12 January, 2022

PhD-Student wanted: Ghent University, Belgium, Dept. of Geography

Overview of the position

Colleagues @UGhent are looking for a PhD student who will join the Social and Economic Geography (SEG) research group at the Geography Department of Ghent University, Belgium. The appointed PhD student will work on the project titled “The effect of teleworking on travel and well-being”, funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and supervised by prof. Frank Witlox (Ghent University) and assoc. prof. Jonas De Vos (University College London). They are seeking a candidate for a 4-year term. At Ghent University the PhD student will work at one of the leading universities in Western Europe. The SEG research group has conducted high-quality research on travel behaviour over the past years, collaborating intensively with experts in the field from universities abroad. 

Project summary

The current COVID-19 pandemic is likely to trigger more teleworking for a substantial share of employees in the coming years. However, existing studies have not yet come to a consensus on whether or not teleworking results in less overall travel, since fewer commute trips may be compensated for by more or longer trips for other purposes or even by workers relocating farther away from their work. Additionally, no studies have yet analysed the nature or extent of how people may change their daily time use and how not commuting may influence their subjective well-being. 
The proposed study has four core objectives: 1. To determine the relationship of teleworking with commuting patterns and the residential location; 2. To analyse the nature and extent of the effect of teleworking on workers’ activity-travel behaviour; 3. To evaluate the impacts of teleworking on the subjective well-being of workers; 4. To create a new comprehensive framework for the relationships between teleworking, and (changing) travel patterns, activity participation and well-being.

Required qualifications

- MSc degree in Geography (and broader social sciences), Spatial planning, Transport planning/engineering, or related field - Excellent written and oral communication in English - Knowledge of Dutch is an asset - Knowledge of statistical analyses (e.g., SPSS, AMOS), and GIS applications and techniques are an asset - Familiarity with travel behaviour literature is an asset Conditions of employment We offer a full-time position (38 hours/week) for a period of four years (2 + 2 years). The minimum net monthly salary is € 2.116,90 (depending on experience) + benefits. Employees of Ghent University have 39 days of (paid) leave per year. The PhD student will have office space at Ghent University’s campus “Sterre”. Ghent University is an equal employer institute.

Application instructions 

All individuals interested in this position must submit a short motivation letter, CV, and MSc academic transcript (in one PDF file, named “Last name_First name_FWO”) to prof. Frank Witlox (frank.witlox@ugent.be) and assoc. prof. Jonas De Vos (jonas.devos@ucl.ac.uk) by February 4th, 2022. The appointed PhD student is expected to start around April-May 2022.

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