Organization and Management Theory OMT

PhD position at CBS: ‘COVID-19: Effectiveness and ethics in local collaboration for health emergencies’

  • 1.  PhD position at CBS: ‘COVID-19: Effectiveness and ethics in local collaboration for health emergencies’

    Posted 25 days ago


    CBS invites applicants for a PhD position on business and humanitarianism to critically examine how business-humanitarian collaboration is organized in acute crisis situations and to what effects. To this end, we invite PhD proposals that focus on the emergence and organization of business-humanitarian collaborations in the context of COVID-19.

    A central challenge during health emergencies is to activate and coordinate a rapid and effective emergency response. Often, coordinated global emergencyresponses attract most attention. However, in practice, local emergencyresponses are at least as vital. As could for example be seen in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic or the West African Ebola outbreak, local emergency responses often involve emergent collaborations between humanitarian organizations and locally operating businesses.

    While locally operating businesses often play a crucial role in humanitarian response, we know relatively little about how business-humanitarian collaborations form during health emergencies, and how such collaborations are organized. Similarly, our understanding of the longer-term effects of the reconfiguration of relations between the private and the humanitarian sector, as well as the ethical challenges involved, are still poorly understood. We therefore invite applicants to develop a research project to study the emergence and organization of local business-humanitarian collaborations in the context of COVID-19. Examples of relevant questions the project could address are:

    • How can local business-humanitarian initiatives be organized to ensure an effective emergency response?
    • How can such collaboration be organized ethically, i.e. in ways that uphold humanitarian principles?
    • How do cross-sectoral emergency responses maintain, challenge or redefine existing business-society relations and to what effects?
    • How are collaborative relations maintained or reassessed and, if deemed necessary, reverted after a crisis ends?

    Interested candidates are invited to submit a brief PhD proposal with their application package (max. 5 pages). We are particularly interested in applicants who have strong affinity with the humanitarian sector and who can draw on expertise from relevant fields, such as humanitarianism, political science, law, or business studies. The project proposal should be theoretically grounded in a way that leverages applicants' expertise and contributes to our understanding of cross-sectoral collaboration in the context of humanitarian emergencies. The proposal should also include a well-considered indication of the intended research design, such as a description of the research context and potential cases to be selected.

    The PhD position is part of the project 'Private-sector Engagement in Humanitarian Action' (HUMAC), led by Associate Professor Jasper Hotho and Assistant Professor Verena Girschik. The HUMAC project examines how business-humanitarian collaboration can be organized in an ethical, effective, and sustainable manner.To this end, the project team examines the challenges of business-humanitarian collaboration in a variety of crisis contexts. The aimis to generate urgently needed research-based knowledge and theoretical insights into the organizational dynamics, complications, and solutions of business-humanitarian collaboration in crisis contexts. The project is funded by the Velux Foundation, and will commence in November 2020. Additional information on the project can be found here.

    The project team will consists of the principal investigators, a Post Doc, and a PhD student. The PhD will work in close collaboration with the rest of the project team and will be eligible for considerable financial support for field work and data collection.

    The PhD will be affiliated with the Department of International Economics, Government and Business (EGB) at CBS. Details about CBS can be found here.

    The Department will give priority to applicants with high grades from their universities. Applicants need to have obtained a B for their master thesis on the EU ECTS grading scale (a 10 on the 7-point Danish scale). For comparison, please see the following EU grade conversion table:

    The three-year PhD programme at CBS allows you to conduct research under the supervision of CBS professors, supported by research training courses. The programme is highly international, and you are expected to participate in international research conferences and to spend time abroad as a visiting PhD student. See the CBS homepage for more information about the PhD programme,

    CBS PhD graduates are held in high esteem not only in academia and research institutions but also in government and business where their research qualifications are increasingly demanded. One third of CBS PhD graduates go on to employment outside universities and public research institutions.

    Copenhagen Business School has a broad commitment to the excellence, distinctiveness and relevance of its teaching and research programmes. Candidates who wish to join CBS should demonstrate enthusiasm for working in an organisation of this type (highlighting, for example, relevant business, educational and dissemination activities).

    For further information related to the project or the position, please contact Associate Professor Jasper Hotho ( or Assistant Professor Verena Girschik ( For questions relating to the PhD school and PhD education please contact PhD Coordinator Manuele Citi (

    General information

    A PhD scholarship runs for a period of 3 years, and includes teaching obligations equivalent of ½ year's work. 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. The salary level and appointment is determined by the Ministry of Finance's collective agreement with the Central Academic Organisation.

    The PhD student will be enrolled at the CBS PhD School.

    To be considered, applicants should have completed or be about to complete a Masters level education (equivalent to the 3 + 2 Bologna process). An educational background in the social sciences is necessary. The applicant must have successfully completed the Masters degree before commencing the PhD at CBS, though not at the time of application. The applicants must have excellent professional proficiency in English (written and spoken).

    The application (see link below) 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 along with a grade transcript of grades attained at both Bachelor and Master level, a brief curriculum vitae (CV), a list of papers and publications, and one copy of a selected written, work (e.g. a thesis).

    Recruitment procedure 

    The Recruitment Committee expects to shortlist at least two to five 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. 
    Please find guidelines and further information on scholarships and the Doctoral Programme at

    Application must be sent via the electronic recruitment system, using the link below.

    Copenhagen Business School must receive all application material, including all appendices (see items above), by the application deadline.

    Details about Copenhagen Business School and the department are available at
    Closing date: 5 January 2021