Open Position for Research Assistant – Innovative Payment Paths for Digital Retail

PERFORM, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) launched in January 2018 offers fifteen (15) PhD positions in five European countries. The projects goal is to prepare the next generation of Digital Retail Managers and tackle digital retail challenges through a combination of training and research. Research candidates will get a unique international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral training in scientific and transferable skills by distinguished leaders from academia and industry.

Research projects within PERFORM focus on creating a coherent customer experience for Digital Retail by combining online and traditional offline retail to an integrated Omnichannel system addressing the following 4 research objectives: (i) develop sustainable business models for the Digital Retail sector, (ii) increase the customer experience along the customer journey, (iii) investigate the use of emerging technologies to build innovative Digital Retail services and (iv) develop a comprehensive knowledge base on Digital Retail operations and analytics.

Consequently, all positions require interdisciplinary approaches that consider and combine the analysis of customer behavior with novel technologies.


We are looking for highly motivated young researchers, with a preferential background in digital retail. Previous experience in fields directly related to the topics of the specific positions is welcomed. Excellent research skills and analytical abilities are required. Fluency in English (both spoken and written), proactive communication skills, problem solving as part of a team and a good work ethic are essential characteristics.


These ESR enrollments are under very attractive employment conditions and competitive salaries offered in Marie Curie Innovative Training Networks. Fellows will be offered a full-time, fixed term employment contract for a period of 15 months.

The selected ESRs will join top-class research groups and have the unique opportunity to pursue a career in digital retail. Working in this ambitious research project will provide a very strong joint multidisciplinary research training program. The mobility among five EU countries and 14 institutions provides fellows with the opportunity to undertake secondments, company visits and trainings in a multidisciplinary environment which will lead to extensive experience in the promising field digital retail.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet the following formal criteria:

  • Applicants must have a Master’s degree in the wider field of Digital Retail.
  • Applicants have to be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers (i.e. applicants must have obtained their qualifying Master’s (or equivalent) degree within the past four years at the time of recruitment).
  • Applicants can be of any nationality, but are required to undertake transnational mobility (i.e. move from another country) when taking up the appointment. At the moment of selection the researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • Applicants have to demonstrate they are able to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English,
  • Applicants must not have been awarded a PhD yet.

Application process

Applicants are expected to submit their application, indicating the preference for one to maximum three of the provided positions, along with

  • a motivation letter,
  • a CV,
  • Master’s degree transcripts, and
  • any other relevant documents

to, not later than June 30th, 2020.

Be sure to check the position specific requirements and further information on the application process at

The preferred starting date for the position is August 1st, 2020.

For more information, please contact:

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 765395

Research Project #15

Topic: Innovative Payment Paths for Digital Retail

Project Description: We will investigate how new technologies can assist to improve the checkout-process in-store and online towards a seamless customer experience. This includes the evaluation of technologies and possibilities of mobile payment solutions to optimize the checkout process. Technologies to evaluate may include existing contactless payment functions (NFC), new technologies (instant payments, blockchain, chatbot, wearables, etc.) and also various Fintech solutions in the context of European directives. Satisfaction of customers and merchants with existing technologies should also be evaluated and possible improvements for these technologies should be presented. Optionally a prototype including function/security tests and in store integration shall be developed.

Researcher: The position of a research assistant for this research project is currently vacant.

Host Supervisor: This position is supervised by Markus Hofer, who is responsible at RLB for introducing new payment technologies and systems to the product and service portfolio of the banking group. He is at Raiffeisen currently leading the introduction of new mobile payment solutions to the Austrian market. He has significant expertise in mobile and banking technologies.

Host InstitutionRLB is Austria’s leading regional bank. It has a strong customer focus and is a secure and reliable partner for private, corporate and institutional customers. Customers are supported with targeted and customised financial and business services.

Academic Supervisor: Since RLB as non-academic beneficiary does not provide PhD programs academic supervision for the research assistant will be held by Dr. Markus Helfert at Maynooth University. Markus Helfert is the Director Business Informatics Research Group Science Foundation Ireland, Maynooth University. He has significant experience in Smart IoT Environments and Information Systems. He is SFI Funded Investigator in Lero – The Irish Software Research Centre and Lead Researcher for a Project within Insight – The Analytics research Centre. His research, featured in peer-reviewed journals and widely in conference participation. To provide the Early Stage Researcher of this position a local academic supervisor academic co-supervison will be held by Dr. Andreas Auinger. Andreas Auinger is head of studies of the master study programme Digital Business Management and head of the of the Digital Business research group at the FHO. He has led and worked on more than 15 R&D projects over the last 13 years as far as Digital Business, Digital Marketing and Information Systems are concerned.

Secondments: This position includes  secondments to partner organisations. The planned secondments will be to

    • Unimarkt for ‘analysis and research of check-out process in store and online’ as well as for ‘implementation and prototypical testing’

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