KU Leuven

Professor (50%) in the Domain of Urbanism – Addressing 21st-century Urban Crises through Research by Design

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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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(ref. ZAP-2022-33)

In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Research unit P.PUL there is a 50 % academic vacancy (ZAP) in the area of urbanism on the Sint-Lucas Brussels and Ghent campus. We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent interdisciplinary research and design record and with educational competence within the field of research by design in urbanism. The structure of KU Leuven combines faculties and research departments in a multi-campus model. The Faculty of Architecture consists of the academic architecture programmes (interior architecture, architecture, urban design and spatial planning and the educational master) on the Sint-Lucas Brussels and Ghent campuses. The Faculty is responsible for organizing educational activities. It is driven by a consciously assembled diversity of practices and is renowned for its future-oriented education that cultivates a freedom of exploration. There are currently 2400 students, of which ca. 300 are international students. www.arch.kuleuven.be The Department of Architecture is a research department which groups research in the fields of architecture, interior architecture, urbanism and spatial planning of researchers on the Faculty of Architecture (Sint-Lucas Brussels and Ghent campuses) as well as of the Faculty Engineering Sciences (Leuven). The Department is an international centre for expertise in these domains and their research is being led by numerous professors and research groups with over one hundred international doctoral students. www.architectuur.kuleuven.be The research section UULP (Urban Design, Urbanism, Landscape and Planning) within the Department of Architecture of KU Leuven aims, through inter-/transdisciplinary research and a multi-faceted approach, to address the contemporary emergent tensions that arise between architecture as a societal construct and its territorial dimension, and this from a socio-spatial perspective. An essential element in this study is the critical approach to territorial organization as a means of inclusion that transcends traditional understanding of socio-spatial boundaries and configurations. Within the section, the research group P.PUL (Planning for People, Urbanity and Landscape) focuses primarily on sociological, ecological, environmental as well as political aspects of urban planning, and the interaction between society and space are at the very core of its research lines and methodological preferences. It addresses housing, migration, ageing, socio-ecology, the use of open space, and political processes in urban and urbanising contexts. P.PUL critically questions existing socio-spatial concepts and ideas that circulate in society and academia, as well as the position of experts in these domains in relation to other disciplines, authorities, civil society organisations and individuals. The research group has an extensive track record in both fundamental and applied research, and the sourcing and sharing of knowledge from and with societal actors (among which policy makers) are of crucial importance in this endeavour. P.PUL has an extensive international academic network, is an active participant in the public debate and relies on solid connections with connections with companies and non-profit organisations. Besides the affiliated ZAP members, it is a supportive work environment from highly talented PhD and postdoc scholars. http://ppulresearch-kuleuven.be

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You strengthen existing research lines and provide additional expertise in research by design methods and techniques at an urban and regional scale that are useful in urbanism and planning as to tackle the most salient challenges, urban crises, socio-spatial and environmental challenges of our time. The starting point of your research is the role of space in addressing these challenges. Your research explores the conceptions and methodologies of research by design, which might include combinations of research with design, planning, situated interventions, action research etc. 

Your design practice and research interact closely, contribute to the strengthening and anchoring of the design-driven and practice-based research at the Department of Architecture, and bring synergies between practice and academia to the surface. Your professional practice forms an active, continuously evolving breeding ground, that explores critically existing modes of design and research. You contribute, through the integration of research by design methods, to more socially, ecologically, historical and policy-oriented research lines within the Department of Architecture and in an international context. 

You are responsible for the development of a continuum of practice, research and education resulting in output that can be valorized in the respective fields. Participating in shaping an Academic Design Office (ADO) is an important task in this respect. You associate the production of the ADO as research output explicitly to the Department of Architecture, such as prizes, nominations, special realizations and research work in the category ADRO (Artistic and Design-related Research Output). 

You are capable of acquiring competitive funding for fundamental as well as applied research, supervise PhDs with a design approach, and publish at an international level.


