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Vacancy: PhD 60 % / teaching assistant (40 %) position

1 May 2017 , Application deadline. Start position: 1 October 2017

Cosmopolis is hiring! We are looking for an excellent graduate in human geography / urban studies for a combined PhD (60 %) and teaching assistant (40 %) position. This is a six-year position.

Vacancy PhD researcher and teaching assistant (6-year position) / Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research / Department of Geography, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Envisioned starting date: 01/10/2017 / Contract duration: 2 years (twice renewable; max. 6 years)

Contact: Prof. Bas van Heur and Prof. David Bassens / Telephone: +32 (0)2 629 3377 and +32 (0)2 629 33 87 / E-mail: and


PhD research (60 %) within the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research ( in the interdisciplinary domain of urban studies. The exact focus of the research topic and approach is open and will be decided by mutual agreement between the selected candidate and the PhD supervisor(s).

Teaching assistance (40 %):

  • Seminar coordination and/or support within the programmes BSc Geography, MSc Geography and the MSc Urban Studies. The candidate will primarily be teaching in the domains of social, political economic and urban geography.
  • Teaching and organisational support for the various excursions offered within these educational programmes;
  • Logistical support for teaching-related activities, such as public lectures and workshops.


MSc Degree in Geography or related discipline (spatial planning, sociology, political science, demography, anthropology, …). The candidate should have knowledge of the research domain of urban studies and be aware of the most important methodological and theoretical approaches within this domain (for example, by having followed course units in her/his previous education or through practical experience). Knowledge of GIS to support students within practical seminars is considered to be an advantage. 

Active knowledge of English is required, since the candidate will be offering teaching support within our English-language Master programmes. Among the possible tasks is also the support of students within the Dutch-language BSc in Geography and active knowledge of Dutch is thus highly recommended. Knowledge of French is considered to be a plus.

How to apply?

 Before 1 May 2017, please send (via e-mail) your CV and motivation letter to:

Prof. Bas van Heur

Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research

Department of Geography

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Pleinlaan 2, B 1050 Brussels


Discuss in your motivation letter your vision on the assignment, your specific research interest and possible PhD focus and the ways in which your interests connect to ongoing research within the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research.

Candidates that have not yet acquired their MSc degree can apply and participate in the selection procedure, but need to offer proof of registration in their MSc programme and need to have complied with all diploma requirements before starting their position at the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.