AT Osborne

Master’s thesis – Project Controls in Large Infrastructure Projects Around the Globe

Almost everywhere in the world, large infrastructure projects are known for their huge budget overruns and delays in completion. Through project controls, the performance of a project is monitored and forecasted, and teams are facilitated to manage risks and deal with (possible) overruns.  With decent project controls in place, an overrun usually does not come as a surprise to the project management team. Yet on an international scale the needs for project controls varies, as well as the way overruns and delays are forecasted. Project teams also deal differently with these overruns.

In the Netherlands we see a transition in the field of project controls. Where traditionally the focus of project controls was on reporting the status of the project and justify overruns, the focus is shifting towards providing timely information to the project management in order to be able to adjust the project execution.

Through her international network, AT Osborne has seen that the use of project control instruments for major infrastructure projects vary internationally, depending on local influences. Factors that influence project controls could for instance be local policy and legislation, political sensitivities and priorities (time vs. money vs. quality), risk appetite, project management style and type and quality of cooperation with contractors.

We are looking for a Master’s student who is interested in researching best practices in project controls in various countries, and the factors that influence the implementation and use of project controls. We are offering a 6 or 9 month placement period in our offices as well as an international network.

What do we expect?

Your first challenge is to come up with a draft research proposal on the topic, and submit this with your resumé and motivation letter. The selection process consists of two interviews with consultants working for AT Osborne.

We have the following requirements:

  • The student should attend a Master’s degree programme.
  • The student is permitted to work and live in the Netherlands for the duration of the research period.
  • The student sets the bar high, and wants to deliver high quality.
  • The student is interested in project management and project controls of large infrastructure projects.
  • The student can work in a challenging environment in a large consultancy firm.
  • The student is proactive and has great social skills.
  • The student has fluent English reading, writing and verbal skills.

What can you expect?

First of all you will get to know our fields of work, projects and AT Osborne colleagues. During your research period you will find out if you enjoy working for a management consultancy firm.

Two colleagues will be your mentor, and will assist you during the research and development of your Master’s thesis. Your mentors will be responsible for the practical applicability of your research results and will help you during the research process.

During the placement period, you will be eligible to receive a financial internship remuneration and make use of the AT Osborne offices and support.


If you would like more information about applying for this position, please contact Sandra Brouwer or Pau Lian Staal. Your application, consisting of a motivation letter, resumé and draft research proposal can be sent to