Research Projects - AGORA Projects

PhD Candidate for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) in the Metaverse (Paid Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow)

Work Type: Fixed Term Contract
The position (PhD Candidate) is part of the MARIE Skłodowska-CURIE ACTIONS Doctoral Networks Industrial Doctorates (MSCA-DN-ID) Project AGORA - trAining younG researchers On shaping Metaverse for business and social vAlue. The recruited researchers will be ‘Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows’. Recruitment involves physical mobility. In addition, the fellows will participate in networking and career events, workshops and are expected to present their work at international conferences.  The fellows will be part of the School of Business in University of Nicosia (UNIC). The fellows will be spending part of their time at the University of Nicosia and will be also seconded for part of their time at an academic or non-academic partner of the AGORA project.

Metaverse is set to revolutionize online and real-world interactions. Europe, aiming to lead in this sector, must address its challenges in line with its values. The AGORA Network offers a holistic understanding of the metaverse, blending technical, business and social insights. It prepares early-stage researchers for roles in academia, industry, and policymaking through its unique inter-sectoral network. The initiative will involve 17 'Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows' for both academic and industrial research.

Role: PhD Candidate

PhD Title: “Decentralised Autonomous Organisations in the Metaverse: Future Potential, Applications, and Limitations”

PhD Description: DAOs enable new forms of organisation, sometimes consisting entirely of computer code and being algorithmically governed based on rules. DAOs represent a departure of the industrial-era paradigm of corporations, enabling ad-hoc organisational arrangements that are based on programmable trust. This project will focus on studying this emerging form of organisational design in the Metaverse and its future potential, application areas, but also limitations.

The research will delve into the foundational principles of DAOs, examining how these entities can operate and evolve within virtual environments. The successful candidate will engage in comprehensive research to understand the dynamics of DAOs in the context of virtual worlds, assessing their potential to create self-governing, transparent, and equitable digital communities. This includes investigating the legal, ethical, and socio-economic implications of decentralized governance in virtual environments. Furthermore, the research will address the challenges and limitations inherent in integrating DAOs within the Metaverse, such as scalability, security, and user adoption. The PhD candidate will be expected to employ a range of methodologies, from theoretical analysis to empirical research, possibly including the development of prototype DAOs in virtual settings. This position not only contributes significantly to academic discourse but also has the potential to impact the future trajectory of digital governance and community building within virtual realms.



Supervisory Team:

The supervisory team of this PhD is constituted by supervisors from the University of Nicosia, University of Adger and Maggioli. The PhD candidate is set to enroll into the University of Nicosia doctoral program, which will also serve as the awarding entity for the PhD degree.

Duration & Placement:

The PhD position spans a duration of 3 years. The selected PhD Candidate will be seconded for 18 months in another EU/Associated Country (i.e., 18 months in Cyprus and 18 months in Italy).

  • Collaborate with supervisory team to define, develop, and refine the research approach.
  • Engage in data collection, including interviews, surveys, and other appropriate methodologies.
  • Analyse data and interpret findings to derive conclusions.
  • Collaborate with industry partners, especially during the secondment phase, to gain insights and real-world applications of DAOs in the Metaverse.
  • Actively participate in training, workshops, seminars, and conferences related to the research field.
  • Prepare interim and final research reports, highlighting the findings, challenges, and future directions.
  • Seek feedback, and continuously refine the research approach based on new insights and findings.

Required Qualifications:
  • An outstanding academic record, including a Master’s degree in a field that would prepare the candidate to engage in this research.
  • Proof of English proficiency.
  • The candidate must not be in possession of a PhD degree at the date of recruitment.
  • Mobility Requirement: Candidates should not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Cyprus for more than 12 months in the 36 months before their recruitment date.
Optional Qualifications:
  • Previous research experience on DAOs or Metaverse topics.
  • Practical experience or knowledge of DAO platforms.
  • Background in case study or other empirical research methods.
  • Experience in academic writing.
  • Record of scholarly publications.
Personal Qualifications:
  • Ability to work independently and accurately.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and high-quality output.
  • Excellent organizational, analytic and interpretive skills.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills in English.
  • Self-motivated and able to tackle challenging, complex problems in an individual or team-based setting.
  • Inquisitive and a self-learner.

The University of Nicosia, on its side, is committed to securing good supervision for the successful fellows.



  • The gross salary for the researcher will be 2.800,87 Euros (Gross Salary). The salary includes a living, mobility, and family allowance (if applicable), in accordance with the MSCA regulations of the European Union for Doctoral Researchers.
  • A positive and inclusive company culture that values diversity, teamwork, and employee well-being. We are committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace where all individuals are valued and respected. We believe that a diverse workforce leads to creativity, innovation, and better problem-solving. We actively promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our organization and are dedicated to creating a supportive and welcoming environment for all employees.


The application and supporting documentation must be in English and must be submitted by the deadline of 15 March 2024. Please make certain that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience align with the qualifications mentioned above. The application must include:

The following documentation must accompany the application:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV).
  • A letter of motivation/research statement of 500–1000 words. This should include why you would like to be part of a doctoral network and what you feel you can contribute to this PhD position.
  • Copies of bachelor’s and master’s degrees.  If you have not completed the master's degree, you should provide a transcript of courses completed and your estimated date for the master´s degree completion.
  • Copy of English language certificate (C2 Level).
  • 2 letters of recommendation, along with names and contact information for reference.
  • Research proposal (max 2000 words), outlining proposed research topic & objectives, proposed methodology, and timeline (three years).
  • (Optional) Publications and other scientific work, if any.

Your privacy is important to us. When you apply for a position with us, be assured that any personal data shared during the application process will be handled in strict accordance with GDPR guidelines, ensuring the confidentiality and security of your information. Please be aware that, as part of our collaborative approach, your application may be shared with other partners within the AGORA consortium for evaluation, consideration and confirmation.

For a formal application, please submit your application and all supportive documents through the following form (DC1 Application Form): 

Application deadline: 15 March 2024

Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.


For questions about this position please contact:
 Evgenia Kapassa (Research Officer), email:

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