order to tackle these challenges, especially for the SMEs in some Danish regions, the Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship (IDE) group at DTU sees the need for an ambitious research that collaborates closely with the relevant business that is eager to make the transition. 

We are looking for an ambitious candidate for a PhD project (3-year, full-time) to focus on digital business model innovation within the IDE group. We expect the candidate can forge collaborations with key academic and industrial partners in within and outside of DTU during the PhD project. 

The IDE group is a part of the division of Technology and Innovation Management within DTU’s department for Management Engineering. Focus areas of the IDE group are innovation management, entrepreneurship, design innovation, and design process development etc. The IDE group connects top researchers from the various domains within the group to create an exciting, dynamic and self-motivated research environment.

This PhD project is funded by a grant from Spar Nord Fund. This project is also in close collaboration with Væksthus Sjælland. 

Candidates should have a master’s degree in social science, business, management, computer science, engineering, digital media design or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master’s degree in engineering.

In addition, we seek a candidate with the following specific qualifications: 

    Basic knowledge in the literature of business model innovation and relevant research methodsExperience in research projects that have close collaboration with businessA longer-term interest in pursuing a research careerAbility to work in an interdisciplinary and international environment as well as in a Danish contextExcellent writing and communication skills (which can be assessed based on the Master thesis and by interview)

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.   

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. We offer a 3-year position, starting from no later than 1 October 2018.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.   

Further information
Further information may be obtained from the head of the IDE group Professor Jason Li-Ying, email: 

You can read more about DTU Management Engineering on   

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 3 August 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

    A letter motivating the application (cover letter)Curriculum vitaeGrade transcripts and BSc/MSc diplomaExcel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Management Engineering contributes actively to the development of management tools and optimization of processes by using and re-thinking theoretical engineering perspectives, models and methods. Through our research and teaching, we ensure an innovative, competitive and sustainable organization and use of technologies within areas such as energy and climate, transportation, production, and health, both domestic and abroad. DTU Management Engineering has 340 employees; including an academic staff of 190 and 68 PhD students. More than 20% of our employees are from abroad and a total of 38 different nationalities are represented at the Department.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies. 

Deadline: 3 August 2018
Unit: DTU Management Engineering
Read the job description and apply online

Post expires on Friday August 3rd, 2018