PhD Scholarship in Inclusive Design for Urban Reconstruction (UIC-DC2) - REDI(RMIT European Doctoral Innovators) Program

This is a 36-month research position (extendable up to 48 months) based in Spain at UIC.

The position is funded by European Union under the MSCA COFUND Action: RMIT European Doctoral Innovators (REDI) program. The selected Researcher will be enrolled at RMIT University and UIC as a Doctoral Student. 

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REDI is a unique PhD training program offering industry-supported positions with excellent salaries, enviable international experiences including a residential year in Melbourne, Australia and annual workshop weeks in Barcelona, Spain, top-class training as well as networking with academic and industry leaders across 60+ supporting partners.

REDI is looking for one Researcher (with less than 4 years of research experience and not in the possession of a Doctoral Degree yet), who will be closely working with both RMIT University(Australia) and UIC (Spain) on one of the following research projects:


Project 1: Gender-based post-conflict urban reconstruction

Gender shapes how communities, institutions and livelihoods are organized, as such, the project will research on how conflict and migration impact differently men and women. Moreover, a gender perspective is an invaluable tool in the elaboration of design policies and coping strategies that engage with sites and communities disrupted by conflict, especially urban environments. The project will delve into the fact that most recovery is developed by families and local communities, and that in such scenario’s women are major, but usually invisible actors that have a practical knowledge of the functioning of homes and urban needs. In this sense, the objective is to explore existing gender roles in post-conflict communities and include the experiences of women to successfully design long term urban strategies and recovery plans that tackle collective health and well-being.


Project 2: Assessing and measuring the non-shelter impacts of the design of shelter and settlement reconstruction projects 

This project will develop a multi-sectoral evaluation framework for assessing the sustainability and resilience of shelter and settlement and reconstruction projects. This is a key research challenge for non-academic partners; indeed, the entire disaster and displacement sectors has no such integrated assessment method at the present time. Specific objectives are: 

To undertake a meta-analysis of literature on current assessment tools and reviews of the evaluation processes, tools and data sets used by displacement agencies.

To critically assess existing approaches to evaluating shelter and settlement projects (e.g., Arup’s City Resilience Index, WHO Quality of Life Assessment tool) to integrate sustainability and resilience considerations.

To develop criteria and indicators for a comprehensive, both quantitative and qualitative, and community-wide (cf individual person/family) approach to evaluation, and validate the new, but draft, evaluation framework.

To apply the draft framework in post-hoc evaluations of a sample of shelter and settlement and reconstruction projects, and revise the framework in the light of findings

To develop guidelines for the flexible adaptation and use of the evaluation framework in future projects.


Project 3: Community-based design for disaster resilience 

Resilient design is central to climate change adaptation and disaster mitigation as well as to ‘building back better’ after a disaster. Through a multidisciplinary framing, the project will draw upon resilient design principles to investigate how communities can work collaboratively to design and construct disaster resilient landscapes through nature-based solutions and/or in strategies for post-disaster reconstruction that redresses the original sources of vulnerability.

Research Fields: post-conflict, urban reconstruction, gender urbanism, post-disaster, community-based

repair, assessment tools, shelter and settlements


Project 1: The Researcher will be supervised by Dr. Carmen Mendoza Arroyo (UIC), Prof. Esther Charlesworth (RMIT) and Co-Supervisor Dr. Apen Ruiz Martinez (UIC). 

Project 2 and 3: The Researcher will be supervised by Dr. Carmen Mendoza Arroyo (UIC), Prof. Esther Charlesworth (RMIT)

One position valued at up to 24.500 EUR per annum for 3 years full time, with possibility for 12month extension.

The remuneration, in line with the European Commission rules for Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant holders, will consist of a gross annual salary of est. 24.500 EUR  (gross amount before employee's taxes and contributions). Of this amount, the estimated net salary to be perceived by the Researchers est 1629 EUR net per month.  However, the definite amount to be received by the Researcher is subject to national tax legislation.

Benefits include:

  • Holiday leave
  • Sick leave
  • Parental leave
  • 1,000€ yearly travel allowance to cover flights and accommodation to participate in the annual workshop at RMIT Europe in Barcelona (Spain)
  • 10,000€ allowance to cover flights and living expenses for up to 12 months in Australia 

Applications close 19th September 2022

One scholarship available

To apply for REDI, you must comply with the MSCA-COFUND eligibility criteria by the application deadline:  

  • Be in the first four years (Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) research experience of your research career and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. FTE Research Experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate, AND 
  • Not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of your research host for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before this call’s deadline. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention (1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol), compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays is not taken into account. 
  • AND the following criteria:  Hold a master’s OR equivalent degree (for example bachelor’s degree with honours) in a discipline related to the research project of your choice, including a research component that allows you to enrol in a university doctoral programme by January 2023, AND
  • Have evidence of appropriate academic qualifications and/or professional experience demonstrating that the applicant has developed knowledge of the field of study or cognate field and the potential for research sufficient to undertake the chosen project.  AND  
  • Have English level C1 language proficiency. 

In addition to the above, if your application is successful, you will be required to: 

Apply for a student/working visa and residence permit in Spain 

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.