Researcher Urban Sustainability Transitions

Researcher Urban Sustainability Transitions

Published Deadline Location
23 Feb 23 Mar Delft

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Do you want to do research on urban sustainability transitions and support cities in experimentation with innovative solutions to promote carbon neutrality? Apply for a fully funded research position.

Job description

We are inviting applications for a position of a researcher in the Department of Urbanism.

The researcher will join an interdisciplinary team of spatial planners and urban designers. The main task for the researcher is to contribute to work on Urban Planning and Design ready for 2030 (UP2030) Horizon Europe project. By leveraging urban planning and design, UP2030’s overall objective is to support cities in driving the socio-technical transitions required to meet their climate neutrality targets, helping city stakeholders and local authorities put neutrality on the map of their communities in day-to-day actions and strategic decisions. UP2030 will support mainstreaming the climate neutrality agenda using urban planning and design as a vehicle for also enhancing the liveability of urban communities. The emphasis on liveability will connect the urban planning and design approaches to the provision of multiple socio-environmental benefits and pursuit of spatial justice, foremost at a neighbourhood scale. The project will focus on a group of pilot cities to 1) engage stakeholders to map their needs and develop visions for transitions; 2) develop climate neutrality implementation roadmaps, including selection of packages of tools and methods for experimental actions to be tested in neighbourhoods; 3) up-skill and upgrade capacities for urban planning and design transformation pathways; 4) upscale the solutions tested for a city-wide impact; and 5) promote the international uptake of those. The researcher recruited with this vacancy will mostly focus on the second, that is, collecting, classifying and helping pilot cities choose and apply participation tools for supporting transitions, and exploring how these different types of tools work together. The researcher will also contribute to formulating policy recommendations and strategies for the pilot cities.

The TU Delft team leads the work package dedicated to up-skilling and enhancing the cities stakeholder ecosystem by engaging them in the co-design, co-development of tools, methods, and processes that will support the implementation roadmaps of the transformative pathways towards carbon neutrality. This will entail identifying and operationalising packages of tools for that purpose, that include digital twins of urban environments for energy transition and greenhouse gasses emissions mitigation, cross-cutting digital tools assisting planning and design, and tools and methods that can be applied to drive local democratic processes and promote just sustainability transitions. In addition, our team will be engaged in vision-making and coordination of the work on the pilots in Rio de Janeiro and Rotterdam.

The researcher will contribute to this work through desk research, data analysis and processing of information. He/she will also be involved in drafting of the relevant deliverables and engage in collaboration with the project partners in research institutions, companies and municipal governments. The researcher will also offer organisational support to the TU Delft team in management of the said work package and in execution of other project tasks (e.g. contribution to organisation of activities at meetings, liaison with stakeholders in the case study areas).

The project will entail working across disciplines and sectors, with academic partners the fields of urban planning and design, environmental sciences, civil engineering, public policy, and with civil society organisations, companies and public authorities. The researcher will thus need to be open to and ideally experienced in such cross-disciplinary cooperation. The researcher is also expected to co-author academic publications building on the project.



Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


The candidate has:

  • Expertise in spatial planning and/or urban design (necessary).
  • Relevant knowledge on urban sustainability transitions and tools to facilitate and manage those transitions (e.g. digital modeling tools, participatory tools, planning tools, ability to conduct governance analysis).
  • A strong interest in urban sustainability and its socio-spatial dimension, with a focus on spatial justice.
  • A Master degree, proven research experience or a PhD degree in spatial planning, urban studies, urban design, or another relevant discipline concerned with urban sustainability.
  • Experience in interdisciplinary work combining knowledge from the above listed fields and/or disciplines that are relevant for the projects mentioned.
  • Experience in qualitative research methods, co-creation activities (e.g. living labs or urban design workshops), and qualitative data analysis methods (ideally using data analysis software like Atlas.ti or Nvivo).
  • Excellent presentation, communication and networking skills.
  • Willingness to work within international research teams.
  • Very good writing skills, as demonstrated by peer-reviewed academic publications or by other relevant writing experience (e.g. policy reports).
  • Proficiency in the written and spoken use of the English language (knowledge of Dutch and/or Portuguese would also be an asset).
  • Availability to work full time for 12 months or up to 24 months on a parttime/fulltime basis, starting in April 2023. 

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 12 - 24 months.

The employment contract is for 12 - 24 months for 24 - 40 hours per week.

A salary based on scale 10 of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities with a minimum minimum of € 2.960,- and a maximum of € 4.670,- gross per month based on a fulltime contract, plus 8% holiday allowance and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Architecture & the Built Environment

The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment has a leading role in education and research worldwide. The driving force behind the faculty’s success is its robust research profile combined with the energy and creativity of its student body and academic community. It is buzzing with energy from early in the morning until late at night, with four thousand people studying, working, designing, conducting research and acquiring and disseminating knowledge. Our faculty has a strong focus on 'design-oriented research’, which has given it a top position in world rankings.

Staff and students are working to improve the built environment with the help of a broad set of disciplines, including architectural design, urban planning, building technology, social sciences, process management, and geo-information science. The faculty works closely with other faculties, universities, private parties, and the public sector, and has an extensive network in the Netherlands as well as internationally.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Engineering
  • 24—40 hours per week
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03554


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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