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PhD student: KU Leuven - Melbourne Joint PhD bei KU Leuven

Exciting opportunities are available for geospatial-oriented students wishing to develop capacity for lifelong learning and professional development in the intersection of academic and policy research. Under the joint project “Governance modelling for sustainable geospatial information management using emerging technologies” two PhD positions are available.


  • PhD project 1:Turning the smart city vision into a reality using Digital Twin and Geospatial modelling: dissecting UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11.

This joint PhD project will be based at The University of Melbourne (UoM) with a minimum 12 month stay at KU Leuven. A smart city is a conceptual global framework. The vision of a smart city is a blend of many associated processes (built environment and natural) in space and time forming a complex system. However, turning this vision into reality demands informed action plans crafted in partnerships across multiple sectors for example, academic scholars aka think tanks and the policy governance people and other associated stakeholders. For further details on PhD project 1, please have a look: https://melkul.research.unimelb.edu.au/2020/10/16/turning-the-smart-city-vision-into-a-reality-using-digital-twin-and-geospatial-modelling-dissecting-uns-sustainable-development-goal-sdg-11/
The promotor of PhD project 1 is Professor Abbas Rajabifard of the University of Melbourne.

  • PhD project 2: Governance modelling of geospatial information management.

This joint PhD project will be based at KU Leuven with a minimum 12 month stay at The University of Melbourne (UoM). The need for governing the management of geospatial information (in terms of roles, responsibilities, structures) is widely recognised as problematic at different administrative levels around the world. Therefore, the main objective of this doctorate research project is to develop and test operational models for governing the management of geospatial information in different countries, regions and areas. Target group of applicants are those who can demonstrate strong expertise in governance (modelling) and have strong interest in geospatial information management.
The promotor of PhD project 2 is Professor Joep Crompvoets of the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.


Candidates have obtained a Master’s degree in geomatics, geographic information science, Applied public policy, public administration science, real estate engineering, geography, information management, Spatial Engineering, Surveying and Spatial Sciences, Resilience Engineering, or a related field. Prior knowledge about the topic is a plus, but not required. Although a range of doctoral research training activities will be provided, the ideal candidate has (1) already obtained a range of scientific research skills (with a quantitative and IT-related bent) and (2) strong competencies in communicating research results (in English) to the scientific community, the broader public, and the policy world. Candidates should have distinguished themselves during their studies; have appropriate communication and social skills; the capacity to work both independently and as part of a team; and have the required programming skills.
All applicants are required to meet the entry requirements for a PhD at both partner universities to be considered for the program. All participants are required to complete 12 months’ residency at the partner institution.


All participants will receive a UoM Graduate Research Scholarship/KU Leuven scholarship when located at Melbourne/Leuven.
Scholarship support will be available for up to 4 years.

KU Leuven scholarship consists of


  • On average €2000 net/month (based on a net salary of a research assistant in which the column of the ‘monthly salary 100%’ is the net income and the column ‘monthly salary 174,1%’ is the gross income per month), based on assessment of individual cases and to be negotiated through the KU Leuven PI.
  • The following insurances: 1) Third Party Liability Insurance, 2) Occupational Accidents Insurance, 3) Travel Insurance during residency at KU Leuven
  • Tuition fee waiver
  • Bench-fee through KU Leuven PI for relevant activities at KU Leuven: € 3720/year (also to be used for the relocation to come to KU Leuven)


For PhD Project 1 you can contact prof. dr. Abbas Rajabifard of the University of Melbourne for more information: abbas.r@unimelb.edu.au
For PhD Project 2 you can contact prof. dr. Joep Crompvoets for more information: joep.crompvoets@kuleuven.be.
Please be aware that you must apply for PhD project 2 via the KU Leuven tool. If you want to apply for PhD project 1 in Melbourne, please go to: https://melkul.research.unimelb.edu.au/

Solliciteren voor deze vacature kan tot en met 03/03/2021 via onze online sollicitatietoepassing
KU Leuven wil een omgeving creëren waarin alle talenten maximaal tot ontplooiing kunnen komen, ongeacht gender, leeftijd, culturele herkomst, nationaliteit of functiebeperking. Hebt u vragen in verband met toegankelijkheid of ondersteuningsmogelijkheden, dan kan u ons contacteren via diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.


  • Sollicitatieprocedure
  • Arbeidsvoorwaarden
  • Loopbaanmogelijkheden


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