The Department of Architecture, Sint-Lucas Campus KU Leuven welcomes applicants for a fully-funded PhD scholarship position, in Urban Planning (Flanders). The PhD fellow will work in the context of the research group P.PUL – Planning for People, Urbanity and Landscape (www.ppul-research.be) at KU Leuven’s Department of Architecture. The research group P.PUL investigates the relevance of space for various social developments and vice versa. Man and society are central. The research mainly has a sociological, ecological-landscape and/or policy-related angle. More specifically, it zooms in on themes such as housing, migration, ageing, socio-ecology, use of open space and policy (processes) in an urban and urbanising context. P.PUL researchers share the ambition to explore diverse social challenges related to the use of space at different scales and in a time perspective. P.PUL, which currently consists of 15 researchers, focuses on both fundamental and applied research. P.PUL researchers primarily use qualitative research methods, such as in-depth interviews, but also design research, archival research, etc. In addition, they combine methods from different disciplines (e.g. the Netherlands). Moreover, they combine methods from different disciplines (sociology, history, design, ecology, political science, etc.), albeit always with a spatial approach. In addition to contributing to the scientific field of urban development, P.PUL also wants to take an active role in the public debate.Website unit
We are looking for a researcher for the Policy Research Centre for Housing financed by the Flemish government. This policy oriented research consortium (www.steunpuntwonen.be) joins researchers from different universities around a 5-year research programme that deals with various aspects of housing.The research comprises two parts. The first part investigates the opportunities for growth of ‘innovative housing initiatives’. Examples include Community Land Trusts, Housing First, various cohousing formulas and housing cooperatives. What unites all these housing initiatives is the ambition to make an innovative contribution to existing housing forms and to alleviate the housing need of (mainly) vulnerable groups. The research focusses on the sustainability of new housing solutions, and should provide an answer to the following research questions: Can innovative housing initiatives be applied, supported and integrated on a larger scale within the Flemish housing policy? Do they offer a permanent solution to the housing needs of vulnerable groups in our society and/or facilitate a better flow on the housing market? How are they financed? Do they contribute to inclusion or do they (unintentionally) perpetuate existing exclusion mechanisms? To what extent do they meet the housing needs of vulnerable groups? Does living in an innovative housing project also have an effect on other areas of life?
The second part of the research aims to develop a methodology to reveal housing needs on a structural basis. Indeed, new housing initiatives have been set up because the ‘traditional’ channels do not sufficiently guarantee the right to housing. Their creation also illustrates the existence of a multitude of housing needs and the complex mechanisms that can underlie them. Since starting a new housing initiative is no easy task, their creation also illustrates that many housing needs and housing emergency solutions remain under the radar and are at least temporarily situated in the grey housing circuit. With regard to ‘housing emergency solutions’, one can think of homelessness, living in a room, camping, living on a mattress, sleeping in a sofa, squatting. With regard to misunderstood housing needs, one might think of the housing needs of people leaving institutions, LGBTQ+ people, newcomers and victims of domestic violence. Not infrequently, these ‘solutions’ are situated on the edge of, or over, the edge of legality (e.g. permanent residence on a campsite is prohibited).
To conduct this research, P.PUL is looking for someone with a demonstrable interest in housing and qualitative research techniques (in-depth interviews, focus groups, participatory observation). The candidate is expected:
- To fit into the research ambitions of the research group (www.ppul-research.be), and to play an active, collaborative role in this.
- To have a clear interest in (policy oriented) research on housing.
- To possess an MA degree in social sciences, urbanism and urban planning or social geography. Students graduating this year are also eligible.
- To be interested with qualitative research, interviews and/or policy-oriented research is a plus.
- To be able to conduct discussions and (group) interviews with various target groups and social actors (in Dutch).
- To possess organisational skills and the ability to consult with stakeholders.
- To be able to work independently as well as in a team.
- To be fluent in speaking and writing in Dutch.
- To be able to communicate research results in a public forum.
- To write scientific articles and publish research findings at international conferences and in journals.
- To be motivated for starting a PhD.
We offer a full-time (100%) PhD scholarship for 1 year (extendable up to 4 years in total after a positive evaluation) as a researcher in a creative work environment and with challenging assignments. As a doctoral fellow, you will follow the doctoral programme in Architecture, at the Faculty of Architecture. The diploma ‘Doctor of Architecture’ will be offered when the PhD requirements are successfully fulfilled. The successful candidate will be required to carry out minor educational responsibilities and provide research assistance to the supervisors.The main workplace is at the Sint-Lucas Ghent campus.
Enthusiastic candidates meeting these criteria are kindly invited to apply online. Include a cover letter, a CV, the names of two referees whom we might approach prior to appointment, and a sample piece of writing not exceeding 12.000 words (e.g. an MA thesis chapter). We will hold interviews with selected candidates soon after the deadline. For more information please contact Prof. dr. Pascal De Decker, mail: email@example.com.
You can apply for this job no later than June 15, 2021 via the online application toolKU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.