You ensure high-quality education within the area of research by design in urbanism and planning, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. You have a strong affinity with the educational format of the studio as a learning environment and have preferably already developed experience in this. You are capable of setting up pedagogical experiments and critical reflection regarding different types of research linking education and practice. You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty and university through the supervision of master theses. 

You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educationalist professionalization offered by the faculty and the university. 

Your teaching task will be determined in consultation and based on your specific profile. You will be responsible, mainly in the master programme in urban design and spatial planning at the Faculty of Architecture, for grounding the design component by academic research and for strengthening the substantive and methodological coherence among the design studios and between the studios and the theoretical courses.


Scientific, social and internal services are also part of your job. 

You stay up-to-date with the fields of urbanism, planning and research by design and take part in public discussions and communication in these fields. 

You are willing to take up coordination tasks and leadership within the Department and Faculty of Architecture, in accordance to the stage of your career.


You have a master’s degree in architecture, urbanism, landscape architecture or a related degree, and a PhD whereby the subject of your doctorate’s thesis was related to the research and educational field of research by design in urbanism and planning.  

If you have recently been admitted to the degree of doctor, it is important that you support your research and growth potential with academic references. If you do not yet hold a doctoral degree yet, you are willing to obtain a PhD within five years after your appointment. 

You are part of an established, active professional design practice with a portfolio of realized projects. You have a strong research and design profile. The quality of your design is proven by your peers through publication of your work in prominent leading journals and books, and eventual awards. International experience is an important advantage.  

You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience in design studio is an advantage. 

You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership capacities within a university context. 

A good command of English is required. KU Leuven provides courses in academic English. 

The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings. Upon fixed tenure, you must have sufficient knowledge of Dutch at CEFR level B2.


We are offering 50 % employment in an intellectually challenging environment. 

KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university is highly inter- and multidisciplinarily focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard we actively work together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provide our students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research. 

You will mainly work at the campus in Ghent, and occasionally at the campuses in Brussels and Leuven. 

If you hold a PhD, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff depending on your record and qualifications: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor. In principle, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of 5 years. After this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as an associate professor. 

If you do not yet hold a doctoral degree, you will be appointed as a visiting professor (50%) until you obtain your doctoral degree at the Faculty of Architecture, with a maximum term of five years. Your appointment to the independent academic staff will only take effect upon obtaining the PhD, under the conditions laid down by the advisory committee of the Faculty of Architecture. 


For more information on the contents of the job, please contact: 

- Prof. dr. Yves Schoonjans, dean of the Faculty of Architecture, mail: yves.schoonjans@kuleuven.be;

- Prof. Dr. Hans Leinfelder, vice dean for education of the Faculty of Architecture, member research group P.PUL, mail: hans.leinfelder@kuleuven.be:

- Prof. dr. Bruno Notteboom, professor in urbanism of the Faculty of Architecture, contact person research section UULP, Department of Architecture, member research group P.PUL, mail: bruno.notteboom@kuleuven.be

For problems with online applying, please contact solliciteren@kuleuven.be.

Add to your application following documents (more information is available on the KU Leuven job site): 

- Your biosketch in which you indicate your added value as an academic for research, education and service to society of your past career and of your future activities (maximum 2 pages); 

- A file on your five most important publications or realizations; 

- An extensive cv including a full publication list and a portfolio of your design projects and other activities relevant for the vacancy; 

- Your research plan with focus on the development of your research line and research team in relation with the colleague-researchers of the entity of employment (maximum 5 pages); 

- Your vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages); 

- Your contribution to society by outreach and public communication on science and technology, internal representation in boards and councils and service activities directly in relation to your developed expertise (maximum 1 page); 

- Your vision on leadership (maximum 1 page). 

KU Leuven places great importance on research integrity and ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity statement upon appointment. 

We ask all documents, with the exception of an extensive CV, be drawn up in English.

You can apply for this job no later than September 29, 2022 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Informatie over de vacature

Professor (50%) in the Domain of Urbanism – Addressing 21st-century Urban Crises through Research by Design
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, België
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
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Over de werkgever

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

De pagina van de werkgever bekijken

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