Twente Part-Time PhD Program Description

Twente Part-Time PhD Program Description


with a focus on the intersection of strategy, business process management, supply-chain management, globalization, and innovation and change management.

application areas include, but are not limited to supply chains, manufacturing, and logistics, banking and finance, business-education, IT and IT-enabled services, software product development, and R&D and innovation management.

The PhD program is offered by the IS and Change Management department of the University of Twente:

This PhD program is designed for working executives who want learn how to apply rigorous research methods to solving real-world business problems that directly affect their company or industry, while at the same time earning a doctorate. This selective program is open only to those business executives who possess a distinguished work record, show promise of outstanding scholarship, and demonstrate the motivation and potential for completing a scholarly doctoral dissertation of required quality. Applications must be accompanied by a detailed statement of research purposes and a letter from one of the program faculty attesting to the importance of the applicant's proposed research and agreeing to assume full responsibility for supervising the program of study.

The program provides a unique opportunity for a limited number of working executives to study and research with some of the best colleagues, learning partners, and distinguished research faculty in the field. The underlying basis of the research program is participation in and working with and creating a community of scholar-practitioners. This community will consist of fellow executives from a diversity of companies and leading academics with experience in working with industry problems.

For applying, please contact the Program Director: Prof. Dr. Kuldeep Kumar at Please include the words “Twente Part-Time PhD” in the subject line.


The underlying platform for this research program will be a three to four-year, structured, part-time, or full-time doctorate. The doctorate may either be completed by developing and defending a doctoral thesis, or by integrating a set of academic and professional publications under an integrating theme. We expect the part-time candidates to continue in their employment while enrolled and conducting research in the program. The part-time candidates need not reside in The Netherlands, as long as they are accessible by digital or online media. In addition, the program may also admit full-time, doctoral candidates. The full-time candidates will be expected to be in residence for at least three tears at the University of Twente.

The underlying basis of the program is active participation in a collaborative learning community consisting of fellow students (learning partners) and faculty guides and fellows. Under the guidance of experienced doctoral faculty, the program participants will learn and develop their research in active collaboration with their fellow students and the program faculty.

While research within the research group may also be conducted independently of progress towards a doctoral degree, the part-time doctoral program will be the central of the proposed initiative. In addition to the doctoral program, regular full-time masters thesis supporting the doctoral research and other ad hoc research projects meeting the objectives of the program, may also be included in the program.


The proposed research program can include two types of candidates: Part-Time doctoral candidates, and regular or full-time doctoral candidates. In the case of regular full-time doctoral and master’s candidates, as far as possible, we will twin them with the executive candidates, such that both parties can learn from each other, leverage each other’s strengths, and collaborate on their research.

Maintaining Essential Diversity: Given the focus on globalization, we will attempt to recruit candidates to maintain diversity from cultural, managerial, industry, geography, disciplinary, and age backgrounds.


The ideal candidate for the doctoral program will be:


Upper and mid level executives, professionals, or educators in a high-tech, trade, logistics, financial services, or educational organizations.


The candidate will have a Master’s degree from a recognized institution.


Will satisfy the admission requirements for doctoral degrees at the University of Twente.


Will be between 30 and 60 years of age,


Will have over 8 years of work experience in executive, managerial, or professional positions, and


Be willing and able to work in a collaborative learning environment.


Some of the above requirements may be amended on a case-by-case basis for exceptionally promising candidates who have compelling research statements that fit with the objectives and scope of the program.


The academic resources for the program currently include faculty members within the University of Twente, at other international universities, as well as senior practitioners in industry. The research fellows and/or faculty for the research initiative include: Prof. Dr. Kuldeep Kumar (Florida International University, USA, City University of Hong Kong, China, and i-GEM Ltd. HK); Prof. Dr. Jos van Hillegersberg (University of Twente); Prof. Dr. Richard J. Welke (Georgia State University); Dr. Jag Kundi, (i-GEM Ltd. Hong Kong, China); Dr. Paul van Fenema (The Dutch Royal Military Institute, The Netherlands); Dr. Deependra Moitra (Consultant, Bangalore, India)).


Following the requirements of the traditional Dutch doctorate, the program will require the successful completion and defense of a doctoral dissertation thesis. The part-time doctoral candidates will continue to work in their current employment and will join the program only on a part-time basis. The full-time candidates will be resident at the University of Twente, and will be required to attend seminars and course work during their residency.

However, in addition to the requirements of the traditional Dutch doctorate, the completion of the doctoral program will require additional work by the candidate and his research committee:


Completion of structured, spiral, just-in-time, research-design and execution assignments. These assignments, developed by Prof. Kumar for the executive DBA program at CityU Hong Kong, are designed to help the doctoral candidate acquire the needed research methodology knowledge and skills, while at the same time applying them in a structured manner towards progress in their research work.


Passing a “Qualifying Examination” consisting of a research proposal defense and the completion and submission of a “research literature review” paper.


Participation in annual residential research workshops at the University of Twente. In addition, the students may be required to submit papers to and attend conferences and doctoral consortiums with a broader community of scholars and doctoral students.


Participation in scheduled online research workshops and classes.

Residential Workshops: The residential workshops are a key component of the program. The program candidates, faculty, and program fellows will meet face-to-face each year for research interaction; sharing research topics and methodology knowledge; review and criticism of each other’s work, calibration and synchronization of research agendas and plans; and for developing a community of learning partners. The PhD candidates will be required to attend at least five out of six workshops during the first three years of their program.

Inclusion of Younger Researchers:

The program may, on a case-by-case basis, also include and admit regular, full-time or part-time, younger doctoral and masters candidates with less work experience, if their proposed work supports the program focus and complements the research in the program. We believe that the interaction between the seasoned executive and the younger researchers will benefit both parties as well as the program. We expect that the executives participating in the program may also provide mentorship to regular full-time researchers and MSc students at the university.

Workshop Participation: Prof. Dr. Kuldeep Kumar will lead these residential workshops. All PhD candidates will be required to attend the residential workshops. Depending upon their availability other research faculty may also attend the workshop. To increase the diversity of ideas, and to avoid intellectual inbreeding, we may also allow attendance by one to three faculty and doctoral students from other universities to join some of the residential workshops.

Costs and Scholarships: For the first year of the program, the program will not charge any tuition fees. The student will bear her/his own expenses for travel, books, supplies, etc. In addition, the student is expected to pay an annual charge of Euro 9000 to defray the program expenses. In cases of financial hardship a limited number of scholarships may be provided.