Post-Doctoral researcher in Architectural Cognition in Practice

100%, Singapore, fixed-term

The centre currently runs several research programmes with the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) as one of the programmes. It is home to a community of over 100 PhD, postdoctoral and Professorial researchers working on diverse themes related to sustainable cities and resilient infrastructure systems. In the course of their work, researchers actively collaborate with universities, research institutes, industry, and government agencies to offer practical solutions.

Project background

The Architectural Cognition in Practice (ACP) research group, within Future Cities Lab  Global, Singapore-ETH Centre, aims to improve how architects conceptualise the end-users in the architectural and urban design process, by providing empirical knowledge and evaluation methods from the multidisciplinary field of Architectural Cognition. The project integrates a range of research techniques and methods from cognitive and behavioural science, implementation science, computer science, as well as from architectural research; these include, among others, behavioural mapping, eye-tracking, space syntax and others.

Through this approach the project aims to:

  • increase our understanding of person-environment interactions, including the cognition, decision making in and experience of complex spaces by diverse user-groups;
  • study movement through buildings and neighbourhoods, i.e. pedestrian activity, wayfinding, exploration and search for destinations; and
  • equip design teams in the building industry (i.e., planners, designers, authorities, and stakeholders) with conceptual and computational tools to apply this knowledge and better anticipate user needs in the built environment. 

Job description

The Post-Doctoral Researcher’s primary responsibility will be to carry out world-class research broadly within the group’s domain of interest and publishing in the top-tier international venues. As part of this responsibility, the postdoctoral researcher will co-supervise and work closely with PhD students, undergraduate and masters students within the group. Furthermore, due to the nature of the project, the postdoctoral researcher is expected to engage in external collaborations with both academic and industry partners at other institutions; promising collaborations with top external colleagues will be encouraged.

Furthermore, a strong involvement is expected in the coordination and management of various other research aspects of the group's activities and projects, potentially including:

  • Helping to explore and define new research opportunities for the group
  • Writing grant proposals and technical reports for funded projects
  • Organisation of conferences and seminars within and beyond ETH
  • Assisting in the coordination of collaborative research projects
  • Participating in the evaluation and hiring of new group members
  • Participation in teaching and outreach activities is optional but possible if desired

Your profile

  • PhD degree in Cognitive Psychology, Architectural Science or a closely-related field, with a strong publication track record in quantitative model-based analysis (in the case of Postdoc, PhD near to completion may be considered);
  • Strong research background in at least one and ideally several: spatial cognition, wayfinding, behavioural science, geoinformatics, or user-experience;
  • Track-record of experiment design and conducting spatial cognition research, and in particular wayfinding experiments in both real-world and virtual environments;
  • Experience in translational research / teaching between Cognitive Psychology and Architectural Practice.
  • High motivation, ambition and enthusiasm about behavioural research, an analytical mindset, attention to detail, self-driven, and ability to work independently and as a research team member.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a desire to develop advising skills and help foster the next generation of researchers
  • Outstanding communication skills in English, both oral and written.
  • Desirable skills include: (i) Knowledge of statistics, with emphasis in R, Python and open-science frameworks; (ii) use of virtual-reality for research.

Your workplace

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents: 

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) including educational history, full list of publications, awards, etc
  • Research statement of approx. 2 pages covering your interests, goals, and how they would relate to and fit in with the ACP group’s research domain and activities
  • Copy of your more relevant publication (contact us if manuscript is still in progress)
  • Portfolio (if coming from a design-related discipline)
  • Names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of at least three references, mentioning for each of them the professional relationship you have with them

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Future Cities Laboratory can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr Panos Mavros.

Application closes on 30 Sep 2022.


Singapore-ETH Centre

The Singapore-ETH Centre provides a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment to researchers working on diverse themes focussed on sustainable and liveable cities, resilient urban systems, and patient-centric healthcare. The centre is home to a community of over 100 doctoral, postdoctoral and professorial researchers working in three main programmes: Future Cities Laboratory, Future Resilient Systems, and Future Health Technologies.