PhD Position in Green Participation

Catholic University of Leuven Department of Architecture

The Department of Architecture ( is part of the Science and Technology Group at KU Leuven and coordinates the research on (interior) architecture, urban planning and spatial planning at the Faculty of Engineering (Leuven) and the Faculty of Architecture (Brussels and Gent). The Department enjoys an international reputation and currently counts more than 150 (international) PhD students. The PhD project is a joint initiative with Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. The researcher will be part of the research group P.PUL (Planning for People, Urbanity and Landscape; at KULeuven and the Division of Architectural Theory and Methods at Chalmers University of Technology.


The project ‘Green Participation', financed by The Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)  explores the possibilities and challenges of participation and collaboration in green design from both a historical and theoretical perspective (e.g. engaging with posthumanism and environmental humanities, political ecology and science and technology studies). 

The project departs from the work of Louis Le Roy (1924-2012), who at the end of the 1960s put participatory processes into practice in landscape design. Le Roy's field of work was mainly situated in the Netherlands, supplemented by assignments in Belgium, France and Germany. The resonance within the professional world, however, extended far beyond this geographical scope. The work of Le Roy serves as a starting point to study the broader development and dissemination of ideas, practices, and actors involved in an inclusive conception of ecological landscape design.

‘Green participation’ places the analysis of publications, archival collections, oral testimonies and realized works in dialogue with theoretical fields, such as posthumanism. The project aims at revisiting the history of green infrastructure from a perspective that introduces citizens’ actions and agency of non-humans (and the relationship between them) in an otherwise often human-centered urban planning and policy narrative. A critical reflection on social and spatial inequalities, and a “situated” perspective are at the core of the research: revisiting specific historical cases, and thus gaining insight in the meeting of ambitions in the fields of (landscape) design as well as ecological, social and political sciences will be placed in the context of current debates on post-human ecologies and related discussions, for example on re-wilding. 

The research is supervised by prof. Bruno Notteboom of KULeuven, and prof. Isabelle Doucet of Chalmers University of Technology and it will result in a dual doctoral degree from KULeuven/Chalmers. The PhD student will be geographically based predominantly at KULeuven, but the project includes research and training stays in Sweden and also elsewhere (for case study analysis). The PhD student will be involved in the organization of expert meetings and a conference, and take part in an international network of research institutions, including VU Amsterdam and Wageningen University and Research.


We are looking for an outstanding candidate who is passionate about research. The candidate has obtained a masters degree, and shows a strong interest in conducting research, in one or more of the following fields: architecture, architectural theory/history, engineering architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, urban planning, history of art, history, environmental humanities or equivalent. The candidate has demonstrably distinguished them during their academic career or professional life. The candidate is able to illustrate writing skills by means of an article or masters degree thesis. 

The PhD student will be expected to: 

- show a clear interest in and to develop knowledge of the research subject. 

- be able to work both individually as in a multidisciplinary team. 

- show a pro-active attitude and research integrity. 

- be fluent in English and Dutch and to possess excellent communication skills, both oral and written. Knowledge of French and German is an asset.

- support teaching activities in the educational programs of architecture and urbanism. 

- write scientific publications and present research results at international conferences and in international (peer reviewed) journals. 

- organize international research meetings.

- be internationally mobile. 


We offer a full-time appointment in a doctoral fellowship in a creative and dynamic work environment. Apart from some limited teaching duties and general services for the department, your main assignment consists in carrying out part of the research project – including writing a PhD dissertation – in close interaction with your supervisor prof. Bruno Notteboom and co-supervisor prof. Isabelle Doucet. 

You will be appointed for the duration of 1 year, extendable to a maximum of 4 years in total (depending on positive interim evaluations). 

In principle, you will be based at the Sint-Lucas Ghent campus of the Faculty of Architecture; part of the research and PhD training will take place abroad (including at Chalmers University of Technology). 

Candidates are expected to start on October 1st 2021 or on the earliest alternative date agreed upon with the supervisors.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Bruno Notteboom, email:

Candidates are kindly invited to apply online. Please include a motivation letter, a CV, the names of two referees we might contact prior to appointment, and a writing sample (e.g. a chapter of a masters thesis). 

You can apply for this job no later than August 17, 2021 via the
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  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Gent
  • Apply before: August 17, 2021
  • Tags: Architectuur