PhD Position in the field of Urban Analysis and Modelling (m/f)

July 17 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
  • Ref PhD 17-15

  • Full time, 40 hrs/week

  • Fixed-term contract extendable to 4 years, provided progress is satisfactory

  • Work contract at LISER, Department of Urban Development and Mobility

  • Supervision by Geoffrey Caruso, joint professor in Urban Analysis and Urban Modelling at the University of Luxembourg and at LISER (

  • Enrolment to the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Luxembourg

  • The position is to be appointed to Oct 2nd 2017 (or soon thereafter)

  • Closing date for applications: 15th August 2017 (Students graduating over the summer 2017 are also encouraged to apply)

About the PhD Position

In the framework of a joint convention in the field of Urban Analysis and Modelling between LISER and the institute of Geography and Spatial Planning of the University of Luxembourg, LISER seeks to hire a highly qualified and motivated PhD candidate.

We offer:

  • A position in an inclusive workplace, an exciting multi-disciplinary and international research environment, ample opportunities to exchange with scholars from related disciplines at LISER as well as at the University of Luxembourg;

  • Well-equipped research facilities;

  • A highly competitive salary for this full-time PhD position (nearly 35.000 EUR gross, per year);

  • Good welfare benefits and enrolment to the Luxembourg social security system;

  • The successful candidate will also enjoy the full benefits of the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Luxembourg;

  • The position is 100% for research and training activities;

  • The successful applicant will be expected to relocate at Luxembourg.


Prepare a doctoral thesis in Geography, with the aim to contribute theoretical insights, quantified evidence or innovative spatial analysis methodologies with one or several of the following urban topics in focus:

  1. Urbanisation and suburbanisation processes and their environmental implications;

  2. Urban planning strategies and models applied to transforming suburbs for sustainability;

  3. Interactions between the built environment and transportation;

  4. The internal structure of cities and their global attractiveness.

Using/Developing one or several of the following methodological approaches:

  1. Spatial Agent-based Models with microeconomics;

  2. Spatial econometrics and/or geostatistics;

  3. GIS, landscape pattern analysis and/or and transport network analysis;

  4. Recent developments in spatial statistics, data mining and geo-visualisation.

Your Profile

We are looking for candidates holding a Master degree in Geography, Urban or Regional Economics, Real Estate, Transportation, Urban Planning or a related scientific discipline (Environmental, Mathematics, Physics…) with experience in geographical issues.

Candidates need to have a strong interest in developing/using models and quantitative methods in Social Sciences with a geographical perspective. Proficiency in Mathematics, Statistics, and GIS are required. Methodological skills and experience should be demonstrated with standard statistical software (especially R) and geographical packages (spdep, PySAL, …) and/or mathematical software (Mathematica, Matlab, Scilab,…) and/or programing skills.

Candidates need to have a good command of English and will be expected to have and to develop academic and scientific writing skills in English.



LISER is a Luxembourgish public research institute under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Its research focus lies in the field of social and economic policy including the spatial dimension and comprises broader themes like social and spatial inequalities, education, social inclusion, employment, health, housing, mobility, and regional convergence/divergence. Research activities at LISER aim to improve the understanding of causal relationships and to provide sound evidence for impacts of institutional settings and policy options on outcomes. LISER employs nearly 130 people, of whom 65 are researchers and PhD candidates. The Urban Development and Mobility team research team is highly interdisciplinary and international and includes, among others, geographers, planners, demographers, economists, social scientists, and statisticians. The Institute is located on the new Belval campus in the south of Luxembourg where the University of Luxembourg and a substantial part of the country's publicly funded research facilities are also hosted.

Working languages at the Institute are English and French.


About the University of Luxembourg

The University of Luxembourg's is a young, multilingual and research-oriented university that aims to achieve the highest standards of excellence in research and teaching. With nearly 6,200 students and about 1,700 employees from all over the globe, the University offers a unique mix of international excellence and national relevance. The University supports both fundamental and applied research. It attracts excellent students and staff who take advantage of its location in the heart of Europe, its first-class infrastructure, its proximity to economic and political decision-makers and to European institutions.

Within the Faculty of humanities and social sciences, the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning follows different paradigms of human geography and spatial planning. Major fields of research include environmental economic geography, urban studies and metropolitan governance, GIS and cartography as well as spatial analysis and modelling of urban and transport systems and their social and environmental impacts. The latter is a key collaboration topic with the LISER Urban Development and Mobility Department.

Application process

Please provide the following information:

  • a letter of application outlining your interest, motivation and profile;

  • a CV;

  • copies of relevant degree diplomas, especially Master degree;

  • at least 1 support letter from a recent scientific advisor/professor;

  • A PhD proposal (min 2000, max 2500 words excluding bibliography) using the following format: (1) Introduction and literature review; (2) Research objectives and expected contribution to the field; (3) Innovation/originality; (4) Methodology (including intended dataset to be used if empirical analysis); (5) Work plan and expected timetable; (6) Bibliography.


Please send applications via our online platform:

Closing date for applications: 15th August 2017.

For further information, please contact Esther Zana-Nau, PhD programme Manager: (no applications).

LISER is an Equal Opportunity Employer

As LISER intends to increase the proportion of female employees in science, women are particularly encouraged to apply. In case of equal personal aptitudes and qualification, priority will be given to disabled persons.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess