PhD scholarship in Carbon as a Startup’s Currency

Monday 02 May 22

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Apply no later than 15 June 2022
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DTU, The Technical University of Denmark, Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship invites applicants for a 3-year PhD position on “Carbon as a Startup’s Currency”, starting on 1st Sept 2022. This PhD project will be supervised by Associate Professor Thomas J. Howard, Head of Tech Ent in Practice Group.

The Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship (DTU Entrepreneurship) puts evidence-based research in focus on a wide range of management, pedagogic, and policy issues related to entrepreneurship and innovation. Our research promotes technology-based entrepreneurship by generating, disseminating, and applying knowledge and competencies to education and business development within and beyond DTU.

We collaborate closely with a range of industry partners, as well as private and public organizations. We strive to develop the entrepreneurial capabilities of students, civil society, executives, researchers, and policymakers to create positive social and economic change. At the Centre, the interplay between research, education and start-ups creates a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

There is an increasing trend towards impact related start-ups, in particular for those relating to CO2 reduction and climate action.  Although carbon credit trading has been a possibility for many years, the demand has been lacking in the voluntary carbon market and documentation and certification process is both costly and time-consuming, making it difficult for startups.  Perhaps for the first time, the value of a Carbon credit and the maturity of market has made it possible for startups to exist with revenue streams entirely from carbon reduction and trading.  This combined with the maturation of CO2 negative technologies changes the landscape for cleantech entrepreneurs and the financing opportunities. 

In this PhD project we would like to investigate the opportunities and mechanisms for startups with respect to carbon credit trading and carbon capture based financing.

Responsibilities and tasks
Your research tasks include theoretical and empirical work on carbon credit trading and carbon reduction based financing approaches that can inform the creation of new business models for cleantech entrepreneurs. We expect you to disseminate your results in academically and practically relevant outlets, as well as translating your knowledge into teaching materials and exercises. In order to do so, we will help to provide you with access to network associations, incubators, early stage start-ups from the X-Tech programme and MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship, and Executive Board Education programme, in which you will be actively included.    

The project work requires good understanding of qualitative methods, good communication skills, and an analytical mind-set with reasonable digital skills.

We are looking for a candidate with a background ideally in sustainability/LCS and with some knowledge or experience in entrepreneurship/management/financing. 

You will be required to:

  • review of the state of the art in carbon credit certification and trading
  • identify barriers and opportunities for sustainability venture
  • to propose new methods and processes to support new ventures
  • write high-level academic publications on an internationally leading level
  • translate research outcomes into practice/teaching material

Candidates should have a master's degree (120 ECTS points) in Sustainability, Management, Entrepreneurship, Innovation Management, Law, Finance or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.

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 Associate Professor Thomas J. Howard.

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 an 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 with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The position will be based at the DTU Entrepreneurship, Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship in Lyngby, just outside Copenhagen, Denmark.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.  

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Thomas J. Howard, email:

You can read more about the about DTU Entrepreneurship:

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 15 June 2022 (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 in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application, including your research activities and ideas for the research project (cover letter, max 2-pages)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma, certificates, and lists of subjects with your results as well as their official translation into English including official description of grading scale
  • Two reference contacts who may be contacted by the assessment committee

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.

DTU Entrepreneurship is amongst the international leading entities in technology entrepreneurship and helps develop an entrepreneurial culture across DTU. As part of a dynamic and evolving ecosystem, we combine practice-oriented education and research in entrepreneurship with real start-up opportunities from all DTU departments. With rigorous research at its core, the Centre builds the entrepreneurial capabilities of students, industry leaders, academics and policymakers to address unsolved problems, and together create new knowledge, methodologies and initiatives. We enable ethically minded entrepreneurs to build solutions that benefit people, society and the world. The Centre experiments with new entrepreneurial methodologies and activities to push boundaries within research and education.

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.