Researcher in Social, Methodological and Theoretical Innovation
Catholic University of Leuven Faculty of Social Sciences

The vacant position is opened in research group SoMeTHin’K (Social, Methodological and Theoretical Innovation / Kreative) from the Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven. The candidate will liaise with both the Mediated Environments Research Cluster at Luca School of Arts, Brussels, and the Graduate School of Education from Melbourne University, Australia. This vacancy is part of a joint methodologically oriented Phd program between KU Leuven and Melbourne University. You will work in close collaboration with a research team from Melbourne university that explores Youth TikTok production as public pedagogy towards liveable climate futures: Research Group SoMeTHin'K is part of the Centre for Sociological Research and actively pushes towards the development of methods and models for positive change in society. We test, evaluate, implement, and improve existing methods, techniques, models or data sets generated in fields such as urban development, the public art, design and technology sector, community-based research practice and the global sustainable development area. Our focus is on the creation of inclusive, sustainable societies. We re-appropriate methods or develop our own social innovative response to emerging social challenges, whilst remaining sensitive to quality control and empirical grounding. Our perspective is multimodal, combining numerical, textual, sensory and/or arts-based research data to study complex social phenomena. We develop theoretical frameworks as a basis for how such phenomena can be understood and organized.


We are looking for a RESEARCHER with the ambition to complete a doctoral program in four years. You will be involved in a research project at the crossroads between art/design and social-behavioral sciences. Your task will be to investigate how young generations of citizens can be empowered to develop a response to the challenge of digital outage. Millions of young people exchange knowledge on social media and the internet to get their voice out. For people living in natural disaster sensitive or politically sensitive climates digital outage is a realistic scenario that impacts knowledge exchange. Taking collapsology as the core theoretical framework we will explore the potential of experiential futuring as a method to engage with the existential question of how the human race will get through an escalating situation of power shut-downs, how to survive digital outages under challenging life circumstances and how to create virtual spaces to continue knowledge exchange in situations where our material environment collapses under the pressure of natural and/or political violence. 
Your tasks:
  • Conducting high-quality and ethically sound scientific research on the topic of ‘outage’. 
  • Developing an appropriate experiential futuring methodology from a co-creative, living lab perspective.
  • Disseminating scientific insights via academic journals and more creatively, through community engagement.
  • Completing a joint doctoral program from KU Leuven and Melbourne University.
  • Spending 10% of your time on providing educational support to English speaking master students.


  • A master degree, preferably in social sciences, political sciences, behavioral or educational sciences, art and design or human computer interaction. Other diploma’s will be considered based on a portfolio of previous achievements in relation to the topic under study.
  • A strong interest in or experience with qualitative and mixed method research approaches, storytelling or futures methodology.
  • A willingness to develop an innovative methodological toolbox for co-creative research.
  • An interest in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary empirical research work.
  • A passion for community-based research and fieldwork. 
  • A talent for engaging young people with inclusion of indigenous populations into research.
  • Strong communicative skills in English language.
  • A desire for a one year residence in Australia, at Melbourne University.
We value:
  • Creativity, group spirit and personal initiative.
  • Experience in writing reports in English.
  • Experience with qualitative, creative or technologically mediated research or teaching.
  • Knowledge of transformative research paradigms. 
  • Those who would call themselves a digital native.
We further appreciate a skills set relevant to the organization of community based living labs in e.g. digital production, development of prototypes, digital storytelling or other creative, crafty, technologically driven or low-tech material engagements. 


  • A full-time employment, for a period of 4 years.
  • A dynamic, interdisciplinary, flexible working environment in a fast growing research consortium with a strong future-oriented vision and inclusive vision of academia.
  • A thorough qualitative methodological training.
  • An opportunity to take teaching responsibility.
  • The possibility of gaining international experience through participation in international conferences and international methodology networks.
  • An open, explorative, international research environment.


More information can be obtained from prof. Karin Hannes tel.+32 16 32 62 20, e-mail:  or prof. Steven Devleminck, e-mail:
Starting date: October 2022. 
Please add your diploma supplements to your application. Graduating master students are encouraged to apply. 
Candidates passing the first selection round will be invited for a selection interview on the 3th of July. Keep this date available in your diary.
You can apply for this job no later than June 30, 2022 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: June 30, 2022
  • Tags: Sociologie
  • Download: file

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