PhD Studentship: Egohoods, Spatial Inequalities, & Neighbourhood Effects

Delft University of Technology - Department of Architecture & the Built Environment

Architecture & the Built Environment
Since its foundation 110 years ago, the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment has built up a solid international reputation for training architects, urban planners and designers, as well as for its research portfolio and coaching of PhD candidates. With around 2600 students and 500 staff members, with around 230 FTEs devoted to academic positions, our faculty is one of the largest of Delft University of Technology and one of the most prestigious architecture and the built environment faculties globally. Traditionally, the faculty has prioritised high-quality training in design and research in the field of the built environment. Over 40 chairs cover a wide range of academic areas in design, process and technology, which together cover the entire field of the built environment. The faculty has a budget of around €38 million, of which approximately €7 million is sourced indirectly and from contracts with third parties.

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.

Job description
This is a full-time, 4-year PhD researcher position within the interdisciplinary and international Urban and Neighbourhood Change research group led by Prof. Maarten van Ham. The PhD researcher will work under the supervision of Prof. van Ham and Dr. Heleen Janssen (RELOCAL project) in the ERC-funded research project DEPRIVEDHOODS: Socio-spatial inequality, deprived neighbourhoods, and neighbourhood effects. The main objective of this PhD position is to assess how spatial inequalities at different geographical scales affect individuals' outcomes throughout their lifetime. Where most studies of neighbourhood effects use standard administrative neighbourhoods, this study will use bespoke individual neighbourhoods at various scales and derived using different methods. Next, this study will use these multi-scale egohoods to model how spatial inequalities affect a variety of individuals' outcomes throughout their lifetime; for example poverty vs. wealth, (un)employment, educational attainment, and delinquent behaviour. The project will use large, individual-level, geo-coded, longitudinal register data for the full population of the Netherlands (and possibly Sweden) combined with survey data. The PhD researcher will work on a PhD thesis based on co-authored peer-reviewed publications with the supervisors and international collaborators. Main tasks: performing a literature review, setting up and executing research within the scope of the project proposal, data preparation and analysis, writing papers, and taking courses in the Graduate School of the Faculty.

The candidate holds a Master degree in a spatially aware social science (geography, demography, sociology, criminology, economics). The candidate has strong quantitative research skills and experience in using advanced statistical techniques in Stata (or similar) and preferably experience with analysing large (longitudinal) data sets. Familiarity with spatial data analysis and the use of geographic information systems (e.g. ArcGIS) is preferred. The candidate is willing to travel, has an excellent command of spoken and written English. A willingness to work in a team, good communication skills, excellent study results, and academic writing skills are regarded as assets.

Conditions of employment
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 for more information.

Information and application
For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Maarten van Ham, phone: +31 (0)15-2782782, e-mail: 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, When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number BK2017-18.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.