Early Stage Researcher, Innovation Management

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101034307.

PROPOSED TOPIC FOR PHD
Collaborative research models for brain health innovation

DOCTORAL PROGRAMME
Doctoral Programme in Business Studies

THE PRIMARY SUPERVISOR AND CO-SUPERVISORS

Professor Päivi Eriksson, Innovation Management/Neuro-impact and innovation, UEF, Business School, primary supervisor
Professor Simcha Jong, Science Based Business, Leiden University and Innovation Management/Neuro-impact and innovation, UEF Business School
Professor Tarja Malm, Molecular Medicine, A.I. Virtanen Institute, UEF

HOST RESEARCH UNIT AND HOST RESEARCH TEAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EASTERN FINLAND (UEF)

UEF Business School is a research unit at Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies
The Neuro-impact and innovation research team at the UEF Business School

EXPECTED PROFILE OF THE PHD CANDIDATE

This research project needs the participation of people with passion for excellence in research, innovation, and societal impact. We are looking for candidates who seek to contribute to brain health innovation research with a keen eye on the application of research knowledge to the problems and challenges of society and industry. Ideal candidates want to open their minds to intersecting and complementary fields of science, seeking a multi/interdisciplinary approach in research. The candidates should have a desire to approach the brain health industry and other organizations that will benefit from science when developing services, products, and processes.

The academic profile of the candidate should be in the management, organization, and innovation research area, with the idea of complementing this background throughout PhD studies. Overall, the candidate must be willing to combine complementary areas of knowledge in neurosciences, data sciences, social sciences, applied physics and/or law to complete the thesis project. As far as soft skills are concerned, we welcome candidates with a proactive, collaborative attitude, and who are enthusiastic about building, creating, and working in teams. Excellent candidates desire to participate in activities concerning the commercialization of neuroscience research, and are willing to spend some time abroad with our international partners and outside the university in our partner institutions.

Good methodological knowledge of qualitative research is required

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AREAS RELATED TO THE TOPIC
Innovation management in business studies and translational neuroscience.

DESCRIPTION OF THE NEURO-INNOVATION RESEARCH TOPIC
Recent breakthroughs in brain health research herald major advances in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases – a field where such advances have long been elusive. These advances are however contingent on the development of novel collaborative research models that connect university scientists with other stakeholders in the field, such as healthcare providers, patient associations, firms, and payer organisations. The goal in this innovation management research topic at the UEF Business School is to develop the requirements and specifications for such collaborative research translation models that will increase the societal impact of brain health research and offer new ground for commercial activities (e.g. start-up companies). Moreover, we will validate and optimise these models together with neuroscience and other relevant researchers in a number of case studies from disease areas such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and/or epilepsy that are among the priority brain health research areas in this doctoral programme.

The candidate can also suggest their own topic or modify this topic in their motivation letter.

EXCELLENCE OF THE HOST RESEARCH TEAM

Publications related to the PhD topic

  • Montonen, T., Eriksson, P., & Woiceshyn, J. (2021). It’s not a lonely journey: research collaboration strategies for knowledge production with allies. Academy of Management Learning & Education, June 2021.
  • Lehtimäki, H., Helén, I., Snell, K., Eriksson, P., & Montonen, T. (2019). Sustainable value creation in the commercialisation of innovation: the case of Auria Biobank. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 23(5), 451-465.
  • Jong, S., & Slavova, K. (2014). When publications lead to products: The open science conundrum in new product development. Research Policy, 43(4), 645-654.
  • Huang, H., & Jong, S. (2019). Public funding for science and the value of corporate R&D projects; evidence from project initiation and termination decisions in cell therapy. Journal of Management Studies, 56(5), 1000-1039.

Research projects related to the PhD topic

MULTI/INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION
The PhD research topic covers the following complementary areas of knowledge: innovation management and neuroscience. The PhD project will be co-supervised by a team of three scientists with expertise in managing and organizing innovation projects and translational, collaborative neuroscience research with commercialisation potential.

To advance multi/interdisciplinary collaboration, three Summer Schools will be organised jointly by the Neuro-Innovation supervisors and non-academic partners. In these, multi-/interdisciplinarity and intersectoral exchange will be implemented via hands-on interaction between PhD students, supervisors, partners and other stakeholders.

  • Neuro-ethics and patient rights, 3 ECTS credits. Research ethics, patient rights, data security.
  • Neuro-data Hackathon, 3 ECST credits. Open and big data.
  • Neuro-Innovation Living Lab, 3 ECST credits. Entrepreneurial processes and commercialisation paths.

Virtual Platform for multi/interdisciplinary interaction will connect all PhD students in this programme.

INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION
The academic partner organizations (see the Neuro-Innovation webpage) will collaborate closely with us in PhD training. For this topic, you are strongly encouraged to include a secondment or shorter visits with Leiden University in the Netherlands and/or the University of Calgary in Canada. During shorter visits (1-4 weeks), you will learn more about research and methods and build international networks. During secondments, you will work under the supervision from the hosting organisation and utilise their infrastructure. You can also attend courses, seminars, and other events whenever useful.

INTERSECTORAL COLLABORATION
The Societal Impact Board of this PhD programme with 14 intersectoral partners will collaborate closely with us in PhD training, for instance on the following activities:

  • Neuro-Innovation Talent Hub: monthly gathering with special guests (e.g., researchers, professionals, business experts, stakeholders) and discussions about research topics and career prospects.
  • Neuro-Innovation Boot Camp: yearly competition concerning the utilisation of research results.

Intensive collaboration with health companies and other stakeholders is required for this topic.

Apply now

IMPACT
High quality research and publications of excellence are a way to solve scientific and societal problems and challenges. This vision is shared by the collaborating partners in this doctoral program, and involvement with various stakeholders will allow the pursuit of a goal with potential for brain health innovation. The University of Eastern Finland pursues societal impact that goes beyond academia focusing on the transformation of society, leading to fairer and more diverse societies, where inclusive social development and welfare are enhanced. The objective of the proposed research is to advance translational and collaborative research models that have high potential for societal and/or economic impact (e.g. developing science-based start-up companies).

INCLUSIVENESS AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES 

The UEF policy on gender equality and equal opportunities is based on Finnish legislation and the values of the university. The goal of gender equality and equal opportunities at the university is to identify and prevent expressions, structures and functions that maintain or increase inequality and to promote gender equality and equal opportunities at all levels. The university has a Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Programme, which describes the measures intended to implement and promote gender equality and equal opportunities among staff and students. The university takes an active approach to promoting equal opportunities and acting against discrimination.

UNIVERSITY OF EASTERN FINLAND IN BRIEF
The University of Eastern Finland is the most multidisciplinary university in Finland. We are home to 15,500 students and 2,700 staff members. Our research is ranked among the best in the world in several fields (inc. forest sciences). We generate research-based knowledge and make it openly accessible for the benefit of all. UEF stands for action with impact that is relevant today and tomorrow. To learn more about our university please visit our website at www.uef.fi/en.