Hasselt University

PhD student REWORLDING: Reimagining industrial landscape futures in sustainable development

2023-11-20 (Europe/Brussels)
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REWORLDING invites applications for 11 Doctoral Candidates (DCs) to write a doctoral thesis on Participatory Design (PD) and to participate in an international and interdisciplinary training network of 6 academic and non-academic beneficiaries and 10 partner organisations across Europe. REWORLDING is a EU-funded Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Doctoral Network that provides high-level training to doctoral researchers. Successful DCs will be employed by a host institution and will enjoy the opportunity to take on secondments within the REWORLDING training network. As a DC, you will work on your own research project and work together with your fellow DCs and the consortium on important overarching questions through cross-discipline collaborations.

More information about the REWORLDING project: www.uhasselt.be/reworlding

The DC who will start this PhD project will be hosted by Hasselt University, Faculty of Architecture and Arts, research group ArcK -  Spatial Capacity Building. 

More information: https://www.uhasselt.be/en/onderzoeksgroepen-en/arck/spatial-capacity-building

Job content

What is the aim of the REWORLDING network? 
Ecological challenges are experienced differently by different actors, communities and organisations, possibly leading to societal polarisation. This can inhibit urgently needed actions around these issues. As Participatory Design (PD) researchers, we observe a need for design approaches that can bring diverse actors together to tackle these challenges in participatory ways, with particular attention to those who remain silent, both as human and non-human actors (e.g. plants, rivers and insects). The REWORLDING network aims to investigate and outline such a careful and situated PD approach that can better understand and create synergies between the different worlds in which people live and work, and the more-than-human worlds they are entangled with. The REWORLDING network will host 11 DCs who will each focus on a specific research topic. Will you become one of them?
What is the focus of this particular PhD project? 
In this PhD project, the general aim of the REWORLDING project is applied to environments that have an industrial history, but are in a process of sustainable transition. As a researcher you will engage in participatory ways with such contexts to investigate the possibilities to transform these environments into public meeting spaces and landscapes that can support addressing the challenges of climate change and social inequalities. New participatory approaches will be developed during this PhD to engage with such complex socio-environmental challenges. If you start working within this doctoral project, you will have the opportunity, with this question as a starting point, to develop your own research story together with your supervisors and within the context of the European REWORLDING network (including all the knowledge and international training opportunities the network offers).
Objectives: (1) Perform Participatory Action Research (PAR) to trace and articulate connections between human and more-than-human actors in socio-ecological transition of post-industrial sites and landscapes in the Regions of Limburg and - during two secondments - in Kortrijk (taking the regional spatial vision into account) and Malmö. (2) Collect and describe existing experiences, relations and practices of actors involved in sustainable development of complex post-industrial sites and their environments. (3) Co-design collective learning tools, typologies and scenarios that connect between inhabitants, policy, business, social and environmental actors and reimagine their roles in tackling socio-environmental challenges.
Expected Results: (1) PAR analysis of development trajectories for the post-industrial sites in the case studies. (2) Participatory Design (PD) workshops to detect and describe the site dynamics, relations and practices. (3) Co-design of a transition toolbox for planning post-industrial landscape futures.
Planned secondment(s): (1) Leiedal: to perform PD research on regional development of post-industrial landscape (month 12-18). (2) Malmö University: to learn and gain hands-on experience in innovative design practices in landscape transformation (month 24-26).
MSCA Eligibility criteria 
To be eligible for this position, you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Belgium for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date (estimated around June 2024). Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account. You can not already be in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment.
Curious about the other PhD projects within the REWORLDING network? Check www.uhasselt.be/reworlding You may apply for max. 3 PhD projects within the REWORLDING network.


  • You hold a Master of (interior) Architecture or Design (or equivalent)
  • Your academic results are excellent.
  • You are interested in interdisciplinary research and have strong analytical skills.
  • You can work independently and as part of a team.
  • You have strong communication skills and are fluent in English (speaking and writing).
  • You agree to do the foreseen secondment(s).
  • You can demonstrate the necessary (participatory) design skills, clearly stated in your CV and/or portfolio uploaded with the application.
  • You can demonstrate your affinity with the research topic through a brief research plan (max 3000 words) uploaded with the application. The research plan must contain an overall purpose, questions that the project intends to answer, an account of the methodological approach, a description of material collection and type of research material and an account of the theoretical framework. The research plan should explicitly address how the project will be relevant to the theme of the REWORLDING network and the specific research project, described above.
  • You can be of any nationality, but have to comply with the MSCA eligibility criteria.
  • You are willing to take on teaching assignments to a limited extent.

You will be appointed and paid as PhD student.
PhD scholarship for 2 x 2 years with intermediate evaluation. Start PhD in June 2024.

Selection procedure
You can only apply online up to and including 20 November 2023.
The selection procedure consists of a preselection based on application file and an interview.
The interviews are planned in the week of 27.11.2023

Further information
Prof. dr. Liesbeth HUYBRECHTS, +32-11-292195, liesbeth.huybrechts@uhasselt.be

More about working at Hasselt University? Check www.uhasselt.be/vacancies for our staff benefits.

Job details

PhD student REWORLDING: Reimagining industrial landscape futures in sustainable development
Martelarenlaan 42 Hasselt, Belgium
Application deadline
2023-11-20 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2023-11-20 23:59 (CET)
Job type
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