KU Leuven

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PhD position in Geography and Tourism hos KU Leuven

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Within the division of Geography and Tourism at KU Leuven, a PhD position is available to conduct research on cultural tourism and sustainable destination development. The PhD project will be positioned in priority area 3 – Tourism – of the research priority areas of the division, with a strong focus on opportunities and limitations of tourism-led growth, supporting transitions away from mass tourism developments. Research methods are of both qualitative (focus groups, living laboratories) and quantitative (econometrics, spatial modelling) nature.


  • Identifying carrying capacity limits and triggers of overtourism in urban, peri-urban and rural destinations, at various stages of development;
  • Studying novel forms of cultural tourism development, in terms of changing destination development strategies and demand trends;
  • Developing instruments to support community-led development, particularly in creative (cultural) tourism, and studying its potential to improve destination sustainability.

You will also contribute to the various master’s programs supported by members of the Division (Tourism, Sustainable Development, Geography). This may include assisting in the organization of field trips and/or teaching activities (e.g. supervision of seminars or assignments) as well as contributing to organizational aspects such as exam supervision.


We are looking for candidates that have (or are about to finish) a Master’s degree in Geography, Tourism, Economics, Sustainable Development or equivalent. In any case, proven affinity for tourism related issues issue is definitely a plus.

  • Do you want to help shape a more sustainable tourism sector with benefits for local communities?
  • Are you motivated to acquire scientific knowledge? Are you a good communicator and coordinator?
  • Did you obtain excellent grades during your studies?
  • Do you like to work in astimulating and inspiring environment?
  • Are you keen to develop your personal skills that you will need to further develop your career?
  • Are you willing to help in applying for funding to finance your research?

If the answer to these questions is yes, we invite you to apply for the position.


  • We offer PhD scholarship for initially one year in the division of Geography and Tourism, which can be extended up to a maximum of four years.
  • We expect that the PhD-candidate applies for FWO-funding (or similar funding schemes) within the first two years.


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