PhD (f/m) Ghent University

Overview of the position We are looking for a PhD student who will join the Social and Economic Geography (SEG) research group at the Geography Department of Ghent University. The appointed PhD student will work on the project titled “The happy commuter. A life-oriented approach of commuting satisfaction”, funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and supervised by prof. Frank Witlox and dr. Jonas De Vos. This PhD position is part of a joint project together with the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), where dr. Veronique Van Acker supervises the project. We 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 In order to understand commuting satisfaction and how it changes over time, this project will use a life-oriented approach. This approach is based on a life course research design of mobility behaviour while also paying attention to the interaction with other life domains such as residential environment, employment and time use. Such a longitudinal research design adds a dynamic layer to the presentlydominant static interpretation of commuting satisfaction. The project will evaluate the interaction between commuting satisfaction and the decision to move to another residential location or to change workplaces.

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, but not a requirement
  • 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 net monthly salary is € 1897.76 minimum (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 motivation letter and CV (in PDF) to prof. Frank Witlox ( and dr. Jonas De Vos ( by January 31th, 2019. The appointed PhD student is expected to start April 2019.

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