PhD scholarship in engineering design education / 4-year fully funded

Uiterste inschrijvingsdatum
Jun 30, 2019 23:59
TW18 - Vakgroep Industriële Systemen en Productontwerp
Wetenschappelijk medewerker groep 1
Type contract
Bepaalde tijd
PhD scholarship in engineering design education / 4-year fully funded
Vacature type
Overig academisch personeel


The Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Product Design at Ghent University (Campus Kortrijk) invites applications for a full-time 4-year position as a doctoral researcher. The PhD scholarship is available in the field of engineering design / industrial / product design at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. The research will lead to the title of Doctor of Industrial Design Engineering Technology. This research is funded by Ghent University under the BOF 2019 Special Research Grant. The PhD position will commence on October 1, 2019. The vacancy will remain open until an appropriate candidate is reached. The PhD student will be working on the research ‘Enhancing engineering design education through peer-assisted learning and technology-enhanced environments’. This multi/inter-disciplinary research aims to examine how peer-to-peer interaction in-class and out-of-class settings with the help of digital/mobile technology can foster learning in the different phases of design thinking (discover-define-develop-deliver). Specifically, the research concerns the examination of methods in peer collaboration (e.g., peer feedback) in blended learning contexts (face-to-face and online). As campus-based higher education institutions will be soon adopting blended learning approaches, technology becomes an invaluable tool of instruction. Technology, as a mediator and supporter of this process, and as a monitor to students’ reflective practices and progress, is seen to have a positive impact on learning for all students including those at risk. Peer learning and use of online/digital/relevant technologies can facilitate group and individual learning. The project includes experimental and mixed methods approach and field-based evidence (in / outside of the university) to explore, define, determine and validate methods of student-centred learning under collaborative settings. The PhD researcher will develop and analyse systems/models of interaction between students in the different stages of design thinking with the help of technology under different learning scenarios (case studies) in order to reveal effective patterns of peer collaboration. The goal of this ‘design for education’ research is to determine how certain factors (i.e., peer-assisted and technology-enhanced learning) and specific modes of student interaction (i.e., peer-to-peer feedback) impact learning throughout the design process. This examination shall provide with a better understanding of what learning is and what learning is or should be in design education for the 21st century.

The project’s broad aims are to understand how technology can:

  • support learners to a more structured progression through the design process / design thinking;
  • enhance competences in and out of the classroom, e.g., collaborative skills, empathic relationships and creativity in engineering design education and practice.


The ideal candidate for the position has the following profile:

  • An MSc degree in Engineering Design, Industrial/Product Design, Engineering Technology, or equivalent (and have obtained their degree before 1 October 2019)
  • Very good knowledge of design thinking; design research
  • Good research skills in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and good knowledge of statistical software
  • Interest in design education and problem-based learning, and open to deepen knowledge in technology-enhanced learning
  • Experience in education, or degree in educational sciences is an asset
  • Excellent level of English, both oral and written (e.g., TOEFL / IELTS grades)
  • Self-motivating, creative, critical and analytical mindset; capable of working in groups and participate in learning projects; capacity for autonomous, structured and in-depth research.

Candidates from outside Belgium are welcome and are expected to move to Belgium (Kortrijk/Ghent) for 4 years. Willingness to learn Dutch is desired. They need to report via the procedure outlined on enrolment procedure.


Candidates are invited to submit their application (in English) by email to by June 30, 2019.

Please include as a subject line: PhD 2019-20 – BOF Grant, send all files as one PDF file (max 10MB) with this filename: EA18_PhD 2019-20_BOF_Your surname.pdf.

The attachment should contain:

  • Cover letter outlining your background, experience and motivation for this position (max. 1 page);
  • CV (max 2 pages) including short bio and contact information of two academic supervisors that may be requested to send a reference, if shortlisted for an interview;
  • Transcript of records of the BSc, MSc, or equivalent;
  • One design work that showcases design thinking (with written explanations) (link to personal website if applicable);
  • One written piece of work (e.g. BA-thesis, MA-thesis, a paper/manuscript submitted for a publication) preferably most relevant to the research proposal

On the basis of these documents, candidates will be selected for an interview (if necessary, interviews can be held via Skype if the applicants live abroad). The interviews are expected to take place in early July 2019. Questions concerning the job description can be directed to

Wages are in accordance with Ghent University indexes, more info here: