Doctoral Student The Programmable City Project

(Four Year Funding)

Funded by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award to Prof. Rob Kitchin, we are seeking a doctoral student to work on The Programmable City project.

The project will be based in the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.

Doctoral project: How is the geography and political economy of software production organised?

The production of software, like any industry, has a particular space economy to its creation and circulation.  Its operations are organised and structured both sectorally and spatially to enable efficient production, and minimise costs and maximise profit.  At a macro-level there is a geography of software development, so that whilst software creation takes place across the world, it is concentrated in key sites, for example, Silicon Valley, Bangalore, Boston, and Ireland, where there is an agglomeration of skilled labour, entrepreneurship, technologies, venture capital, and local tax and development regimes.  At these sites, software is the product of a complex interplay of social, political and economic processes operating within and across scales.  For other kinds of software production, such as open source projects, development is often more dispersed and distributed.  This project will provide a detailed analysis of the geography and political economy of software development, with a particular focus on Boston and Dublin.  It will involve case study research and interviews with company managers and agencies and organisations that seek to facilitate inward investment and indigenous start-ups (development agencies, business incubators, venture capitalists, etc).

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Applications are invited from researchers with an interest in economic geography, urban studies, business studies, and software development. Applicants will:

Have a Masters degree in a relevant discipline;

Have a keen interest in theory building;

Have a good, broad range of qualitative data creation and analysis skills;

Have an aptitude to work well in an interdisciplinary team;

Be prepared to undertake overseas fieldwork;

Have a commitment to publishing and presenting their work;

Have a willingness to communicate through new social media;

Be prepared to archive their data for future re-use by others;

Be prepared to help organise and attend workshops and conferences.

Desirable additional skills include: quantitative analysis and mapping, programming.

Stipend : €16,000 p.a, plus fees

The stipend is projected to increment by 8% per annum.

Posts are expected to commence 1st September 2013, subject to receipt of approved funding.

Applications should be made by sending the following information as attachments to:, via the ‘Apply’ button below.

Please ensure that you include the words ‘Programmable City Doctoral Post’ in the subject line:

A cover letter detailing why you are interested in undertaking this doctoral research project and comprehensive CV clearly showing your relevant achievements and experience in your career to date; The names, email addresses, correspondence addresses and contact numbers of three referees who are acquainted with your abilities, and whom the University may contact.

Closing date for applications is midnight, Friday 14th June 2013.  No late applications will be accepted.

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Further information about the posts can be obtained from the Director of NIRSA, Professor Rob Kitchin ( or Tel +353 1 708 3372) details are also available at

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