Researcher: housing in Brussels (open to social scientists with an MSc/MA)

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


October 22, 2022


Researcher: housing in Brussels (open to social scientists with an


(ref. BAP-2022-691)

Last modification : Friday, September 16, 2022

You will work within the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Division of Geography & Tourism, "The Real Estate/Financial Complex" research group, led by Prof. Dr. Manuel B. Aalbers

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You will have two tasks. The main task is to do research on the financialization of housing in the Brussels region. You will work together with a colleague in Warsaw who will perform a similar study there. The second task is to assist in preparing a funding application for a larger research project with multiple partners.

The objective of the project is to analyse the ongoing financialization of housing in Brussels and Warsaw, its outcomes, and city response to this process. Our first research objective (RO1) is to analyse the extent of, and actors involved in, the financialization of housing in Brussels and Warsaw. This translates in the rather straightforward RQ1: To what extent are the housing markets of Brussels and Warsaw financialized and who are the main actors involved in this process? Our second research objective (RO2) is to study the policy and civil society responses to housing financialization and lack of housing affordability as well as the alternatives being developed in both cities. Our third research objective (RO3) is to use the pilot study to design a larger study.


We are looking for someone with a master's degree that has followed at least one housing course, ideally in a geography, urban planning, urban studies or sociology programme, but are open to those who have another social science or architecture degree, as long as they have studied at the very least the basics of housing systems/policy/markets and are familiar with the key terms.

You need to be fluent in both English and French. There is no need to apply for this job or to contact me if you are not fluent in both languages! It's a bonus if you also speak (some) Dutch, but you will need French to be able to perform the study and English to report on it. English will also be the language used for writing reports, papers, funding applications, etc.

You will need to be at home with a range of methods:

  • Secondary analysis of publicly available statistics and indices;

  • Desk research to identify investors and areas of conflict, including press and social media analysis;

  • Analysis of national and local housing and housing finance legislation;

  • Spatial analysis - mapping and delineation of residential investments;

  • Qualitative analysis - individual or group interviews with process participants.

  • You will also need great communicative skills.


    The funding is available for 18 months at 80%, but we are somewhat flexible. In case you prefer a different percentage, please indicate so in your application.

    The earliest starting date is November 1, 2022 and the latest starting date February 1, 2023.

    We encourage you to apply for PhD funding while you are working on this project. The research carried out as part of this project could be the start of a PhD project, provided that we (you) are able to acquire additional funding.

    You will be part of one of the leading research groups on housing studies in the world. We have regular research group meetings where we discuss the progress of everyone's work, discuss draft reports and papers, and exchange ideas, etc.

    In your application, please include:

    - a cover/application letter of no more than 2 pages (single-lined) in which you explain why you are interested in this position, and what your experience is with housing in general and housing in Brussels, Belgium in particular. Please also indicate when you could start, for which percentage (especially if you plan to continue to hold another part-time job) and if you have plans to apply for a PhD.

    - a CV on no more than 4 pages, including average scores for your degrees, and scores for your (master's) thesis and any other reading sample included, language skills (add a separate test score sheet, if available).

    - 1 or 2 writing samples, e.g. a paper on a housing related issue and your master's thesis or two relevant papers.


    For more information please contact Prof. dr. Manuel Aalbers, mail: There is no need to try to call me, as I'm on a sabbatical and not in my office.

    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

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