Post-doc in Coordination in complex supply networks(0.5 or 1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Belonging to the best research universities of Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Science and Engineering
The Faculty of Science and Engineering harbours a kaleidoscope of disciplines and research strengths. Its programmes in research and education range from nanomaterials and biomachinery to astronomy, from mathematics to pharmacy, from neurosciences to computer science, and from molecular and evolutionary biology to marine biology. Its researchers pursue fundamental key questions while collaborating with partners from industry, the medical world and other realms of society.

Job description

The postdoc position is part of the multi-disciplinary research project ‘Context, Coordination and Competencies during Infrastructure Challenges’, funded by NWO (Dutch Science Foundation) and NGInfra (Next generation Infrastructure, a consortium of companies managing large infrastructures in the Netherlands). This research includes researchers from the Faculty of Science and Engineering (Ming Cao, Alexander Hübl, Gerald Jonker, Tim Kousemaker) and the Faculty of Economics and Business (Thom de Vries, Dirk Pieter van Donk, Gerben van der Vegt).

The aim of the overall research is to investigate how different infrastructure companies can effectively deal with joint challenges, such as the transition to sustainable transport or energy systems. Such large-scale, joint projects are vulnerable to managerial problems, particularly coordination problems. Such coordination problems, in turn, can lead to delays and cost overruns. In the current research, we focus on how companies can avoid such coordination problems by using a so-called “system-of-system” approach in which multiple teams from multiple companies jointly organize responses to collective challenges. The project aims for close cooperation with a number of infrastructure companies to ultimately develop a training tool for (project) managers. Moreover, we aim for a multi-disciplinary research approach that leverages insights from engineering and management research fields. The research includes multiple postdoc positions, of which two post-docs already have started on systematic case studies.

This postdoc in the research will be tasked with further refining and examining the findings from the case studies (conducted by other postdocs at the Faculty of Economics and Business) using mathematical/computational modelling techniques such as agent-based simulation (ABS), discrete event simulation (DES), and/or system dynamics (SD). The postdoc will use one or multiple of these modelling techniques to explore how our initial case-based findings can be generalized across a wide variety of systems-of-systems that differ in (a) multi-infra challenge complexities, and (b) the coordination configurations they use. The modelling results will enable us to preliminary test our predictions regarding the appropriateness of coordination configurations within systems-of-systems facing multi-infra challenges that differ in level of complexity. As such, it is important that postdoc closely collaborates with other researchers at the Faculty of Economics and Business in an interdisciplinary manner.

The position is assigned for a period of 24 months (0.5 FTE) and is scheduled to start between March 1 and September 1, 2023. The exact start date will be set in consultation with the postdoc. Moreover, there are possibilities for a fulltime working arrangement (e.g., a 1.0 FTE position for 12 months). The postdoc will be located in the Faculty Science and Engineering, but will also work together with members from the other research groups involved in the broader research project.


- PhD in industrial engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, operations research or other relevant computational and data sciences (completed or near competition)
- high affinity for mathematical/computational modelling methods such as agent-based simulation, heuristic optimization
- interests and ability to learn modelling of organizational behaviour in system of systems.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 24 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a starting salary depending on qualifications and work experience up to a maximum of € 4,670 (salary scale 10) gross per month based on a fulltime position a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
- an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
- minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment
- the appointment is temporary as indicated in the job description.

Job Application

Do you want to become a member of our team? Please send your application to us, by submitting the following documents:

• letter of application
• curriculum vitae.

You may apply for this position until 4 December 11:59pm / before 5 December 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/
Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

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Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Ming Cao

Dr Alex Hubl

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 222781

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