Call for applications
On behalf of the Innovative Training Network “Reviving shrinking cities – innovative paths and perspectives towards livability for shrinking cities in Europe” (RE-CITY-ITN), the department International Planning Systems (IPS) at the University of Kaiserslautern is pleased to announce the recruitment of 13 Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) PhD positions for Early Stage Researchers (ESR). The RE-CITY consortium consists of scholars and practitioners from nine beneficiary-institutions in eight countries (Germany, United Kingdom, France, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, and Mexico). All have an interdisciplinary background working on shrinking cities. Additionally seven partner-institutions and companies from four countries are collaborating with training and secondments in Germany, Netherlands, USA and Japan.
The PhDs will be hosted at one of the beneficiary-institutions of RE-CITY: Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK), Cambridge Architectural Research (CAR), École Normale Supérieure Paris (ENS), Spatial Foresight (SPF), TU Dortmund University (TUDO), University of Amsterdam (UVA), University of Porto (UPT) Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan (AMU) and University of Guadalajara (UDG).
The RE-CITY ITN is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme to explore and evaluate new approaches and success factors for shrinking cities. The project aims to train highly skilled experts for the four key themes of shrinking cities: conceptualising shrinking smart, governing, greening/right-sizing, and regrowing shrinking cities. RE-CITY provides a perspective for the robust and sustainable development of shrinking cities, while supporting elements of economic prosperity, livability, social stability and innovation. This ITN will develop novel solutions for shrinking cities, and investigate case study approaches for dealing with them in terms of the four key themes noted above. On this basis, the RE-CITY programme will develop a framework of tools and methods, including planning instruments. The RE-CITY ITN enables the ESRs to act as leaders, mediators, and consultants of change while fostering innovative solutions and perspectives for these areas.
Through co-supervision by academics and non-academic partners, the PhDs of RE-CITY will undertake critical, practical, and creative exploration of the contribution and relationships between their individual doctoral study projects across the four interconnecting research themes.
In addition to undertaking doctoral research, the PhDs will engage in a series of collaborative research (secondments), workshops and training schools in order to develop advanced skills and expertise in tackling social, economic and ecological challenges linked to demographic and structural change.
Please note this is a general call for the whole RE-CITY ITN. More specific requirements for individual selection criteria and information on financial support and remuneration will be available at the shortlisted stage.
The positions will be open for applications from 11 September 2018.
The deadline for applications is 12 noon (MET), 15 October 2018.
Applicants will be informed if they are short listed by 15 November 2018.
The Recruitment Committee (RC) and the host institutes will arrange interviews of short listed candidates via Skype or similar services, in November and December 2018.
Decisions will be known at the latest by 15 January 2019.
Starting date for the PhDs is 1 April 2019.
Duration of the contract is 36 months.
 Except ESR #8 hosted by Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd. (CAR). Starting date for this position is 1st March 2019.
The PhDs should apply for doctoral study in one of the 13 projects offered by the nine hosting institutions. Please see the hyperlinks to the websites of the hosting institutions. We are looking for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) with a master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline (e.g. urban/regional planning, geography, social sciences, economics, political sciences, or similar).
Applicants cannot have spent more than 12 months in the country (working/studying/living) of the hosting institute in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date of 1 April 2019 – unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention.
The candidate must:
- be an Early Stage Researcher (in the first four years (full time equivalent research experience) of his/her research career and not have a doctoral degree)
- have English language proficiency
- be highly motivated, have a strong commitment to the research project as a whole, willingness to work in a network and the ability to meet challenges.
- demonstrate an excellent understanding of urban development processes and / or structural change.
- Each candidate that is hired will be based at the premises of the supervising institution where they applied.
- A full time contract with a competitive salary for 36 months. The remuneration of the recruited PhD is based on a monthly payment made up of living allowances, mobility allowance and family allowance where applicable and according to MSCA Horizon 2020 requirements. These payments are gross amounts and subject to national taxation.
- Office space and access to institutional facilities.
- Being part of a professional, stimulating, and family friendly environment.
In RE-CITY, each ESR will be seconded to two of the partners for a duration of several months up to 30% of his/her recruitment period. During secondments researchers will keep their contract with the sending organisation, which also pays the travel and subsistence expenses (e.g. accommodation). During their secondment, researchers receive supervision and training at the premises of the receiving organisation. Secondments are differentiated from short visits, i.e. of a few days. Secondments are mandatory. If you apply for one of the positions then you agree that you will be seconded to partner organisations specified in the description of the PhD topic during your contract.
Applicants should submit the following documents
A proposal of approx. 2000 words that demonstrates how the applicant plans to undertake the research project for which he or she is applying. This proposal should include:
- the research problem of the specific topic,
- the aim of the doctoral thesis
- the methodological approach and how it helps to answer the research question,
- how the result may advance the respective field/the future development of shrinking cities
- A letter of motivation.
- A CV in the form of a table (see for example the Europass Template https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/documents).
- A copy of your Transcript of records (if not in Latin letters, please provide a certified translation). .
- A table, which lists the residency/work/study affiliation for the last three years (31 March 2016 until now). If an applicant had more places of residence/work/study in this period, please indicate the periods and countries. A proof of residency be required prior to signing the in the short listed stage.
- Two academic references.
- All documents in English except copies of certificates in Latin letters.
- In case suitable candidates cannot be offered the position they applied for, they might be considered for other PhD positions within RE-CITY.
- Candidates also have to fulfil the requirements of the respective host institution/degree awarding university. Further information on these requirements can be obtained from the universities’ websites.
Applications should be sent preferably via e-mail as one single PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon (MET), 15 October 2018.
For inquiries, please write to email@example.com
General information about the Marie Skłodowska Curie (MSCA) Innovative Training Network programme can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/.
- Candidates applying for a position as ESR in the RE-CITY ITN project submit the required documents and copies of relevant certificates online as PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org. Selection of candidates follows consistent evaluation criteria. The RE-CITY project coordinator provides a first screening of the written applications to check the eligibility of the candidate and forwards the eligible applications to the respective host/main supervisor of the position the candidate is applying for. Host institutions will then check the eligibility of candidates in terms of their specific requirements. A minimum of three applications will be proposed for an interview to the Recruitment Committee (RC).
- The RC together with the host institutions then will conduct interviews via Skype (or similar services) with the proposed candidates. The interview contains an examination of the applicant, and a discussion of the future research.
- The RC together with the respective host will decide on the most suitable candidate based on a shared evaluation and assessment.
The RC comprises of Isabel Breda-Vazquez (RC chair), Karina Pallagst (coordinator of the RE-CITY ITN), Thorsten Wiechmann (Work package lead) and Helen Mulligan (equal opportunities guard of the RE-CITY ITN).
All organisations of the RE-CITY ITN act in line with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers, the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Selection is not affected by gender, race, nationality, physical disabilities, family status or other characteristics irrelevant to the scientific potential of the candidates.
RE-CITY Institutions and PhD Topics
Host institutions (where the ESR will be based most of the time during their 36 months project period): Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK) (coordinating institute), Cambridge Architectural Research (CAR), École Normale Supérieure Paris (ENS), Spatial Foresight (SPF), TU Dortmund University (TUDO), University of Amsterdam (UVA), University of Porto (UPT) Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan (AMU) and University of Guadalajara (UDG).
Training and secondment partners (where the ESR will be located temporarily during the project period): Bertelsmann Foundation (BF), Energy Agency Rhineland-Palatinate (ENA), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) Netherlands Expert Centre on Demographic Change (NEIMED), Kent State University (KS), Fresh Völklingen GmbH (FR) and Nomura Research Institute (NRI).
ESRs individual research topics