PhD Position in Sustainable Rural-Urban (RUrban) Futures

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 08 Jan 2024

  • Vacancies
  • PhD Position in Sustainable Rural-Urban (RUrban) Futures

  • Key takeaways

    Transforming the ways in which cities and the countryside are interconnected is critical to improving societal and ecological sustainability. These so called 'rurban' (rural-urban), interconnections, such as resource and material flows, human-nature relationships, spatial patterning, and the overarching modes of production and consumption drive ecological and social crises around the world. Racing against time, policymakers tend to embrace generic visions of urbanization (like ‘smart’ or ‘green’ cities) and technological solutions that often pay little attention to local contexts and underlying dimensions. To counter what has been called a “crisis of the imagination”, new social imaginaries are needed that are able to inform alternative worldviews and support appropriate institutions, policies, and technologies. This PhD project will work at the diverse interfaces between the ‘rural’ and the ‘urban’ to explore and (re-)imagine rurban interconnections, everyday practices, and desirable future pathways.

    Key Objectives

    1. Develop a conceptual and methodological rurban lens that can analyse and animate societal transformation
    2. Examine and catalyze imaginative processes of knowledge co-production through prototyping spatial and technological interventions
    3. Define and assess the impact of creative methods and tools to stimulate engagement, imagination, and action (e.g. shifts in everyday practices and policies)

    This PhD position will also be affiliated with the RUrban Futures Collective, of the Department of Technology, Policy, and Society, at the University of Twente. This collective takes a critical approach to sustainability transformations in the context of rural-urban interactions. As a PhD student in the TPS department, you will collaborate with a team of supervisors including Dr. Corelia Baibarac Duigan, Dr. Steven McGreevy and Prof. Esther Turnhout. You will work in a vibrant environment with diverse research projects and opportunities for collaboration and exchange.


    Information and application

    Are you interested to be part of our team? Please submit your application before January 8th, 2024 and include:

    • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, and motivations to apply for this position;
    • A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications and references;
    • A writing sample;
    • Contact information for two academic references (Please note, we will not contact these references before notifying the candidate that we intend to do so)
    • [for non-native English speakers] An IELTS-test, Internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT), or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE). Applicants with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet. TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE);

    If the following are available, please also include:

    • A brief overview of your portfolio of design or artistic work, including links to online resources.

    Additional information can be acquired via email from Dr. Steven McGreevy (CSTM) ([email protected]) or Dr. Corelia Baibarac-Duignan (KiTES) ([email protected])


    About the department

    At the Department of Technology, Policy and Society (TPS), we engage in research and education on the interplay between technology, society and policy, helping society to manage the opportunities and tensions between (new) technologies and changing needs.

    The TPS department is dedicated to encouraging a supportive and inclusive working culture. Our aim is that all job applicants are given equal opportunities, When we select candidates for employment, it will be on the basis of their competence and ability. To support the workforce diversity, we are open to offer flexible working conditions on an individual basis to support work-life balance, that may include contract of employment, working hours and location, or child care arrangements.


    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Behavioral, Management and Social sciences (BMS) aims to play a key role in understanding, jointly developing and evaluating innovations in society. Technological developments are the engine of innovation. As a technical university that puts people first, we tailor them to human needs and behavior and use social engineering to integrate them into society. We also ensure adequate governance at public and private level, and robust, inclusive and fair organizational structures. We do this by developing, sharing and applying high-quality knowledge in Psychology, Business Administration, Public Administration, Communication Sciences, Philosophy, Educational Sciences and Health Sciences. Our research and education in these disciplines revolves around tackling and solving societal challenges. The research programs of BMS are closely linked to the research of the UT institutes Mesa+ Institute for Nanotechnology, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

    As an employer, the Faculty of BMS offers work that matters. We equip you to create new possibilities for yourself and for our society. With us, you will become part of a leading technical university with increasing, positive social impact. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial atmosphere, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example through our flexible, adaptable benefits.



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