PhD scholarship in Academic Engagement and Entrepreneurship

Tuesday 03 May 22

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 7 June 2022
Apply for the job at DTU Entrepreneurship by completing the following form.

Apply online

Besides traditional missions of human capital development (teaching) and scientific enquiry (research), the ‘third mission’ (knowledge transfer through innovation) has become an integral repertoire of university’s responsibilities toward socio-economic development. The portfolio of third-mission activities ranges from informal to formal interactions between universities and industry partners. Formal interactions, academic entrepreneurship –associated with generating and licensing IP and commercial exploitation via spinouts/start-ups, has attracted most attention in policy research. However, studies have shown informal interactions such as academic engagement – via collaborations, sponsored and contract research, consulting, personnel exchange and networking, also represent valuable ways to pursue third mission. These two ends of the third mission might require faculties and researchers at university to have different but related mind-sets and skills. Yet, a contextualized understanding about potential tensions between academic engagement and academic entrepreneurship and how the tensions affect universities to undertake innovation and perform the traditional missions is largely missing. This PhD project investigates such tensions particularly with respect to how academic staff at Danish and Chinse universities engage in various types of industry collaboration and potentially undertake entrepreneurship activities and how these attempts influence their research and education performance, which might, in turn, create new opportunities for industry collaboration and entrepreneurship.

This project will adopt a mixed methods approach by combining different sources of quantitative datasets (for all science and technology faculties) to test hypotheses and collecting qualitative data to reveal micro-foundations of the phenomena (tensions) within a specific context. The empirical setting of the project is set at Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and/or Aalborg University (AAU), as well as University of Chinese Academy of Science (UCAS) in China.

The PhD is funded by Sino-Danish Center (SDC) Social Science research PhD program ( and will be hosted at DTU Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship. During the 3-year PhD project period, the candidate is required to have foreign research stay in China (hosted by UCAS) for 12 months in total. Successful completion of the PhD will be granted a double PhD degree (from both DTU and UCAS). The project must commence within 2022.

Responsibilities and qualifications
We are looking for an ambitious candidate for a PhD project (3-year, full-time) to focus on the project topic. We expect the candidate can perform rigorous and relevant research using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods and extend collaborations with key academic and industrial partners within and outside of the DTU and in China during the PhD project.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) in social science, political 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 about innovation, entrepreneurship, relevant research methods
  • A longer-term interest in pursuing a research career
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary and international environment as well as in the Danish context and in the Chinese context
  • Excellent writing and communication skills in English

Due to the PhD funding limitation, Chinese citizens including citizens from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao are not eligible for the position.

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 DTU's rules for the PhD education.  

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Jason Li-Ying, head of research at DTU Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship.

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 appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. We expect the PhD project to start no later than 1 October 2022.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Head of Research, Professor Jason Li-Ying, email: Tel: +45 4525 4856.

You can read more about DTU Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 7 June 2022 (Danish 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 vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

About DTU Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship
DTU Entrepreneurship is a newly established centre aiming to be a world-renowned centre of excellence for building the entrepreneurial and technology innovation capabilities of students, researchers, and organizations. The centre currently employs approximately 40 people, including eight permanent faculty and 15 PhD students. The centre collaborates very closely with colleagues across DTU’s entrepreneurial eco-system. The centre provides a portfolio of courses for all students to become exemplary engineers with deep technical skills and the capability to recognize needs, innovate, productize and commercialize new technology. Research at the centre focus on building an effective feedback loop between entrepreneurship research and practice to ensure research are translated into practice – and that practice provides an empirical foundation for research.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.