PhD Scholarships at INGENIO (CSIC-UPV)

  • Two fully-funded PhD positions to start in early 2015.
  • Associated with Projects led by INGENIO researchers in the areas of innovation studies and studies of higher education.
  • Call for applications expected in September 2014

INGENIO, a joint research centre of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), has two new doctoral positions available for commencement in early 2015. Candidates should be motivated to successfully complete a full Doctoral degree program. The PhD scholarship will cover a four-year period and are linked to two research projects funded within the National Plan for Research and Development. The successful applicants will receive high level doctoral training in close interaction with their direct supervisors and other project researchers, with a view to developing a sustainable research career. Each scholarship includes a fees exemption, an annual salary of € 16422 (divided in 14 payments) and social security entitlements. The possibility to apply for additional funding to cover the cost of international stays of up to three months per year is also associated with each PhD scholarship.

Abstracts and selection criteria for each project are available below (you can also download a PDF version of this page or print it with the icons on the top right corner). Formal applications for the PhD scholarships must be made online, through the framework of the Spanish National Program for Training of Researchers (FPI program), with the call for applications expected in September 2014. It is essential that interested candidates contact INGENIO to express their interest to apply for these positions prior to this date. INGENIO will support a small number of pre-selected candidates though the centralised FPI application process. Potential candidates are requested to send a brief expression of interest, including a copy of their academic transcript and a CV to Irene Dede. Expressions of interest should specify the preferred project and include current contact details. Candidates meeting the selection requirements will be contacted by the relevant Project Coordinator to discuss their interest in the PhD position.

INGENIO is a research institute focusing on the analysis of science and technology policies, innovation and research systems. It has a staff of over 30 researchers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds including economics, sociology, physics, medicine, engineering and management studies. INGENIO is located in the modern facilities of the Polytechnic City of Innovation in the main UPV campus in Valencia. The Institute is strongly networked internationally and offers a quality environment to receive training in mixed method research, including econometric analysis, survey design, qualitative studies and advanced scientometrics (including altmetrics). INGENIO is a member organisation of the EU-SPRI network.

Project Abstracts & Selection Criteria

Project EXTRA: Scientific excellence and knowledge transfer, two riding together? Organisational factors, individual antecedents and societal impact

The main objective of this project is to investigate the conditions that favour the joint realization of scientific excellence and knowledge transfer among scientific researchers. The premise of the project is that a better understanding of the complementarities between excellence and knowledge transfer will contribute to enhancing the economic and societal impact of publicly funded scientific research. While there has been a signficant amount of research on whether the pursuit of societal impact in academic research is detrimental or beneficial to research excellence, empirical studies have produced largely mixed and conflicting results. Therefore, the relationship between scientific excellence and knowledge transfer remains an open-ended research question, as well as a highly pressing topic within science and public policy agendas.  EXTRA researchers include Pablo D'Este and Ismael Rafols.

The project proposes to investigate three interconnected aspects that may promote the complementary pursuit of scientific excellence and social impact through knowledge transfer and application among scientific researchers:

  1. "They are in an appropriate location". There might be specific contextual factors, such as having a supportive organisational climate or working in an interdisciplinary research team, that may facilitate complementarity between scientific excellence and knowledge tranfer activities.
  2. "They have a positive attitude". There could be specific individual antecedents, such as scientists’ motivations or prior experience, which promote a favourable attitude towards knowledge transfer that is positively associated with concurrent engagement in both the pursuit of excellence and social impact.
  3. "They deal with relevant topics, in a constructive way, with effective partners". Societal impact may be determined by the type of knowledge that is produced, the mechanisms for knowledge transfer that are used, and the types of beneficiaries that these complementary activities address.

The project will address these issues by studying leading scientists from a wide spectrum of academic disciplines in Spain (from hard sciences, biomedical and engineering to social sciences and humanities), ensuring a transversal approach by cutting across multiple epistemic communities. Methodologically, the study will utilise a combination of quantitiatve and qualitative research methods, analysing both secondary data (e.g. bibliometrics and CVs) and primary data generated by a large scale survey and semi-structured interviews. The project will also interact with a range of stakeholders to incorporate their interests in the project design and execution and to share the results produced.

Essential criteria for applicants include:

  • Willingness to undertake research visits of up to three months in other countries
  • A highly developed understanding of quantitative research methods and data analysis

Desirable criteria for applicants include:

  • A proven capacity to write and interact in English. A high level (C2) will be particularly highly regarded.
  • Experience in quantitative data analysis
  • Background in innovation studies or related fields
  • Proven interest in mixed method (quantitative and qualitative) analyses
  • A Master's degree

Project PrestEnce Spain: The Spanish University from Prestige to Excellence. An International Comparison.

The concept of "excellence" is progressively gaining ground as the legitimate and final justification of the teaching and research activities carried out at universities. Excellence has become an objective of university policies in many countries, including Spain. This objective is pursued through the definition of sets of indicators, which are intended to measure the performance of academic organizations. Such indicators are typically synthesized in a single measure allowing for the construction of national and international "rankings", which are becoming a standard performance measure. This is the case for both formal evaluations and informal assessments, carried out by individuals, political authorities and potential customers, interested in the performance of an academic organization. This way of assessing excellence contrasts sharply with the assessments of prestige based on the social circulation of reputational judgments that have traditionally been used by academic communities. PrestEnce Spain researchers include Carolina Cañibano, Jordi Molas and Inmaculada Vilardell Riera (UAB).

The proposed project focuses on how academic departments build and maintain their quality, addressing quality from a double perspective that considers both "prestige" and "excellence". Our hypothesis is that diversity emerges at the departmental level in the ways excellence and prestige are understood and encouraged, despite the growing homogenization induced by the imposition of international measurement and evaluation standards.

The purpose of PrestEnce Spain is to conduct an in-depth study of a set of academic Spanish departments endowed with a good reputation. The project will investigate how these departments build, keep or lose their reputation of quality at the same time that the mechanisms to evaluate this quality evolve. First, we seek to understand how and to what extent Spanish departments adapt their everyday activities, in a more or less proactive way, to achieve the objectives defined by their University Mission. Second, we will address the effects of the way academic quality is assessed and evaluated on academic activity and on the internal organization of departments. This includes individual strategies developed by academics to meet evaluation requirements.

The method we propose is based on a triple comparison across disciplines, institutions and countries. The empirical study will focus on Spain and will compare the results with those that have been obtained in other countries. The framework for this comparative study is the project "PrestEnce: From Prestige to excellence: The fabrication of academic excellence" funded by the French National Research Agency.

Essential criteria for applicants include:

  • Willingness to undertake research visits of up to three months in other countries
  • A proven capacity to write and interact in English. A high level (C1or C2) will be highly regarded.
  • A high level of Spanish that guarantees the candidate's capacity to undertake qualitative research tasks in Spanish institutions, including conducting interviews, transcribing, and analysing Spanish language documents.

Desirable criteria for applicants include:

  • An undergraduate degree in economics, sociology, education, or related social sciences
  • A strong interest in qualitative research methods
  • A working knowledge of French will be highly regarded
  • A Master's degree