Munich: PhD Candidates

Stellenbezeichnung: Munich: PhD Candidates

Firma: Leibniz-Institut für Psychologie

Arbeitsort / Location: München, Bayern

Job Beschreibung: Technical University: PhD Candidates at the Chair for Design and Transdisciplinarity

PhD Candidates at the Chair for Design and Transdisciplinarity

We are looking for PhD Candidates at the Chair for Design and Transdisciplinarity who are excited to make a significant contribution to the evolution of design research and practice. At the Chair, we aim to develop a sophisticated understanding of the social and regenerative impact of design, and to explore how non-linear approaches to problems generate value.

The Chair of Design and Transdisciplinarity is part of the TUM School of Engineering and Design (ED) and centrally located in the heart of Munich. We teach and research an approach to design that strives to create outcomes that are not only desirable and functional, but have societal value and consider regenerative impact. This requires a sophisticated understanding of systemic approaches, for participatory design, a reframing of power dynamics in design, and a focus on equitable outcomes. We aim to create a space where wildly creative ideas for a hopeful future can emerge, and to build capacity so these ideas can be operationalized and implemented. This is only possible through close collaboration with other disciplines. The context of TUM offers a unique opportunity to practice such transdisciplinary design with leading researchers and partners.

At this newly established Chair at the Technical University of Munich, we focus on research about the value of non-linear approaches to problems: Our work will experiment with the development of metrics to understand progress and results such design approaches create. This is based on the hypothesis that design, in its attempt to create reliable results that lead to business success, has become increasingly formulaic, limiting the space for unknowns and creative exploration. Simultaneously, design is still often considered a “nice to have”, especially during challenging economic times, because its metrics for impact can be ambiguous.

Through our work, we aim to expand beyond primarily economic metrics such as stakeholder value and revenue, to develop a sophisticated understanding of the social and regenerative impact of design. Understanding value is also especially important as generative technologies are emerging, making it harder to tell what’s real and what’s not.

What you will do:

  • Independent work on research projects in the thematic areas of nonlinear thinking and creative work, value of design approaches and outcomes, metrics for social and regenerative impact of design, evolution of design practice towards transdisciplinary, equity-driven, and participatory approaches
  • Design of learning experiences, and teaching
  • Publication in scientific journals and presentation at international conferences
  • Support in the preparation of research proposals
  • Support in the creation of a team culture, rituals, and practices at the Chair

Your qualifications:

  • Successfully completed university studies (master’s degree, diploma) in design or a related relevant field (e.g. psychology, social sciences, architecture, public health, computer science, economics) with a strong design reference and experience in one of the above-mentioned research fields
  • Competency in design and creative problem-solving
  • Strong interest in independently investigating scientific issues and working in an interdisciplinary and international team
  • Excellent analytical and synthesis skills as well as capacity in systems thinking
  • Demonstrated skills in relationship building, collaboration, and communication across disciplines
  • Ability to thrive in a dynamic environment
  • Demonstrated intent to advance social justice
  • Commitment to creating impactful learning experiences in your teaching
  • Very good oral and written communication skills in English (German language proficiency is a plus but not mandatory)
  • Proven expertise in at least one of the following areas:
  • (1) design research, research-through-design, and scientific research methods (qualitative, quantitative)
  • (2) knowledge of metrics, evaluation, or other forms of measuring progress
  • (3) craft excellence in design (product, interaction, visual, communication, systems design, storytelling, etc)
  • Knowledge of common design software (Adobe CC), 3D visualization and MS Office is desirable.

What we offer:

  • A full-time or part-time position as academic staff with the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree at one of the most renowned universities in Europe. The position is initially for two years. It is possible, and also desired, to extend the term of the position.
  • A dynamic and inspiring working environment in a success-oriented team
  • A commitment to creating an environment of belonging for members of our team and people we work with, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief
  • The opportunity to gain, create, and teach insight about a more sophisticated understanding of the regenerative and equitable value of design, and to contribute to the future of design research and practice
  • The chance to collaborate with researchers at a leading technical university
  • The opportunity to contribute to shaping a newly established Chair of Design as well as the programs it will offer
  • Payment will be based on the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service of the Länder (TV-L).

TUM strives to raise the proportion of women in its workforce and explicitly encourages applications from qualified women. The position is suitable for disabled persons. Disabled applicants will be given preference in case of generally equivalent suitability, aptitude and professional performance.

Join us and apply now!

We look forward to receiving your complete documents (letter of motivation, CV, names for potential references, portfolio samples) by e-mail in a single PDF file (max. 8 MB) no later than August 15, 2023 to

If you have specific questions, please contact Prof. Diefenthaler via the email:

Please do not submit a duplicate of your application via Prof. Diefenthaler’s email; this will not benefit your application.

Please note that this is a part of multiple job postings at the Chair.

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