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Call for Expressions of Interest in Funded PhD Opportunity

Call for Expressions of Interest in Funded PhD Opportunity

The School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy is seeking expressions of interest from prospective PhD students to fill one fully funded PhD studentships in the Planning subject area. A PhD will be funded in the following two broad thematic research areas:

  • Urban design, mobility and spatial justice

About the School

The School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy has an international reputation as a centre of excellence for research and teaching in a multidisciplinary School ranked in the QS top 150. It has established a wide international network of research collaborators, and delivers a dual degree programme with Chang’an University, China. The School’s Faculty have established reputations for both research excellence and the transfer of research to policy impact and maintain an international profile. The School supports a positive research culture for its faculty and researchers through a collaborative and creative research environment

The School invites motivated researchers to apply for one of following fully-funded positions as part of our School’s structured PhD programme under the following thematic/topic areas:

  • Lead supervisor: Dr Caterina Villani
  • A PhD under the lead supervision of Dr Caterina Villani, Assistant Professor in Urban and Regional Planning. Relevant research topics engage with current spatial justice debates (in the distributive, procedural and recognition dimensions) and include, but are not limited to:

  • Experimental urban interventions addressing transport or mobility (including planning processes and governance)
  • Migrant urbanisms and commoning practices (including mobility, recreation, care, food landscape)
  • Multispecies urbanism, public space and planning Proposals focusing on understudied geographical contexts are welcome. Knowledge of the language of the proposed fieldwork area is an asset. More information about Dr Caterina Villani’s research interests and publications can be found at:

Eligibility Criteria:

Candidates must, at a minimum, satisfy the entry requirements for the PhD degree at UCD which includes the UCD Minimum Language Requirements. We particularly encourage applications from candidates that possess these additional qualifications:

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. urban planning, urban design, environmental policy, law, geography, or any cognate field);
  • Demonstrable motivation to conduct policy-relevant research;
  • Relevant research and/or other research experience;
  • A desire to develop an international research profile;
  • Strong organisational, writing, presentation and other communication skills;
  • The ability to work independently, as well as in a team, under pressure, respect deadlines, and produce quality work;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.

Scholarship Terms:

The benefits of the PhD scholarship include:

  • A tax-free stipend of €18k per annum for four years subject to performance;
  • Funding support for research costs and travel to conferences and workshops;
  • Waived tuition fees for EU or Non-EU students;
  • UCD career building and networking opportunities.

Note: The PhD scholarship shall begin no later than May 2024. Scholars will be based at the UCD Campus. UCD reserves the right not to fill any position. The University may also decide to change the topic area(s) of the research.

Application Procedure:

The candidate will be selected on the basis of the quality of the application, expertise, work experience, and qualifications. An expression of interest should be lodged containing the following documents (in English) in a single PDF and sent by email to

  • A cover letter explaining how the candidate’s profile matches the above criteria (max 2 pages);
  • An outline of an initial research proposal for PhD research related to one of the above topics (max 3 pages);
  • A current CV;
  • A scan of transcripts/diplomas;
  • Evidence of English language competency (see UCD’s list of accepted certificates or equivalent proof);
  • Details of two referees (name, affiliation, position and contact details including email).

Closing Date for Applications: 5pm, 15th January 2024

    The review of applications will begin immediately after the closing date and shortlisted candidates will be asked to appear for an online interview. Shortlisted candidates may also be asked to submit a small sample of their work (e.g., a published paper, dissertation or master’s thesis, major original essay etc.)

    Informal enquiries: or and topic specific:

    These PhDs are being funded through the Chang’an-Dublin International College (CDIC) of Transportation, founded in 2020, as a joint international college established in collaboration between University College Dublin (UCD) and Chang’an University (CHD). There may be opportunities to travel to Chang’an University in Xi’an, China, and successful candidates may be expected to travel with their supervisor, if requested. The cost of this travel expense will be covered by the School.