Urban and Rural Transformations, Addis Ababa, 2016. © Sascha Delz, ETH Zürich.
Urban and Rural Transformations, Addis Ababa, 2016. © Sascha Delz

About the Programme

The Doctoral programme in Landscape and Urban Studies at the Department of Architecture’s Institute of Landscape and Urban Studies addresses contemporary issues of urban and environmental transformation. Research spans the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, territorial planning and social sciences. Focusing on the production of landscape, territory and human settlements through a range of different scales, from the local to the global, this may include studies in landscape and designed ecologies, design strategies, energy and food production, material stocks and flows, health and socio-economic development.

The doctoral programme seeks to promote a critical discourse, qualitatively and quantitatively addressing pressing environmental and social challenges, and aspires to cultivate independent, inventive, and proactive research that engages with processes of environmental change within their broader cultural, economic, political, social, historical and theoretical context.

The programme is structured as an ongoing collective research, no two semesters are alike and it is recommended that candidates participate in at least two consecutive semesters (starting in the autumn semester, and the following spring semester). Acknowledging that landscapes are integrating socio-economic, infrastructural and ecological aspects, the autumn semester addresses an analytical perspective, which emphasizes social sciences, territorial planning, infrastructure and technology, while the spring semester introduces a design-oriented perspective, emphasizing dialogical, participatory and ecological practices.

Participating Chairs

  • Chair of History and Theory of Urban Design, Prof. Dr. Tom Avermaete
  • Chair of Landscape Architecture, Prof. Dr. Teresa Galí-Izard
  • Chair of Landscape Architecture, Prof. Christophe Girot
  • Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, Prof. Hubert Klumpner
  • Chair of Architecture and Urban Transformation, Prof. Freek Persyn
  • Chair of Sociology, Prof. Dr. Christian Schmid
  • Chair of Architecture and Territorial Planning, Prof. Milica Topalovic
  • Chair of Landscape Architecture, Prof. Günther Vogt

While an overall alignment with the respective chairs’ research agendas and expertise is desirable, the programme is open to candidates who apply with their own research topic. Please do not contact professors directly. Applications have to be addressed at the whole participating faculty and are solely evaluated regarding content.

Qualifications, Employment, and other Criteria

Candidates must hold a Master’s degree acquired at university level (equivalent to the FHEQ-Level 7) in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning or related fields at the date of the submission deadline.

The programme provides funding for three years, successful applicants will be employed 100%, and will receive a doctoral student contract at ETH Zurich with monthly salaries according to the ‘standard rate’. For a detailed calculation of salaries please refer here.

Residency in Zurich during the scholarship is required and adequate proficiency in English is mandatory (spoken and written).

Application Process

The call for the positions in 2021 has closed. Please return to this space in mid-December 2021 for details on how to apply for the next call (start in October 2022).

Application Documents

  • Letter of motivation (1 page).
  • Outline of the future research project (max. 4 pages, + max. 3 illustrations + bibliography).
  • Curriculum vitae (including publications, portfolio, work samples, max. 10 pages).
  • Writing sample in English (1 text, max. 15 pages).
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation independently submitted to this address by either the referees or the candidates concurrently with the application deadline.

Please note that applications missing one of the above listed elements, and/or exceeding the given page numbers, will not be considered.

Further Information

For further questions please contact Evelyne Gordon (administration) or Seppe De Blust (content). Be aware that requests sent to any other email will not be considered.