PhD: Linking People & Places & Redefining Neighbourhoods

PhD: Linking People & Places & Redefining Neighbourhoods

Delft University of Technology

Level: Master degree
Maximum employment: Maximum of 38 hours per week (1 FFE)
Duration of contract: 4 years
Salary scale: ?2062 to ?2638 per month gross

Architecture and the Built Environment

In its 105 years of existence the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment has built up a solid international reputation for training architects and urban planners and guiding doctoral students. With some 3,000 students and around 600 staff members, including around 200 FTEs devoted to scientific personnel, our faculty is one of the largest educational programme of TU Delft and is one of the most prestigious architecture faculties in Europe. A native design education and research in the area of the built environment are the work for which the faculty has traditionally been known. Around 30 Professors carry out work in a diverse range of academic areas, which together cover the entire field of the built environment. For more information, see

0TB – Research for the Built Environment specialises in independent reseach in the field of housing, construction and the built environment. The policy areas of 0TB are centred around aspects of the built environment. Research is carried out into such areas as housing, urban renewal, transport and infrastructure, urban and regional development, sustainable building and building policy, land policy, geo-information resources and GIS technology. 0TB is a department in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology.

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The Urban Renewal and Housing research group, led by Prof. Maarten van Ham, investigates neighbourhoods and cities as changing social sites and as sites of governance and civic action, including effects of neighbourhoods on residents and how residents affect neighbourhood stratification. The research programme focuses on three strongly interrelated broad themes: 1) neighbourhood effects, 2) neighbourhoods as sites of governance and civic action, 3) neighbourhood change and stratification. The staff of this research group has backgrounds in demography, sociology, geography and economics.

Job Description

This is a four-year PhD position (with an initial contract for one year) within the European Research Council (ERC) funded Consolidator Grant research project DEPRIVEDHOODS: Sociospatial inequality, deprived neighbourhoods, and neighbourhood effects, led by principal investigator Prof. Maarten van Ham. DEPRIVEDHOODS is a methodologically challenging interdisciplinary and international five-year research project involving 10 researchers in four countries, using unique, geo-referenced longitudinal data from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Estonia, and the Netherlands. The objective is to come to a better understanding of the relationship between socio-economic inequality, poverty and neighbourhoods, at a time when the spatial concentration of poverty within cities is of great concern to national governments.

DEPRIVEDHOODS will break new ground by simultaneously studying neighbourhood sorting over the life course, neighbourhood change, and neighbourhood effects, within one theoretical and analytical framework. The PhD student will work on a PhD thesis based partly on coauthored, peer-reviewed publications under the supervision of Prof, van Ham, a post-doc and international collaborators. The student will work on a project which will investigate how to better operationalise neighbourhoods, including using alternative neighbourhood geographies, and how to take into account the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP) when modelling neighbourhood effects.

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The candidate holds a Master degree in human geography or another spatially aware social science (demography, sociology, economics). The candidate has a quantitative background, is experienced in using geographic information systems (ArcGIS), and is familiar with quantitative analysis methods (i.e. regression analysis). The candidate is willing to go on short trips to the four research countries and has a good command of spoken and written English. A good command of Dutch is an advantage but not necessary. A keen interest in the research topic, a willingness to work in a team, good communication skills, excellent study results, and experience in academic writing are regarded as assets.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers an attractive benefits package, including a flexible work week, free high-speed Internet access from home, and the option of assembling a customised compensation and benefits package (the ‘IKA’). Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Maarten van Ham, phone: -1-31(0)15-2782782, e-mail: To apply, please send a detailed CV and two references along with a letter of application by 27 June 2014 to Mrs. C. Moualed, via the Apply button below.

When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number BK2014-04.

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