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  3. PhD: Global Universities & Local Engagement with Deprived Communities

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PhD: Global Universities & Local Engagement with Deprived Communities

Explorative study of (re)developing relationships between universities, local communities, and local authorities, with the city of Delft and a city in the UK as case studies

12 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2840 per maand


This is a full-time, 4-year PhD (social science) research position. The project ‘Universities and Local Engagement with Deprived Communities’ is an explorative study of (re)developing relationships between universities, local communities, and local authorities, with the city of Delft and a city in the UK as case studies. Universities are increasingly expected to deliver societal value beyond their academic mission. The project will explore new ways to bridge the common divide between universities ('cans') and deprived local communities ('cannots'), addressing social inequality, governance and ‘giving back to society’. The project adopts a mixed-methods approach, which analyses context, mechanisms, and outcomes of initiatives, particularly in Delft. The position is based within the interdisciplinary and international Urban and Neighbourhood Change research group led by Prof. Maarten van Ham. Under the supervision of Prof. van Ham and Dr. Reinout Kleinhans, the PhD researcher will work on a PhD thesis based on co-authored peer-reviewed publications with the supervisors. Main tasks: executing research within the scope of the project proposal, performing a literature review, following specific projects over time, conducting semi-structured interviews, analysing transcriptions, doing small field experiments, writing papers, and taking courses in the Graduate School of the Faculty.


The candidate holds a Master degree in human geography, sociology, urban planning, public administration, or a related discipline. Theoretical knowledge in one or more of the following fields is required: community development, governance, social inequality, active citizenship. Candidates have strong qualitative research skills and proven experience with in-depth interviews and transcript analysis (NVivo/Atlas.ti) or experimental research, and preferably experience with quantitative research. Candidates are willing to travel and have an excellent command of English and Dutch (spoken and written). Experience in academic writing, project management experience, and communication skills are regarded as assets.


The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.phd.tudelft.nl for more information.

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Maarten van Ham, phone: +31 (0)15-2782782, e-mail: m.vanham@tudelft.nl. To apply, please send the following: application letter, detailed CV including publications or other outputs (other than master thesis), lists of grades (for all bachelor and master courses and theses), copy of your master diploma, and contacts for academic references. In the second round, candidates will be required to write a two-page document outlining their research idea.
Please e-mail your application by 8 December 2017 to Mrs. Celia Moualed, HR-BK@tudelft.nl. When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number BK2017-16.

Additional information

Maarten van Ham
+31 (0)15-2782782

Technische Universiteit Delft


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools. Architecture OTB - Research for the Built Environment specialises in independent reseach in the field of housing, construction, and the built environment. The policy areas of OTB are centred around various aspects of the built environment. For example, research is carried out into such areas as housing, urban renewal, transport and infrastructure, urban and regional development, sustainable building and building policy, land policy, geo-information resources, and GIS technology. OTB is a department in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology.

The Urban and Neighbourhood Change research group, led by Prof. Maarten van Ham, aims to develop a better understanding of the relationships between socio-economic inequality, poverty, and neighbourhoods, and the people- and area-based policies developed to combat these inequalities. The group has a strong international reputation for research on socio-economic and ethnic segregation, neighbourhood effects, neighbourhood change, urban regeneration, residential mobility and migration, and community engagement. The staff has backgrounds in demography, sociology, geography, and economics.