KU Leuven in Belgium invites applications for 2 PhD Fellowships on Housing for Refugee Inclusion in the 2020/21 academic year.

Project details:

Within the broader framework of studies investigating into the relationship between urban planning and diversity, decent and affordable housing has often been foregrounded as a key factor in the process of social inclusion and mobility of newcomers. However, despite this recognition, evidence from Europe has illustrated that newcomers, in particular refugees, face various challenges to access housing and engage in meaningful processes of home-making. This research project, therefore, aims to develop innovative housing models for refugees that intra muros allow for a sense of belonging and home, but at the same time have the capacity to become pathways for social inclusion and integration extra muros. In order to do so, the research project approaches the housing of refugees from an interdisciplinary and multi-scalar perspective and as part of the broader housing question of cities.

To develop innovative housing models that have the potential to foster the social inclusion and mobility of refugees, two research positions will be opened, jointly held at the research group OSA Urbanism and Architecture (Department of Architecture, KU Leuven) and the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning (UGent). Each of them will have a specific focus: one will develop innovative design scenarios, in which spatial, cultural, technical, social and economic aspects are negotiated, and another will work towards alternative governance models, new coalitions, and organisational frameworks. Together they will work towards reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of current policies and towards building an inter-disciplinary framework to reconceptualise housing for refugee inclusion. Both doctoral investigations will principally focus on the context of super-diverse arrival neighbourhoods following a case-study method with cases in Gent and Brussels. Throughout their PhD trajectory, the candidates will benefit from engagements with two promoters (Vivianaa d’Auria, KU Leuven and Luce Beeckmans, UGent) as well as with an interdisciplinary steering committee.

Worth of Award

  • They offer two full-time PhD fellowships for 48 months with starting date on September 1st 2020.


  • The candidate holds a diploma in the field of architecture, engineering-architecture, urban studies, urban planning, urban governance, social sciences or equivalent;
  • The candidate obtained a Masters degree in one of the above (or related) domains, at at least distinguished her/himself from other fellow students with excellent academic results;
  • The candidate preferably has interdisciplinary experience and sensitivity for the topic of housing for refugees in connecting with processes of homing and belonging;
  • The candidate meets the requirements to begin the doctoral training and engages her/himself to complete a PhD;
  • The candidate is interested in scientific research and will publish and co-publish in relevant international scholarly journals to effectively disseminate research results;
  • The candidate is a good communicator and enjoys working in a team;
  • The candidate is willing to learn languages that might prove useful for the research and is capable and prepared to conduct intensive filed and archival research in relevant contexts of investigation.

How to Apply

Applications are due on August 9th 2020 and should comprise:

  • a letter of motivation (max. 1 A4);
  • an updated CV.
Candidates are invited to indicate in their letter of motivation their preference for one of the two foci included in the research project (housing design/ housing governance). Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview in the last week of August 2020 and a final list will be released shortly after. Selected candidates are expected to start on September 1st 2020, or on the earliest alternative date agreed on together.
Deadline: You can apply for this job no later than Monday, August 10, 2020, via the online application tool

Click here for more details and to apply

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