Two PhD fellowships Marie Skłodowska-Curie on The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development (RUNIN)

Two PhD fellowships on The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development (722295-RUNIN)

At the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Department of Business, two positions as PhD fellows within economics of innovation and regional development are open for appointment on 1 January 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job description

The PhD fellowships are a part of the project 722295 – RUNIN (, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network for Early-Stage Researchers in the field of science and innovation studies. The network is funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions ensure excellent and innovative research training as well as attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers, to better prepare them for current and future societal challenges. The Innovative Training Networks scheme aims to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship includes living, mobility and family allowances.

The RUNIN comprises 14PhD positions associated with nine partners in seven European countries, as well as another nine non-academic partner organizations. The participants in the project are universities associated with the “European Consortium of Innovative Universities” and regional development agencies in the regions involved. The aim of the project is to train researchers on how universities contribute to innovation and economic growth in their regions through research seeking to examine how universities fulfill their third mission in relation to regional industry and explore the range of university engagement with regional firms and institutions. The network program is organised around four main themes: People and Networks, Policies and Interventions, Places and Territories, and Practices and Governance.

The positions are related to the Department of Business, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The PhD candidates will be enrolled to the “Doctorate in Economics, Management and Organization” (DEMO) ( The PhD candidates are expected to contribute actively to the research and teaching activities of the Department of Business.

For both positions, priority will be given to candidates who have a strong background in management, innovation and economic studies.

PhD project 1: The PhD position seeks the development of research in assessing the impact of collaboration between university and the firm. The study focuses on the kinds of collaboration between the firm and university, and how it can aid the survival of the firm in a global and competitive market. The working hypothesis is that the collaboration with university should facilitate the innovation and development of products, practices and governance at the firm level, which would in turn lead to a higher performance. The work place is the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, but the PhD candidate is required to spend two periods of secondment at the University of Stavanger (Norway) and collaborate with the Parc de la Recerca-UAB in Barcelona throughout the project. The main supervisor of the project is Professor Emili Grifell-Tatjé, the co-supervisor Professor Ragnar Tveterås, University of Stavanger (Norway) and the non-academic mentor is from the Parc de la Recerca-UAB.

PhD project 2: The second PhD position seeks the development of the research in the development of the quadruple helix: the role of society/citizens/customers in innovation. It is considered that the triple helix approach is not a sufficient condition for long-term innovative growth, and that a fourth helix, i.e. civil society, needs to be incorporated and take part in the process of knowledge creation. The main objective of this line of research is to develop the concept of Quadruple Helix. The increasing attention to the Quadruple Helix model and the variety of definitions attributed to the concept makes it vital that further research about its nature and implication for innovation activities is carried out. The work place is the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, but the PhD candidate is required to spend two periods of secondment at Aalborg University (Denmark) and collaborate with the Fundació Catalunya – La Pedrera in Barcelona throughout the project. The main supervisor of the project is Associate Professor Pilar Marquès Gou, the co-supervisor Professor Birgitte Gregersen, Aalborg University (Denmark), and the non-academic mentor is from the Fundació Catalunya – La Pedrera.

Qualification requirements

The PhD fellowships have a duration of three years. Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Master’s degree with an academic record of 300 ECTS. The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona is an equal opportunities employer and the candidates will be recruited under gender-neutral recruitment processes. The project aims for gender balance among the researchers recruited to the network. Female candidates are in particular encouraged to apply.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie eligibility criteria must be respected. A condition for eligibility to the PhD fellowship is that the candidates have not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months of the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. The recruitment is open to non-European citizens. Eligible early-stage researches (ESRs) are those who are, at the date of recruitment by the host institution, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and cannot hold a doctoral degree.

The completion of the fellowships will be in accordance with the Spanish Royal Decree 99/2011, 28 January and the School for Doctoral Studies Code of Good Practice of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. According to the Royal Decree 99/2011, 28 January and the School for Doctoral Studies Code of Good Practice the progress of the PhD candidate shall be assessed regularly. It is a prerequisite for continuation of salary payment that the previous progress is approved at the time of evaluation.

Applicants are expected to have strong analytical abilities and exhibit high degrees of independence and maturity in their research work. Furthermore, a good proficiency in English is required in order to participate in the RUNIN project and to publish and present research results at international academic journals and conferences and to prepare the PhD thesis in English. Some knowledge of Spanish will be considered.

The PhD fellowship rewards approximately € 33,000 per annum before taxes (plus an additional family allowance, if eligible) and gives full access to the Public Health System in Spain and the European Union and participation in the Spanish Public Pension Plan.

Application requirements

The PhD candidate must apply to one of the two proposed PhD projects. Applications for enrolment and allocation of fellowship must include the following:

  • Letter of motivation.
  • A proposal of development of the chosen line of research with an extension of not more than 5 pages The proposal should show the very first ideas about the project and their possible lines of development.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Diplomas confirming academic degrees (Master degree), including academic transcripts.
  • A copy of the applicant’s Master’s degree thesis and published articles (if any).
  • Foreign applicants must forward verified English degree.
    • Application for credit transfer to ECTS if relevant.

    The complete application including attachments shall be sent by email to ( with the title “RUNIN Marie Skłodowska-Curie”.


    The assessment of the applicants will be undertaken by an expert assessment committee.


    You may obtain further information on the PhD Projects, please, contact Professor Emili Grifell-Tatjé ( or Associate Professor Pilar Marques Gou ( If you have questions regarding the practical issues concerning the application procedure, please, contact Mireia Cirera (

    Deadline: 26/10/2016


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