PhD position Urban Planning & Advanced Systems Analysis (1.0 fte)

University of Groningen

Faculty of Spatial Sciences

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. Ranked among the European top in the field of academic research, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global center of knowledge.

Job description
The Department of Spatial Planning and Environment (Faculty of Spatial Sciences) invites outstanding candidates seeking to study for a PhD in Urban Planning, Advanced Systems Analysis and Modelling addressing sustainable places and decision–making for a research project. The research project – to be proposed by the candidate – starts from the understanding that the world evolves non-linear, and relates strongly to complex adaptive system behaviour and thus processes and following permanent change of our environment are responsible for what Rittel considers wicked problem. Thus, the project will not only focus on advanced urban analysis, but also involves a mixed method approach and theoretical reasoning. The research will make use of digital developments, non-linearity & complexity, models and their applications, or 3D visualization.

Cities are a good example of complex adaptive systems (CAS) that change over time in structural and functional senses. Cities incorporate complex socio-spatial dynamics altering existing patterns. Thus, planning questions and challenges must contribute to our understanding of dynamic socio-spatial patterns, and the theoretical reasoning that comes with it. This reasoning will have to include adaptive, self-organizing systems within the urban, as well as uncertain, incremental processes of urban change addressing a sustainable built environment.

It is to this line of thought to which the PhD research seeks to find new creative answers for planning to consider sustainable spatial transformation in the context of complex systems theory, either in a methodological sense or using enhanced technologies in the context of virtual realities also incorporating the current discussion of smart cities contributing to the overall arching theme of improving quality of life.

We seek an outstanding candidate with a (research) master’s degree in spatial planning, geography, geoinformatics, architecture or an adjunct field and with interest in non-linear behaviour, spatial analysis and modelling. The candidate has a strong interest in research and good knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS), spatial analysis, good communication skills and a good command of English.

We are looking for the following competences in the PhD candidate:
• conceptual capacity and abstract reasoning
• scientific writing skills
• communication skills
• planning and organizing
• monitoring
• drive and enthusiasm.

Conditions of employment
Contract length: 48 months.
The University of Groningen offers a minimum salary of € 2,191 (salary scale PhD students Dutch Universities) gross a month in the first year to a maximum of € 2,801 gross a month in the final year, based on a fulltime position (1.0 fte). The position is limited to a period of 4 years. The first year constitutes a probationary period, with an evaluation of the candidate’s performance after the first year. The objective of this evaluation is to establish whether the candidate will be able to finish a PhD thesis in the remaining three years. If the performance evaluation is positive, the candidate’s contract will be extended by another 3 years, for a total of 4 years. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Spatial Sciences. The PhD project will be carried out within the Faculty’s Department of Spatial Planning and Environment, and within the faculty’s research agenda tWIST (towards Well-being, Innovation and Spatial Transformation) at the University of Groningen. The teaching load is limited but allows building experience in teaching. The position remains open until filled. How to apply: You may apply for this position by means of the application form until 11 December / 12 December Dutch local time (click on ‘Apply’ below on the advertisement of the university website). Applications will be considered immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applications for the position have to include: • a cover letter including motivation statement • curriculum vitae • research proposal (max. 500 words) • copy of the university marks (grade list of both bachelor and master degree) • names of two references. Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.
Maximum salary: 2801.

Additional information
For additional information, please contact:
Prof. C.H. Yamu, Professor in Spatial Planning

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 216212H

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