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Vacatures voor academisch personeel

Doctoral researcher, The emergence of interior architecture in Belgium, 1945-1999

Departement : Faculteit Ontwerpwetenschappen
Regime : Voltijds

The Research Group Henry van de Velde, in the Faculty of Design Sciences is looking for a full-time

Doctoral researcher (100%) for the FWO research project ‘The emergence of interior architecture in Belgium, 1945-1999. Assessing the impact of education on the identity formation of the design discipline


  • You work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the framework of the following FWO research project:

This project takes Belgium as a case study because of its diverse and bilingual educational landscape. The programmes in interior design are rooted in different traditions: the Beaux Arts tradition and the Arts & Crafts. How did interior design evolve in relation to these distinct educational branches? To address this, the project aims to develop detailed genealogies of all interior design courses in Belgium up until 1999, the year of the Bologna Declaration. Furthermore, a new method will be elaborated and refined for assessing the role of education in the identity formation of interior design. This method will also provide a thematic framework for international comparative research.

This FWO research project is a joint initiative of UAntwerpen, represented by prof. Els De Vos, and KU Leuven, represented by prof. Fredie Floré. Both universities are simultaneously hiring a full time doctoral researcher in order to compile a research team.

The PhD student at the University of Antwerp will first and foremost focus on investigating the interior design programmes developed by institutions with roots in the Beaux Arts tradition such as the Royal Academies of Antwerp and Ghent. The PhD student at KU Leuven will investigate the educational programmes in interior design which were developed by Catholic oriented institutions and were inspired by Arts & Crafts legacies. These institutions include for example the former Sint-Lucas schools in Brussels, Ghent and Liège. Some parts of the research project will be done jointly or in collaboration with the supervisors, including part of the literature study, the organization of a workshop and a conference, and the development of several publications


  • In many Western countries, the field of interior architecture is characterised by an on-going identity crisis. The confusion becomes apparent via the diverse nomenclature: interior architecture, interior design and interior decoration. Furthermore, the discipline was often (and still is) perceived as feminine and amateurish. Attempts to correct this image have significantly characterised the professionalisation of interior design since World War II. This is particularly noticeable in the field of education. Contemporary interior design courses are still challenged to define themselves and to address their gendered image. Vocational courses have now achieved academic status, but in which ways did this change the identity of the profession?
  • We are looking for an outstanding candidate (m/f) who is passionate about research and communicative.
  • You hold a Master degree in one of the following fields: interior architecture, architecture, engineering architecture, (art/design) history, heritage or you will have obtained it by the time you start work.
  • You show a strong interest in conducting academic research in the field of interior architecture or interior design.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results, at least cum laude, or you have distinguished yourself in a similar way during your academic career or professional life. Your are able to illustrate your writing skills by means of an article or master thesis.
  • Your teaching competences are in line with the University of Antwerp’s educational vision.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You can work both individually as in a multidisciplinary team.
  • You show a pro-active attitude and research integrity.
  • You are fluent in English, Dutch and French and possesses excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • You write academic publications related to the FWO-project and present research results at international conferences and publishes in international (peer reviewed) journals.
  • You carry out a limited number of teaching and research support tasks for the interior architecture program/Henry van de Velde research group.
  • You are expected to be internationally mobile.

 What we offer

  • We offer a full-time appointment in a doctoral scholarship in a creative and dynamic work environment.
  • Apart from some limited teaching duties and general services for the department, your main assignment consists in carrying out part of the research project – including writing a PhD dissertation – in close interaction with your supervisor prof. Els De Vos, co-supervisor Fredie Floré, and the other PhD researcher involved in the FWO project.
  • You will be appointed for the duration of 1 year, extendable to a maximum of 4 years in total (depending on positive interim evaluations).
  • The planned start date is 1 October 2020.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for contract research staff (Dutch: FWO Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek).
  • You will do most of your work at Campus Mutsaard (Antwerp)
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

  Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform until 5 August 2020. Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: a motivation letter and your CV. Make sure, in your application, to clearly point out why you are the right candidate. Generic applications will not be considered.
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure. Please make a note of the following dates: Thursday 13 August (interview).
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact Els De Vos, mail

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.