Aalborg University PhD Scholarship In Creativity and Business Model Innovation 2017, Denmark

Publish Date: Apr 13, 2017

Deadline: Jun 20, 2017


At the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business and Management, a position as PhD fellow within the topic "Creativity and Business Model Innovation" is open for appointment from 1 September 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.


The aim of the PhD project is to contribute to our knowledge on the role of creativity in business model innovation processes. Organisations and entrepreneurs need to develop and redesign their business models due to internal and external pressures such as disruptive competitors, policy changes and globalisation in general. Current research has primarily focused on how to be creative in regards to technology, product, production and service developments. However, creativity in relating to business model design of new ventures or an existing organisation is a relatively new area. Being creative in regards to business models is a complex matter that seems to involve a large number of variables.

In particular, this PhD project should aim at enhancing existing knowledge with new theoretical insights, new methods and new practices in relation to business model innovation that is based on creativity, creative thinking and for example gamification. The ambition is to assist organizations, businesses and entrepreneurs in performing business model innovation in systematic and successful manners.

The project should take a process perspective in the intersection between creativity, business model design and innovation. Hereby it will contribute to the areas of business model design and business model innovation and the relationship between creativity and innovation. It is expected that the research during this PhD is empirically investigated and that China and DK/Nordic Countries/EU form the basis for the empirics.

The project will be situated in an already established research environment consisting of researchers at Aalborg University, Denmark, and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), China, and affiliated colleagues in China interested in creativity, innovation and business models.

The position is related to the Business Model Design Center, Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University, Denmark, and to the Sino-Danish Centre (SDC) in Beijing. Aalborg University is the lead university of the SDC-Innovation Management programme. It is an integral part of the PhD position to conduct studies in China, take part in SDC activities, including teaching in China on the MSc. in Innovation Management programme. The candidate is required to stay in China for at least 12 months with the possibility to divide the stay into shorter period over the three years.

The PhD student must also spend a total of at least 12 months in Denmark as part of a Danish research environment during the entire period of employment at Aalborg University.

The PhD-student will have a Danish lead supervisor and a Chinese support supervisor.

The applicant is expected to teach in English and will be teaching partly at AAU and partly at the SDC-programme in Innovation Management in Beijing

The PhD position is co-financed with the Sino-Danish Center (SDC) for Education and Research.

The PhD scholarship has a duration of three years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the scholarship that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of the Faculty of Social Sciences, in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of 27 August 2013 on PhD Programs at the Universities. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed every six months. It is a prerequisite for continuation of salary payment that the previous progress is approved at the time of the evaluation.

The applicant will also be enrolled as PhD student at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS). The candidate will obtain a double degree.

The Faculty of Social Sciences wishes to ensure that PhD scholarships provide career opportunities both within and outside of the university. For that reason, PhD scholarships are formed in a manner ensuring that the competencies achieved in the position qualifies to both a career within research and a career in the private and/or public sector. No later than one year before the termination of the position, you are offered an interview in order to clarify your further career.

Qualification requirements

Applicants to the PhD scholarship must hold a degree equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree. Applicants enrolled at a Danish Master program who expect to graduate before the date of appointment must forward a copy of their thesis contract and documentation for the date of their final exam.

The PhD scholarship will be allocated to an individual who holds a relevant Masters degree in the Social Sciences, such as for example Business Administration, Innovation Studies, or similar.

Applicants are expected to have strong analytical abilities and exhibit high degrees of independence and maturity in their research work. These include formulating good and relevant research questions, warranting these in the extant theoretical literature and provide initial ideas for a research design.

Applicants are also expected to be capable of collaborating closely with industry and across cultures. Prior experience from China is an advantage.

Furthermore, a good proficiency in English is required in order to publish and present research results at international academic journals and conferences and to prepare the PhD-thesis in English.

Experience and knowledge of the Sino-Danish context and the Danish higher education system is an advantage.

Application requirements

Applications for enrolment and allocation of scholarship must include the following:

  • letter of motivation
  • project proposal (approx. 5 pages) containing the research project title, an outline of the course of study and a description of the overall problem areas
  • information on which language the PhD thesis is expected to be written in
  • 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 IELTS test (International English Language Testing System). Exempted are applicants with at Master Degree from Denmark, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and Canada
  • co-author statement. If publications that have been written in cooperation with others are submitted, a declaration from each of the authors must be enclosed. The declaration must state the extent of the applicant’s contribution to the total work and be signed by the authors.
  • references/recommendations from at least two professors
  • application for credit transfer if relevant


The assessment of the applicants will be undertaken by an expert assessment committee.
Aalborg University, Campus Aalborg, and Beijing

For further information on the content, please contact Morten Lund ml@business.aau.dk; Christian Byrge, byrge@business.aau.dk, or Christian Nielsen, chn@business.aau.dk. 

For further information about PhD positions as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Lone Corfixen, lc@adm.aau.dk, Phone +45 9940 9614)


Appointment and salary in accordance with the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities No 242 of 13 March 2012 and The Ministry of Higher Education and Science Circular concerning the job structure for academic staff at universities of 19 August 2015. Salary will be in accordance with the agreements in force.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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