Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft
Veröffentlicht am: 22.04.2021

PhD student in the research project “Densifying Switzerland” (100%, Zurich, fixed-term)

ETH Zürich, Zürich

Bewerbungsfrist: 17.05.2021

weitere Informationen

The research team “Spatial Development and Urban Policy – SPUR” led by Prof. Dr. David Kaufmann and based at the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development invites applications for a PhD student in the research project “Densifying Switzerland”.

Job description

We are looking for a PhD student who conducts research in the Swiss National Science Foundation funded project “Densifying Switzerland”. The project examines factors that influence the acceptance and democratic support for (urban) densification in Switzerland. Densification is the central paradigm of Swiss spatial planning. Yet, the challenge is to realize densification democratically and without insensifying or creating new socio-economic inequalities.

This research project studies the acceptance and democratic support of densification projects. The focus lies on individual and project-related factors as well as on political instruments such as ancillary planning policies (e.g., inclusionary zoning, rent control, or value capture) and participatory processes. The latter two allow us to examine whether local governments and local planners have options at their disposal to enhance the acceptance and support of densification.

We will collect and analyze survey and observational data. To examine acceptance, we will design and implement large-scale surveys (including survey experiments) of different densification scenarios in all 162 Swiss statistical cities. To analyze democratic support, we will collect and analyze local ballot data about densification projects in all 162 Swiss statistical cities.

Your profile


  1. A Masters degree (or near completion of) in political science, spatial planning, sociology or related social science disciplines
  2. Strong interest and curiosity in urban planning issues and public opinion
  3. Good knowledge of quantitative social science methods and an interest in further developing these methodological skills
  4. Motivation to pursue an academic career
  5. Good active command of English (oral and written) and a good passive command of German and French
  6. Knowledge about the Swiss political system is an asset


Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our ETH job portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. The application should include the following:

  1. Letter of interest
  2. CV
  3. Academic transcripts
  4. Writing sample (e.g. Master thesis or seminar paper)
  5. Contact details of two people willing to serve as a reference (but no recommendation letters are needed)

The selection of candidates will start in mid May 2021. We look forward receiving your online application until May 17, 2021. The starting date for the position is in July 2021 or up on availability.