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PhD Scholarship 'Mobility'

Category:  PhD

1 - Working at the VUB

For already 50 years, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has stood for freedom, equality and connectedness. These values are strongly present on our campuses, in our students as well as our staff. At the VUB, you’ll find a diverse collection of personalities: pure innovators and especially people who are 100% their authentic selves. With about 3.500 employees, we are the largest Flemish-speaking employer in Brussels, an international city with which we are all too happy to be connected, and around which our four campuses are located.


Our education and research are grounded in the principles of free research with an eye on human progress. We disapprove of every purely authoritative argument and guarantee the free formation of judgement that is necessary for this basic principle to be incorporated in the community.


The VUB is autonomous and managed democratically. As such, we guarantee fundamental freedoms within our university, as well as the right of the university community to be involved in making and checking university policy.


The mission of the university includes:

  • the development, the transfer and the application of high-standing academic education and scientific research, free from any prejudice;
  • community integration of this in a spirit of social compassion;
  • critical development of everyone in light of the responsibilities borne in the community.

2 - Position description

The Faculty Social Sciences & Solvay Business School, Department Business Technology and Operations, is looking for a PhD-student with a doctoral grant


More concretely your work package, for the preparation of a doctorate, contains: 

  • As a member of the Mobility, Logistics and Automotive Technology Research Centre (MOBI) you will contribute to interdisciplinary research in the domains of transport, sustainability and socio-economic assessment;
  • The goal is to complete a PhD based on the different research projects in which you will have been involved;
  • You will contribute to the ongoing JPI Urban Europe research project Smart Mobility Hubs as Game Changers in Transport (Smarthubs)  ( that examines mobility hubs, dedicated on-street locations where citizens can choose from different shared and sustainable mobility options. The main objective is to assess if a co-designed, user-centric development can enable mobility hubs to act as a game changer towards inclusive sustainable urban mobility and accessibility. In the living lab in Anderlecht (Brussels Region), the project will demonstrate the Smarthubs co-creation process for mobility hubs and appraise the feasibility and potential impact of such mobility hubs and co-create the first neighbourhood-level prototype mobility hub with key stakeholders (citizens, businesses, transport operators, municipalities, etc.) with specific focus on vulnerable-to-exclusion persons (ethnic minorities, low-income, low-educated) as well as digital inclusion; 
  • You will carry out academic research in the domains of mobility and socio-economic assessment; 
  • You will contribute to the implementation of the Smarthubs living lab in Anderlecht by organising and implementing the co-creation process, liaising with local stakeholders and citizens through interviews and workshops; 
  • You will contribute to other Smarthubs tasks such as the development of key performance indicators, a co-creation approach and policy recommendations; 
  • You will assist the project manager (senior researcher and the team leader) in project management activities such as project reporting, organisation of workshops and conferences; 
  • You will write research reports and valorise research results in popular and academic publications; 
  • You will present research results at workshops and conferences; 
  • You will contribute to public dissemination activities; 
  • You will supervise master thesis students; 


For this function, our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Elsene) will serve as your home base. 

3 - Profile

What do we expect from you?


  • You've attained a Master’s Degree in Transportation, Transport Planning, Urban planning, Urban studies, Economics, Geography, Management, Commercial engineer (Handelsingenieur), Political science, Sustainable Development, Sociology or related discipline; 


  • You have interest in mobility and socio-economic assessments; 
  • You have strong oral and written communication skills in English and French; 
  • A good knowledge of Dutch is an advantage; 
  • You have the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of partners; 
  • You have good time management and planning skills, with the ability to meet tight deadlines and work effectively under pressure; 
  • You have good knowledge of Microsoft Excel and other Office applications; 
  • Additional values are:
    • Good qualitative research skills; 
    • Knowledge of SPSS and GIS software; 


  • You have not performed any works in the execution of a mandate as an assistant, paid from operating resources, over a total (cumulated) period of more than 12 months.

4 - Offer

Are you going to be our new colleague?


You’ll be offered a full-time PhD-scholarship, for 12 months (extendable up to max. 48 months, on condition of the positive evaluation of the PhD activities), with planned starting date 15/09/2021


You’ll receive a grant linked to one of the scales set by the government.


IMPORTANT: The effective result of the doctorate scholarship is subject to the condition precedent of your enrolment as a doctorate student at the university.


At the VUB, you’re guaranteed an open, involved and diverse workplace where you are offered opportunities to (further) build on your career.


As well as this, you’ll enjoy various benefits:

  • Full reimbursement for your home-work commute with public transport according to VUB-policy, or compensation if you come by bike;
  • Cost-free hospitalisation insurance;
  • The space to form your job content and continuously learn via VUB LRN;
  • Excellent facilities for sport and exercise;
  • Ecocheques;
  • Delicious meals at attractive prices in our campus restaurants;
  • An open, family-friendly work environment where attention is paid to work-life balance, and exceptional holiday arrangements with 35 days of leave (based on a fulltime contract). 

5 - Interested?

Is this the job you’ve been dreaming of?


Send us ONLINE and at latest on 28/07/2021:

  • your CV;
  • your letter of motivation (max. 500 words) expressing your specific interest in working at MOBI and pursuing a PhD;
  • a sample of a publication or report, in English, that you had substantial contribution to (e.g. Master’s thesis); 
  • the contact details of two references;
  • the highest degree you’ve attained (not applicable for VUB alumni).


Do you have questions about the job content? Contact Prof. Dr. Imre Keseru, deputy co-director at or on +32 (02)6148323.


Would you like to know what it’s like to work at the VUB? Go to and find all there is to know about our campuses, benefits, strategic goals and your future colleagues.


You can contact the person mentioned in the job description.