Kühne Logistics University (KLU) is offering a PhD scholarship in the area of Leadership Issues in Humanitarian Aid Operations

Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Maria Besiou, Associate Professor of Humanitarian Logistics, KLU is looking for a PhD candidate (m/f) that is highly encouraged to conduct research in the area of humanitarian operations. The position is funded by KLU. 

Kühne Logistics University (KLU) is an independent, state-accredited private university based in the HafenCity of Hamburg and sponsored by the non-profit Kühne Foundation. The KLU currently offers Master and Bachelor programs in Global Logistics and Management, and an Executive MBA program. The 2014 Handelsblatt research ranking of management faculties ranks KLU among the top five universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. With its 20 professors the KLU covers a wide portfolio of fields in the area of logistics and management.

Research position

Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Maria Besiou, Professor of Humanitarian Logistics and Prof. Dr. Niels Van Quaquebeke, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior, KLU is looking for a PhD candidate (m/f) that is highly encouraged to conduct research in the interface of humanitarian and behavioral operations. The specific focus will be on leadership, team work, and communication. The position is funded by KLU. The PhD candidate will also be a member of the newly founded Research Institute on Leadership and Operations in Humanitarian Aid (RILOHA)

The PhD candidate can expect comprehensive support for conducting research. This includes close supervision, funds, involvement in an active research group, participating in KLUs PhD program, access to KLUs excellent research infrastructure and to a network of leading scientific and business partners worldwide. The PhD candidate will have its primary workspace at the KLU in Hamburg’s HafenCity but research visits to international collaborators are highly encouraged. As KLU does not have the right to grant PhDs yet the candidate has to go through the examination and earn the PhD title in cooperation with Leuphana University of Lüneburg.

Applicants are expected to conduct empirical research, write respective top tier scientific papers, and to present their research at international academic conferences. Therefore, the applicant should have fundamental statistical knowledge, as well as the ability to write clear and concise reports in English.

PhD candidate profile

The PhD candidate should meet the following requirements:

  • A Master’s or Diploma degree in Operations Management, Industrial Engineering, Psychology, Business Administration, or another related area
  • An excellent academic record (from high-school on)

  • Experience in conducting experiments, field studies, or mathematical modeling

  • Proficiency in data analysis techniques (e.g., regression analysis)

  • Excellent English communication skills (German language proficiency is not a must as the KLU operates in English)

  • Ability to work effectively in a research group.

  • Willingness to travel abroad

  • High interest in pursuing an academic career.

Duration of the Position

The position has a duration of 4 years and can be filled on mutual agreement as soon as possible.

Salary and Conditions

The successful candidate will start as a PhD candidate at the KLU and receive a scholarship of 1,150 EUR net per month and funding for research related costs and visits to international conferences of 5,000 EUR per year. The KLU charges no tuition fees. The candidate can expect excellent working conditions and an active research group. The candidate can also receive another 450 EUR as part of a student assistantship position for the first year and then apply for the additional funding to be continued on top of their scholarship.

Closing Date for Applications

Applications are considered until the position is filled.


We are looking forward to your application! All applications should be sent directly as a pdf via email to Prof. Dr. Besiou (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Prof. Dr. Niels Van Quaquebeke (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Your application should include a CV, a cover letter explaining why you are well suited for the position, copies of course transcripts with grades (including High School, Bachelor, and Master’s/Diploma), and a copy of a research paper (e.g., master thesis). Should you have any questions concerning the application please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Besiou or Prof. Van Quaquebeke.

Hamburg, January 2017



Research Institute on Leadership and Operations in Humanitarian Aid
Großer Grasbrook 17 
20457 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: +49 40 328707-241





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