PhD student in Architecture with a focus on Climate Adaption and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Updated: 28 days ago

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.


Umeå School of Architecture (UMA) is looking for a PhD student in Architecture with a focus on Climate Adaption and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus.The application deadline is 28 April, 2024. 

At 64° latitude, interior landscapes offer interesting possibilities to extend growing seasons and diversify crops, while reducing energy consumption and providing hybrid living spaces between inside and outside. Retrofitting the existing building stock, repurposing vacancies, and expanding our building performance through circular systems may accumulatively have a positive systemic impact both in terms of reducing water and energy consumption, as well as food miles, while buffering existing infrastructure networks and enabling local food production on site. Climate change demands a recalibration of our built environment to become more resource-efficient and more resilient. The research group Designing Cycles at 64° (DC64°) is set out to turn buildings and their inhabitants from being consumers to becoming producers to transform our ecological footprint into a positive one.

By exploring greenhouse extensions and building envelopes as passive architectural solutions, DC64° focuses on building productive interfaces between the disciplines of architecture and urban planning, building technology, urban water management, plant physiology and vertical gardening, the private and public sector, as well as the general public in different living lab formats and through action-based research. Expanding on Bengt Warne’s Naturhus (1974) and following examples, we anticipate new multifunctional architectural models applicable in various contexts and scales. As a lab at Umeå School of Architecture, the research group engages in both education and research and their productive interfaces by taking an active role in initiating and catalyzing change processes following a transformative science approach.

As a doctoral student you will engage in the ongoing multiscalar and multidisciplinary research environment of DC64°. If you are interested in transdisciplinary approaches and exploring the capacity of nature-based solutions within the architectural realm for the specific climate zone of 64° latitude, then this is the project for you!

Research environment 

At UMA, you will be part of a forward-thinking and open environment where holistic, interdisciplinary and experimental approaches are seen as crucial to addressing the global challenges and opportunities in architecture. 

Research and postgraduate education at Umeå School of Architecture is structured in four main thematic areas: architectural design; architectural history, theory, and critical studies; landscape and urbanism; and building construction, materiality, and computational design. Research groups at Umeå School of Architecture cross one or more thematic areas and are conceived as experimental laboratories with an impact on education.

The PhD Programme in Architecture aims to educate architectural scholars who are not only deeply knowledgeable in their specific areas of research, but also adept at navigating the complex intersections of architecture, urbanism, landscape, and technology from both a theoretical and practice within diverse cultural, social, and political contexts. Through collaboration with their peers, PhD students can nurture and advance their individual projects within a supportive environment of collective research.

Qualifications 

To be eligible, you are required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from abroad, or equivalent qualifications. To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level in architecture, you are required to have completed first-cycle courses of at least 90 ECTS credits within the field of architecture, or in a subject considered to be directly relevant for the specialization in question. Of those 90 ECTS credits, you should have acquired at least 15 ECTS credits at second-cycle level within the specialization in question, or an equivalent subject.

We are looking for a candidate with a strong interest in research, and the ability to work independently as well as in a team to accomplish the required tasks. You are proficient in both verbal and written English. Documented research experience of decentralized, nature-based solutions on a building and/or neighbourhood scale is required. This can also include models for social innovation. Documented skills in the use of research-by-design methods for architectural design and/or architectural research are required. Knowledge of digital design tools and/or GIS is a merit.

Terms of employment

The appointment aims at a PhD degree and the main task of the PhD student is to pursue their doctoral studies, which includes participation in research projects as well as postgraduate courses. Engagement in graduate and postgraduate teaching is recommended (up to 20%). Such engagement will extend the employment in proportion to the departmental service.

The employment is limited to four years full-time or up to five years when it includes part-time teaching. The salary level is determined according to the established salary level for doctoral employment.

The successful candidate will be based in Umeå and expected to be present in Umeå to fulfil their role.  

Application  

Your application shall contain the following documents:  

  • A cover letter summarizing your research interests, motivation for applying, main qualifications, and envisioned contribution to UMA’s research environment (max. 2 pages).
  • Curriculum Vitae with a list of published work including journal papers, conference papers, technical reports, exhibitions, artistic projects, architectural projects, and/or grey literature, and contact information to at least three references.
  • Up to 3 writing samples of published work from the abovementioned list.
  • A research proposal (max. 2 pages) which outlines suggested research questions, data and methods aligned with the research project presented above, and which describes how the proposal contributes to the current literature in the field.
  • Degree certificates.
  • Bachelor and/or Master’s theses, if available.
  • A portfolio of previous professional and/or academic work and describes your role in each project (max. 20 pages).
  • Applicants with a degree from a non-Swedish university are encouraged to provide their results from the GMAT, GRE and/or TOEFL tests, if available. 

The application should be written in Swedish or English and submitted via our recruitment system Varbi. The application deadline is 28 April, 2024

More information

For more information contact Director of doctoral studies, Daniel Movilla Vega, [email protected], +46 (0) 90 786 72 25 or Head of Department, Professor Cornelia Redeker, [email protected], +46 (0) 90 786 76 96.

We look forward to receiving your application!



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