HRC Living Lab Grants

Improving the outdoor environmental quality of EPFL Lausanne Campus

Source: Avenue Piccard, EPFL © Anna Karla Almeida (2022)


Call for proposals 2022

The Habitat Research Center is very pleased to coordinate a scientific and interdisciplinary platform to reflect on the future of EPFL Campus. With the support of the ENAC Faculty, the HRC Living Lab Grants 2022 encourage EPFL researchers to actively take part in the Campus Living Lab interdisciplinary activities, in the framework of the Campus piéton initiative led by the Vice Presidency for Responsible Transformation (VPT).

Could your lab and scientific expertise bring value to the future development of the EPFL campus outdoor spaces?

The call targets two types of proposals, from thematic considerations informing future outdoor spaces developments in EPFL Campus to concrete applications of innovative solutions. Among others, proposals on climate change adaptation, water management, heat islands, material reuse, soil strategies, or biodiversity enhancement are particularly welcome. The submitted projects may include financial requests of 15’000 CHF, 30’000 CHF or 45’000 CHF. The perimeter including Avenue Piccard and Route des Noyerettes is to be considered as the main and preliminary area for reflection and living lab experimentation.

Deadline April 14, 2022
The call is now closed
Check the results here
But the Campus Living Lab is
now open and still welcoming

Adapting a growing and aging urban figure

With more than 17’000 users and inhabitants, the EPFL Lausanne site constitutes a main urban piece of the West-Lausanne agglomeration, if not the equivalent of a city itself, containing and sharing both local and global issues of urban growth. In the next 10 years, projections announce an increase of more than a quarter of its current community, requiring new infrastructures, hospitalities, mobility strategies, and facilities. These upcoming developments come at a crucial time when both the physical nature of the campus as well as its main guiding principles are getting old, if not outdated. Beyond the need for renovation and concrete spatial adaptations, EPFL urban infrastructures are at a notable turning point that requires profound renewals in terms of visions and logic of development, social and spatial practices, landscape amenities, and general inclusion.

Launched at the beginning of the spring semester of 2022 by the Vice Presidency for responsible Transformation (VPT), the Campus piéton initiative proposes to interrogate such a turning point toward a more sustainable campus, starting by questioning the configuration and coherency of its open spaces. Following the master plan for the EPFL-UNIL sites, such an exploratory project aims to draw up preliminary perspectives on a first perimeter including the Avenue Piccard and the Route des Noyerettes. While a participative and design study mission is being co-animated together with the two ENAC laboratories Atelier de la Conception de l’Espace (Alice) and the Laboratory of Urbanism (Lab-U), the Habitat Research Center (HRC) is also involved in the coordination of the Campus Living Lab.

EPFL Campus as a Living Lab

Through an interactive Forum on March 9, 2022, the Campus piéton project was formally opened, and allowed the Habitat Research Center to launch the Campus Living Lab initiative. Such living laboratory constitutes an open research platform for ongoing or future projects conducted at EPFL related to urbanization and environmental quality. It consists of an interdisciplinary research network questioning the development of outdoor spaces on the EPFL Lausanne campus, intending to redefine their potential role and qualities.

The Campus Living Lab aims to directly involve the local EPFL scientific community, bridging on-site high-level expertise with the investigation of local pragmatic issues. It provides EPFL laboratories with a privileged research framework including a network of involved stakeholders, facilitated interactions with the user community and fruitful interactions with parallel research. Beyond isolated and punctual experimentations, the living laboratory as a whole aspires to influence progressively and durably the morphology of the campus and its future developments.



  • Opening of the call: March 16, 2022 – 18:00
  • Deadline for submission: April 14, 2022 – 12:00
  • Start date: 1 to 4 weeks after the acceptance of the proposal

How to apply

  • Requirement: The application can either involve one or more researchers, affiliated with one or more EPFL laboratories. Applicants should be early-career researchers (i.e. Ph.D., Postdoc, or scientific collaborator) and supported by the respective heads of their host laboratories. The applicants agree in participating in the living lab research platform, coordinated by HRC, which will allow for and support an interdisciplinary approach.
  • Process: Principal Investigators interested in the call are invited to submit a proposal until April 14, 2022 at 12:00. All submitted proposals will be reviewed and received feedback. Successful proposals will be granted, but others might be advised to submit a revised version.
  • Information: Principal Investigators are advised to consult the dedicated web platform for information on the general Campus piéton project. We particularly advise applicants to view the recording of the first information session about the Campus Living Lab initiative provided during the Forum 1 Campus piéton on March 9, 2022. See the Forum 1 ‘General introduction and methodology’ section.
  • Guide and templates: Please read the Guide for Applicants and use the provided templates.


During the whole procedure, the HRC research team is available to accompany projects submission and answer any questions.

[email protected]