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PhD student in the research project “Densifying Switzerland” in Zurich


PhD student in the research project “Densifying Switzerland”

The research team “Spatial Development and Urban Policy – SPUR” led by Prof. Dr. David Kaufmann and based at the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development invites applications for a  PhD student in the research project “Densifying Switzerland” .

Job description

We are looking for a PhD student who conducts research in the Swiss National Science Foundation funded project “Densifying Switzerland”. The project examines factors that influence the acceptance and democratic support for (urban) densification in Switzerland. Densification is the central paradigm of Swiss spatial planning. Yet, the challenge is to realize densification democratically and without insensifying or creating new socio-economic inequalities.

This research project studies the acceptance and democratic support of densification projects. The focus lies on individual and project-related factors as well as on political instruments such as ancillary planning policies (e.g., inclusionary zoning, rent control, or value capture) and participatory processes. The latter two allow us to examine whether local governments and local planners have options at their disposal to enhance the acceptance and support of densification.

We will collect and analyze survey and observational data. To examine acceptance, we will design and implement large-scale surveys (including survey experiments) of different densification scenarios in all 162 Swiss statistical cities. To analyze democratic support, we will collect and analyze local ballot data about densification projects in all 162 Swiss statistical cities.

Your profile

Requirements :

  • A Masters degree (or near completion of) in political science, spatial planning, sociology or related social science disciplines
  • Strong interest and curiosity in urban planning issues and public opinion
  • Good knowledge of quantitative social science methods and an interest in further developing these methodological skills
  • Motivation to pursue an academic career
  • Good active command of English (oral and written) and a good passive command of German and French
  • Knowledge about the Swiss political system is an asset
  • ETH Zurich

    ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.


    Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our ETH job portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. The application should include the following:

  • Letter of interest
  • CV
  • Academic transcripts
  • Writing sample (e.g. Master thesis or seminar paper)
  • Contact details of two people willing to serve as a reference (but no recommendation letters are needed)
  • The selection of candidates will start in mid May 2021. We look forward receiving your online application until May 17, 2021. The starting date for the position is in July 2021 or up on availability.

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    Extra Informationen

    Arbeitsstunden pro Woche
    10 - 40
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