PhD 6 graduate, 2 postdoc, 3 visiting fellowships at TU Darmstadt, Germany from 2013. Deadlines: 7.12.2012

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The interdisciplinary graduate program “Topology of Technology” at the TU Darmstadt, one of Germany’s leading Universities of Technology (near Frankfurt), announces up to six doctoral fellowships, starting April 1, 2013, and running for a maximum of 3 years. Furthermore the graduate program announces one postdoc fellowship (2 years) and three visiting fellowships (for a three-month period in 2013).

The program is organized by professors from the disciplines of history, sociology, philosophy, mechanical engineering, computer science, sports science, and planning. It focuses on the relationship between technology and space – at present, in history, and in a possible future.

One of the doctoral fellowships or the postdoctoral fellowship focuses on the field of spatial and infrastructure planning. Potential applicants in this field are expected to do research on the co-evolution of cities and socio-technical systems (energy, water, sanitation, waste, telecommunication, transport) and their sustainable planning and design in an international perspective. For the doctoral fellowship critical studies on the constitution of “smart cities” or “smart energy cities” are of particular interest. Relevant questions include:

  • Which are their underlying conceptual assumptions and contradictions of smart spaces?
  • How are “smart cities” organized in different spatial and institutional contexts?
  • Which are the socio-technical, socio-spatial and ecological impacts of this restructuring of cities and infrastructures?
  • How does the transition towards “smart places” shape the political and economic power relations in cities?
  • Which institutional and technological innovations are required and which are the challenges for urban policy and planning?


We welcome applications from young scholars with a university-level master’s or doctoral degree in planning, human geography, social sciences, environmental studies, civil engineering, or a related field of study with an interest in working in an interdisciplinary context. For additional information on the fellowship please contact Jochen Monstadt by mail (j.monstadt@iwar.tu-darmstadt.de).

Since course work and seminars are carried out in both German and English, it is expected that applicants are willing to learn to read and understand spoken German. Fellows are also expected to work together in our common office downtown Darmstadt and thus need to take up their residence in the city or in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region. The visiting fellowships are offered to graduate candidates or recent PhDs interested in intensifying their own work on the relationship between technology and space during a three-month stay in Darmstadt. Applicants are asked to indicate in what way they expect to profit from intensified contacts with our graduate program.

Applications are only accepted in electronic form. They should include (1) a CV, (2) copies of academic diplomas (containing details of language skills), (3) a short description (max. 5 pages) of the planned doctoral dissertation or postdoc project, as well as (4) the names and addresses of two university professors who are willing to act as reference persons (please merge the documents into one single file, max. 6 MB in PDF format). Please send your application no later than December 7, 2012 to topologie@ifs.tu-darmstadt.de. Please make sure that it includes a personally formulated explanation why you are particularly interested in the topic of the program and to which thematic focus your research will, in the first instance, contribute. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact one of the directors: Petra Gehring (gehring@phil.tu-darmstadt.de) or Mikael Hård (hard@ifs.tu-darmstadt.de).

For more information about the research and teaching program please visit: http://www.ifs.tu-darmstadt.de/index.php?id=1921&L=2

The program (GRK 1343) is primarily financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG; see: http://www.dfg.de). Monthly stipends range between € 1,468 and € 1,570 (parents receive additional child allowances). There are no tax reductions or tuition fees; however, fellows have to finance their own health insurance.