Special Scientist for Research

Nicosia, Cyprus
20 Feb 2023
End of advertisement period
31 Mar 2023
Academic Discipline
Arts & Humanities, Architecture
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus

TWIN2EXPAND: Twinning Towards Research Excellence in Evidence-Based Urban Planning and Design

Project Coordinator: Dr. Nadia Charalambous, Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus (UCY), Nicosia, Cyprus

Title: Special Scientist for Research
Positions:     One (1)
Category: Full-time (140 hours per month) 30-months contract
Place of Work: Society and Urban Form lab (SURF), Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus, Nicosia.

The Society and Urban Form lab at the Department Architecture, University of Cyprus (UCY) accepts applications for a Full-Time Special Scientist (140 hours / month). Some travel abroad is required.

Terms of employment:

The duration of employment will be thirty (30) months, starting from 03/07/2023. The monthly gross earnings will be €2,254.13. Employee contributions will be deducted from this amount. The Research Program does not provide for the payment of a “13th salary”. Up to €3,000.00 relocation package is available if the successful candidate is currently residing outside of Cyprus.

Research project

TWIN2EXPAND is a project funded by Horizon Europe and UKRI. It aims to enhance research capacities in evidence-based urban design and planning (EBDP) as a field of critical importance in the R&I of integrated approaches and technologies for effective spatial planning and sustainable urban governance. The project facilitates a partnership among University of Cyprus, three leading institutions in the field (University College London; Chalmers University of Technology; Polytechnic University of Turin) and one pioneering SME practicing EBDP (Space Syntax Limited). By addressing urban sustainability, TWIN2EXPAND will contribute to achieving targets of the Cyprus Smart Specialisation Strategy, the EU Green Deal and the Sustainable Urban Development Goals. The strategic objectives of the project are to enhance research excellence and promote interdisciplinary research and networking in the EBDP field, and to make a broader impact on the scientific community and society.

TWIN2EXPAND embraces the international networking ethos of the SDGs to achieve scientific excellence in the R&I of the built environment, fully embedding it within the quadruple helix by fostering collaboration with local authorities and other stakeholders. It aims to achieve a scientific and integrative approach to urban planning and governance as the entry point into effective transitioning to sustainable development. Focusing on emerging concepts and challenges in the field, the project proposes a generalised conceptual and working model of evidence-based urban design and planning. By embedding open science practices within the project’s activities,

TWIN2EXPAND will make significant contributions to research excellence, scientific advances and societal progress, implementing three pathways to maximise substantive real-world impact:

  • innovative capacity-building in research management and excellence in the EBDP field.
  • co-creation of evidence-based urban design and planning knowledge and
  • emphasis on translation of scientific knowledge to professional practice knowledge.

Role and Responsibilities

The Researcher will work as part of a team comprising the Project Coordinator, a Senior Researcher, a Researcher, project management and administrative staff, and will interact with team members from the partner organisations on a regular basis, both via email and in face-to-face meetings. The role of the Postdoctoral Researcher is to develop and integrate existing spatial models, KPIs and tools focusing on the social-economic impacts of urban interventions. The models will use important indicators for social and economic performance such as centrality, accessibility and density. Furthermore, the Postdoctoral Researcher will compare cities using these models and investigate the use of and challenges with evidence-based urban design and planning (EBDP) in the different planning contexts.

The project addresses the issue of implementation of EBDP in practice, aiming to respond to the research question: what is the applicability of different EBDP methods in different selected planning contexts? By investigating how different projects (case studies) in the UK, Sweden, Italy and Cyprus have implemented EBDP, to what extent, through which tools and with what level of success, the project will reveal the challenges and barriers of EBDP, understanding how different methods best fit different types and scales of projects as well as different planning contexts. The results of the project will include: a comparative analysis of cities and EBDP case studies, including aspects such as data availability and quality, as well as institutional capacity.

Additionally, the Researcher will contribute to research work relating to other components of the project, including reviewing the state-of-the-art of EBDP, developing a conceptual model mapping available tools and methodologies, and where these are commonly applied, and elaborating on the most significant contributions of the wider scientific community to EBDP, especially in relation to their impact towards achieving the SDGs.

The role includes participating in the project’s working group studios on research capability, research excellence and research impact, as well as in training activities aimed at UCY staff. This will require a certain amount of travel (1-3 times per year).


