PhD scholarship on Architectural Cognition and Computation

Despite decades of research, psychological theories on how people perceive and use space are rarely utilized in building design. Many psychological theories do not generalize beyond laboratory experiments and are incapable of making realistic predictions for practical design problems.

To bridge this gap, we are recruiting a PhD candidate to work on bringing psychological concepts into architectural software in the form of computational functions predicting, for example: 

  • where occupants might get lost or confused, 
  • whether a specific room will feel more spacious compared to another one, 
  • which wayfinding signs will attract more attention.

This is an interdisciplinary problem at the overlap of geoinformatics (spatial computing), spatial cognition (psychology), and architecture. An ideal candidate will have an MA or MSc degree (or be close to finishing) in one of the above disciplines and experience with one or more of the following techniques:

  • Empirical user studies
  • Virtual Reality
  • Mobile eye-tracking
  • Spatial computation (e.g., trajectory analysis) 
  • Space syntax / isovist theory / other formal methods for analysing building layouts
  • Algorithmic generation of building layouts

The scholarship is 2000 euro / month for 36 months (with an initial contract for 14 months, subject to extension after a positive evaluation in month 12).

Muenster is a cycling-oriented, green, mid-sized city with vibrant student scene and very high quality of life. Our English-speaking Institute for Geoinformatics at the University of Münster is home to 5 research labs, highly international mix of students and employees, and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Intercontinental Dusseldorf airport is reachable with a direct train in 90 min.

If you're interested, please submit:

  • your CV (without picture)
  • cover letter,
  • max. 2-page-long summary of your interest in this research topic
  • degree certificates (Bachelor, Master, or other), including certified transcripts of grades
  • proof of English language proficiency (if available) 

as a single pdf to

If applicable, please highlight concrete examples of your experience with the above-mentioned technique(s).

For questions contact Jun.-Prof. Jakub Krukar:

Submission deadline is December 3rd.
Starting date is flexible but April 1st the latest.

All documents must be provided in either German or English languages, along with certified translations of all official documents. For the E-Mail submission only digital versions are required. Selected candidates will be invited for an online or in-person interview.