ENAC – Two PhD positions – Migration and Urban Demography in the Global South

Two fully-funded 4-year PhD positions in the Laboratory of Urban Demography (URBDEMO) at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

We are looking for talented Master’s graduates with a strong interest in urban demography and related interdisciplinary issues, and with high potential to improve our understanding of the patterns, drivers and consequences of migration in the Global South.

These highly motivated PhD students will have a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of EPFL’s new Laboratory URBDEMO within EPFL’s leading School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) and an international network of population researchers working on cutting-edge scientific topics.

The successful candidates will work on the project “Migration in cities of the global South: trends, interactions and socioeconomic consequences” (MIC), led by PI Mathias Lerch. This project aims to provide a consistent and internationally comparative assessment of the dynamics in internal and international migrations over the socioeconomic development process in a large number of cities located in low- and middle income countries spanning all developing regions.

The PhD thesis will be presented in English in the form of a compendium of several short scientific articles. The selected candidates will have to apply to the EDAR doctoral program of EPFL (more information will be provided later in the selection process).

Your profile:

  • Strong interest in urban demography, migration studies, and internationally comparative research
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with the members of the MIC team, to engage actively in URDEMO’s research environment and to interact with other scientific fields at EPFL
  • Ability to perform independent research and scientific reporting
  • Excellent quantitative analysis skills; eager to learn and master more advanced techniques of statistical and/or spatial analysis
  • An interest in programming, and experience working with large individual-level datasets using the statistical program R (especially base R)
  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field (awarded by end of June 2022 at the latest), with excellent results for theoretical as well as methodological courses. Applications from students with a background in demography/population studies, quantitative geography/sociology, migration studies or development economics are particularly welcomed.
  • Interest in contributing to URBDEMO’s teaching activities and the mentoring of students
  • Proficient oral and written English skills, as well as an interest to learn French

We offer:

  • An initial full-time (41 hours per week), fixed term employment contract for one year, with the possibility of extension up to four years subject to positive evaluation
  • A competitive salary (CHF 52,000-55,000/year)
  • Coverage of conference participation costs
  • A world-class, dynamic and inspiring local scientific community and an international network of top population scientists

For additional question about the position, please contact Mathias Lerch ([email protected]).

How to apply:

To apply, please send the following application documents in one single pdf-file:

  1. A letter of interest (max. 2 pages), in which you also outline your PhD project
  2. An updated CV
  3. Contact details of 3 reference persons
  4. Scans of your diplomas and grades from all academic institutions of higher education (after and not including high-school) listed in your CV. If you do not yet have your Master’s diploma, please send a certificate issued by your current institution of higher education that confirms your enrollment in a Master’s program)
  5. Copy of your passport or official identity document
  6. A sample of your published work (if available), Master’s thesis or semester project

Your application will only be considered if these documents are appended in one single pdf-file in the above stated order.

Please send your application documents to [email protected]. Applications will be accepted until the two positions are filled and review of applications will begin on December 13, 2021.

Starting date: no later than July 1, 2022.