  • Attendance at working groups and trainings
  • Contributing to defining the research methodology
  • Contributing to the project’s evaluation activities
  • Managing the work of the Researcher in collaboration with other senior team members
  • Desk-based research (data collection and analysis)
  • Mapping and spatial analysis (GIS-based, space syntax methodology)
  • Qualitative research (interviews and questionnaires)
  • Fieldwork research (site visits, observations, post-occupancy evaluations)
  • Production of visualisations of research results
  • Writing of reports, scientific papers and non-scientific articles

Qualifications and Skills


  • PhD in Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Planning or related fields (urban studies, data analytics, geography, built environment disciplines). Candidates who have submitted their thesis and have their viva before 30th June 2023 can apply.
  • Experience and deep interest in evidence-based design and planning
  • Excellent English-language skills (both verbal and written); in particular academic writing
  • Excellent communication skills in multi-cultural environments
  • Excellent Microsoft Office skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Excellent skills in QGIS, spatial analysis, space syntax, quantitative data analysis Some experience of conducting qualitative research
  • Experience of working in collaborative research projects Attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to travel abroad for required activities


  • Experience working in a related professional environment
  • Experience of research management and administration Interest in planning systems and frameworks
  • Design software skills (InDesign, Illustrator, AutoCAD or other)
  • Knowledge of another European language of the partners’ countries (Greek, Italian or Swedish)

About University of Cyprus

The University of Cyprus, established in 1989, is a vigorous community of scholars engaged in the generation and diffusion of knowledge. The main objectives of the university are twofold: the promotion of scholarship and education through teaching and research, and the enhancement of the cultural, social and economic development of Cyprus. High-calibre scholarly research is one of the main pillars of development of UCY and has been a central tenant in its mission statement since the University's establishment. In recent years, the University has become internationally recognized as a leading research institution for its contribution to the advancement of science and culture. This recognition has brought the University substantial external research funding as well as a number of highly prestigious chairs of excellence. UCY comprises 9 faculties, 22 departments and 11 research units. The Department of Architecture leading this ESR project, and the department’s research labs, offer expertise on both the design and sustainability of housing as well as on the educational framework needed to address the design of sustainable housing environments, focusing on the synergistic relationships between economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability.

Application and Selection Procedure

Please provide the following information through this form, before the closing date (31 March 2023):

  • personal data (name, address, nationality, countries of residence, academic degrees)
  • letter of motivation (maximum 2 pages)
  • CV in EUROPASS format
  • certificate of English proficiency
  • transcripts of your academic degrees (translated into English, by a sworn translator; including ranking of degree classification) two referees’ letters

Selection process

There will be a two-step selection process:

  1. After reviewing the applications received, the TWIN2EXPAND recruitment committee will make a short list of candidates. Applicants will be selected on their potential for meeting the project and role requirements, academic excellence, organisational skills, their adaptability to work in a multicultural environment and their capacity to conduct research. The same procedure will be followed in all cases to ensure comparable selection.
  2. Interviews will be conducted by project team members (3 members - committee). The interviewers will include the Project Coordinator and the Senior Researcher from UCY and the research work package leader from Chalmers.

Recruitment will be a transparent, open and equal process following the guidelines of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.


Please contact the Project Coordinator:

Dr. Nadia Charalambous (

At least the top three candidates who meet the required qualifications will be invited for an interview.

Candidates will be notified by the entity via email of the outcome of their application.

Having in mind the provisions of the General Regulation for Data Protection of the EU 2016/679 of the European Parliament, the University of Cyprus collects and processes your personal data in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation

The University of Cyprus shall collect and process your personal data according to the provisions of the General Regulation on Personal Data 2016/679 (EU).

The University of Cyprus (UCY) is committed to promoting inclusivity, diversity, and equality, as well as the elimination of all forms of discrimination in order to provide a fair, safe, and pleasant environment for the entire university community, where students and staff members will feel supported both in their professional and personal development, within and beyond their multiple identities. To this end, UCY seeks to create the necessary conditions that will encourage and respect diversity, and ensure dignity both in the workplace and society at large. Moreover, UCY has adopted specific policies to promote equal opportunities, as well as respect and understanding of diversity, while it is committed to promoting and maintaining a working, teaching, and learning environment, free from any form of discrimination, whether direct or indirect.