PhD in Sustainable City Innovation

Copenhagen, Hovedstaden (DK)
01 Oct 2019
End of advertisement period
01 Nov 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

PhD in Sustainable City Innovation 

The Department of Management, Society, and Communication (MSC) invites applications for a Ph.D. position centered on innovative city solutions and the underlying governance and finance models.  

Today, cities are struggling with economic, social and environmental challenges, including outdated infrastructure, deprived neighbourhoods, and air pollution. Even when we know the solutions, we do not know how to deliver them. As an example, a report from Realdania concludes that 60 per cent of Danish municipalities lack know-how on how to finance green projects.  

The objective of the Ph.D. is to advance our understanding of governance and finance models underpinning innovative city solutions. Of special interest are self-governing and self-financing city solutions, which hold the potential to be scaled up and implemented in different urban contexts. Examples include solutions of social housing for inclusive growth and urban regeneration of deindustrialised harbours. The expected impact of the Ph.D. project is to generate new knowledge on how to deliver and finance large-scale innovative city solutions through public and/or private stakeholders. 
The call is open for applicants with a specialised profile – as well as for candidates with a broader profile from economics, business management, or the social sciences. Candidates should demonstrate an interest to pursue research on large-scale urban governance and finance solutions.

There is no restriction on possible issue areas within the spirit of the call, but the Department is particularly interested in research on issues which reflect the interaction of more than one dimension of large-scale urban sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. 

Members of MSC study the interaction and intersection between organisational forms and practices in the socio-economic contexts in which they occur 

The successful Ph.D. applicant will be member of the CBS Sustainability Centre and the City Solutions Team focusing on urban governance and finance, urban greening, regenerative cities and multi-stakeholder partnerships. Further information at:
The Ph.D. project is co-financed by Realdania ( 
The Department will give priority to applicants with:

  • High grades from their universities. For enrollment in the PhD School, applicants must have received a grade 10 or higher on the Danish 7-point grading scale on their master’s thesis 
  • A background in social sciences and in particular business management and economics
  • An interest in joining the Department’s research environments A curiosity towards exploring the successful Northern European governance and finance models
  • An interest in large scale impact models for massive social environmental and economic benefits in cities

 The three-year PhD program at CBS allows you to conduct research under the supervision of CBS professors, supported by research training courses. Further information at:

General information 
A PhD scholarship runs for a period of 3 years, and includes teaching obligations equivalent of ½ year’s work (840 work hours). The scholarships are fully salaried positions, according to the national Danish collective agreement. The scholarship includes the tuition fees, office space, travel grants plus a salary, currently starting with per month app. DKK 23.770 (app. 3,160 euro) up to DKK 28.964 (app. 3,860 euro) depending on seniority, plus a pension contribution totaling 17,1% of 85% of the base salary. The salary level and appointment are determined by the Ministry of Finance’s collective agreement with the Central Academic Organisation. 

The PhD student will be enrolled at PhD School in Organisation and Management Studies.

To be considered, the candidate should have a basic training at the Masters level. An educational background in the social sciences is necessary. The applicant must have successfully completed the Master’s degree before commencing PhD at CBS. 

The applicants must be fluent in English. 

The application must include a 5 page project description. This research proposal should contain a presentation of an original research question, a description of the initial theoretical framework and methodology, a presentation of the suggested empirical material as well as a work-plan. 
In addition to the research proposal, the application must include: 

  • Copies of a Master’s degree certificate or other certificates of a corresponding level 
  • Brief curriculum vitae (CV) 
  • List of papers and publications 
  • One copy of a selected written work (e.g. Master’s thesis) 
  • Documentation for English language skills including proof of written English proficiency
  • Application must be sent via the electronic recruitment system, using the link below. 

The application deadline 1 November 2019. 

Recruitment procedure 
The Recruitment Committee expects to shortlist at least 2-5 applicants to be assessed by the Assessment Committee. All applicants will be notified of their status in the recruitment process shortly after the application deadline. 
Applicants selected for assessment will be notified about the composition of the Assessment Committee and later in the process about the result of the assessment. 

Once the recruitment process is completed each applicant will be notified of the outcome of their application. 

Further information: 
Head of Department Dorte Salskov-Iversen, Information about the department may be found at