Date Posted
2 Apr 2024

Visit website

PhD Project
Toulouse Business School

Innovation management in the context of the space sector

2 Apr 2024

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

PhD student in “Innovation management in the context of the space sector”

1. Who we are ?

Toulouse Business School (TBS) offers internationally recognized degrees and is part of the prestigious 2% of business schools with the “triple crown” of accreditations: EQUIS, AACSB, and AMBA. TBS ranks among the top business schools in France, and our Master in Management program is among Europe’s top 20 (Financial Times).

Our research teams are focused on the needs of the business world, participating in the national and international arenas of research tendering.

Since 2013, we have at TBS a team that conducts research activities applied to space sector. These works are implemented within the SIRIUS chair. SIRIUS is a research chair, based on an original type of public-private partnership between three leading operators in the global space sector (CNES, Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space) and two respected higher education institutions: the Toulouse 1 Capitol University and Toulouse Business School.

The SIRIUS team focuses particularly on the economic and managerial issues confronting space activities and, especially, those raised by the amplification of the commercialization of space.

For further information please contact Dr. Victor DOS SANTOS PAULINO by email ( and visit our websites:
– Toulouse Business School:
– SIRIUS Chair:
– TBS Research Center:

2. Context of the PhD

The PhD student will be involved in the SIRIUS Chair that conducts research activities applied to the space sector since 2013.

He will also be part of a research team on Entrepreneurship and Strategy which is one of the teams of the TBS Research Center.

The PhD student will be enrolled in the Doctoral Program in Management Science of the Toulouse Business School and the Toulouse School of management.

3. Research project description

Space activities are undergoing many changes. New producers and new customers are entering, new technologies are introduced and more countries consider space as a strategic area. All these changes are referred to as “New Space”.

New Space generates opportunities and threats for existing space companies.

Besides their activities in New Space, existing space companies struggle to improve their competitive advantage in traditional space activities referred to as Main Space (e.g. civil and military institutional programs, traditional Satcoms).

The objective of this research is to understand the current space sector from an innovation strategy perspective and to help existing space organizations to improve their performance.

Three main dimensions are suggested for this research project:
– Diagnosis: Identification of the factors affecting the performance of firms in changing sectors (e.g. Malerba, 2002; Lundvall, 2010; Nelson, 2013)
– Strategy: Is there a first mover, second mover or late comer advantage in the changing space sector? (e.g. Lieberman and Montgomery, 1988; Kerin, Varadarajan and Peterson, 1992; Suarez and Utterback, 1995; Dobrev and Gotsopoulos, 2010)
– Implementation: How to become an ambidextrous organization? (e.g. Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004; O’Reilly and Tushman, 2008, 2013)

The above dimensions could evolve during the research project.

4. Who are we looking for?

– You hold a Master’s degree in innovation management, in strategy, in business administration, in business economics, in business engineering, or a related field (candidates in their final year can also apply but the degree requirements need to be fulfilled at the start of your appointment)
– You have knowledge in research acquired through the completion of courses on research methodology or projects (e.g. master thesis, research projects, publications)
– You have a strong motivation for academic research in the fields of innovation and strategy
– You are strongly interested by research applied to high-technology sectors such as space sector
– Your excellent academic record underlines your potential to publish in top-ranked journals.
– Your working style is team-oriented and you have strong communication skills
– You are highly proficient in English; additional knowledge in French is also asked
– You have an European citizenship

5. Your tasks

– Investigating innovations models related to the three suggested dimensions of the research project
– Conduct interviews with space managers
– Collect quantitative data
– Implement advanced statistical analysis
– Provide help in the scientific administration of the SIRIUS Chair (e.g. conference organization, scientific monitoring)

6. What can we offer?

Starting date:
We offer a full-time employment of fixed term from September 2019, for 3 years.

Toulouse Business School in Toulouse, France

Salary will correspond to the French standards for a PhD.
Gross salary will be within the range: approximately € 20,500 and € 21,500 per annum.

7. Great opportunities after your doctoral degree

You could undertake a distinguished career in academia, industry and government.

If you are interested in a career in academia you could apply for a position of assistant professor in strategy and innovation management or for a post-doc.

If you are interested by industry you could apply for a position of consultant, project manager or business manager in companies involved in space activities as well as in companies considering innovation as central for their activities.

You could also join government organizations such as the European Space Agency, The Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, the European GNSS Agency, etc.

8. Interested?

Take the opportunity to join our team by submitting your complete application documents in one single pdf file via email, including parts A, B and C :

A. Motivation letter in English (maximum 1 page) explaining :
– the motivation for conducting a PhD, and dedicating to the topic for the next years,
– the applicant’s background and expertise, with a focus on the skills, knowledge and aptitude they would bring to the position

B. Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages) including:
– education (indicating the grade point average of the bachelor degree and master degree),
– courses taken as relevant for the position (i.e. methodology, innovation, strategy),
– specific technical skills,
– previous work related to the topic (master’s thesis, reports and others)
– your citizenship

C. Your degrees and methodology courses
– Bachelor Degree (incl. grades)
– Master Degree (incl. grades)
– Put forward courses related to methodology such as research methods, statistics, econometry, epistemology, etc.

Applicants who are about to complete their degree are explicitly encouraged to apply.

9. Selection process
– The first round of applications will be assessed after April 30, 2019
– The final closing date for applications is, June 15, 2019.
– The application should be validated by the Toulouse Business School as well as by the Doctoral Program in Management Science shared with the Toulouse School of Management.

How to Apply

Follow the instructions given in the above bullet point number 8 and send your application to Dr. Victor DOS SANTOS PAULINO by email:

Position Category: Business & Finance. Position Type: PhD Project. Position Tags: innovation management and space. Salary: €20'000 - €30'000.