The Geocomputation (GCO) Unit at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich (UZH) invites applications for a fully funded PhD student position.
The position will focus on building on current research carried out in our group to explore natural language as a source of information about landscapes. We develop methods to identify, categorise and link descriptions found in unstructured text to space, and use these to explore how landscape elements and properties are perceived and described. In your PhD you will use these methods and compare differences between ways in which landscapes are perceived as a function of both location and language. To do so, you will work with us to identify a theme building on our current work, for example by developing methods to build cross-linguistic landscape specific lexicons, using text to explore variation in perception and use of protected areas or comparing spatially and temporally texts discussing themes such as wilderness. Your work will be embedded in ongoing collaboration with Prof. Asifa Majid of the University of York exploring the link between language and landscape
We are looking for highly motivated candidates, with a desire to develop a research career and with a passion for research. Applicants are required to have completed, or to complete before appointment, a Masters level degree at a high standard in a relevant field such as Geographic Information Science (GIScience), computing science, geography or environmental science.
Applicants should also have a very good standard of written and spoken English. Fluency in, or a willingness to learn German or French would also be an advantage. You have experience in programming, and are familiar with inferential statistics. You enjoy reading and engaging with the scientific literature. A knowledge of natural language processing methods and GIS would be an advantage, but is not essential.
What we offer
We offer excellent working conditions, a stimulating environment and Zurich’s high quality of life. You will be supervised by Prof. Ross Purves and will be a member of the Geocomputation Unit, where research focuses on computational methods for the analysis of a wide range of geographic data sources. In turn, the Unit forms part of the GIScience Centre, which offers a stimulating research environment with groups working on diverse topics including language and space, geographic information retrieval, uncertainty modelling, movement analysis, digital cartography and mobile systems, geovisual analytics, and spatial cognition.
Place of work
Irchel Campus, Zurich, Switzerland
Start of employment
September 1, 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.
Review of applications will commence on 30th June 2021 and continue until a suitable candidate is found.