Job opportunity: Assistant HES PhD in Interior Architecture 80%

In association with EPFL’s Doctoral Programme in Architecture and Sciences of the City (EDAR), HEAD—Genève

Information about the position

In 2016, HEAD—Genève initiated a cooperation agreement with the EDAR (Architecture & Sciences of the City at EPFL) PhD programme, which is part of the Doctoral School of EPFL. In a context where the increasingly complex relationship between form and use is challenging systems of representation inherited from the 20th century as well as the division of tasks between analysis, creation and application, HEAD and EDAR have decided to work together to develop innovative types of research that combine fundamental research with the critical and creative open-mindedness of artistic work. 

The aim is to promote a “research through art and design” course choice in the field of urban research at EDAR in order to welcome PhD students from art and design faculties. EDAR EPFL will thus be able to supplement its choice of courses with a specialisation based on artistic creation as an area of work or a working method for a PhD thesis that would meet the EPFL’s academic requirements. 

The Department of Interior Architecture opens a position of assistant HES with the additional option of applying for a PhD candidate position. 

Interior architecture invests, transforms and revolutionizes living spaces. It formalizes a unique narrative in the places that are submitted to her study. It delivers an integrated result inside and outside, quality of life and built space. 

The assistant PhD position will imply taking part in the HEAD’s research team and getting involved in the EPFL’s EDAR Doctoral Programme. The PhD student will take part in the implementation of a new doctoral course that promotes a stimulating and critical dialogue between architectural research and interior phenomena in a broad sense. The aim of the programme is to help PhD students to bring an original contribution to their field, thanks to a cross-disciplinary approach. 

The PhD student will develop a personal thesis project that combines critical and reflexive aspects on Interior architecture and design in a broad sense in relation to urban sciences. The applicant will hold at least an MA, preferably in the field of Architecture / Interior Architecture practice and research. A Master in a discipline related to urban sciences or design may be considered equivalent e.g. Sociology, Philosophy, Geography, Urban Planning or History of Art. 

Once accepted, the PhD student will follow compulsory EDAR courses at EPFL and obtain the required credits (doctoral school). 

The candidate will be employed at HEAD—Genève as an assistant / PhD candidate. 

He/she will dedicate 60% of his/her time to the duties outlined below. If accepted for the PhD position, the rest of the time will be devoted to writing his/her thesis. 

International applications are welcome, subject to procurement of a work permit.

Main points of duties of the position of Assistant HES

The assistant position will be linked to the teaching and preparation of the workshop courses of the Bachelor program. Administrative and organisational tasks are also required. 

Under the responsibility of the HEAD professor supervising the PhD thesis and the person in charge of the relevant BA course, and in close collaboration with teaching staff, the following pedagogical duties: 

  •  Supervising workshops for projects: monitoring schedules, managing equipment and rooms, preparing teaching and learning material 
  • Helping students carry out their practical work and contributing to theory seminars 
  • Preparing and leading seminars and reading groups 
  • Helping out with contracts and projects with external partners 
  • Drafting and publishing printed and online publications 

Organisational and administrative activities:

  • Administrative monitoring and organisation of activities for the Bachelor course (study trips, exhibitions, events, etc.) 
  • Managing orders and expenses incurred for the BA course’s workshops and projects 
  • Monitoring the appointment of guest lecturers and in-house and external communications for the BA course


  • MA degree or equivalent 
  • Interested in research in design / interior architecture and more generally scientific research 
  • Capable of supervising students’ work under the supervision of a teacher 
  • 1 to 3-years professional experience in the field of Interior Architecture 
  • Technical, graphic or artistic skills to help develop projects 
  • Proficient in the use of office software and familiar with desktop-publishing software (e.g. InDesign, Excel, etc.) 
  • Capable of working independently as well as within a team 
  • Organisational and writing skills 
  • Good knowledge of spoken and written French and English 
  • Good social and public relations skills 
  • Available, thorough, dedicated and creative

Specific conditions attached to the PhD position

The PhD – Assistant will be recruited by the HEAD-EPFL special committee first. If accepted, he/she will have to apply at the EDAR Doctoral School at EPFL online before the 15th of April. Once accepted, the PhD student will follow compulsory EDAR courses at EPFL and obtain the required credits (doctoral school). The doctoral thesis will be co-supervised by a professor of EDAR Doctoral Programme of EPFL in Lausanne in tandem with a professor of the Department of Interior Architecture at HEAD – Genève. The PhD diploma will be delivered by EPFL.

Application requirements

Assistant HES in Interior Architecture + PhD Student, 80% 

  • An application letter, a complete resume, copies of diplomas including the student’s latest grades, a portfolio of personal works. 
  • A summary of the thesis project clearly stating the applicant’s interest in the topics outlined above (4 pages maximum, with an outline of the research topic, possible illustrations and a bibliography), examples of written work, published or original MA dissertation, articles, essays, etc., a motivation letter, a complete resume, copies of diplomas including the student’s latest grades and the names and contact details of three references (Three letters of reference are needed for EPFL Application online) 
  • Electronic applications, in French or English, will be submitted in PDF to 
  • Incomplete applications or applications which do not meet the required criteria will not be considered. 
  • For further information, please contact Prof Anne-Catherine Sutermeister (, head of research at HEAD—Genève. 

The contract will be annual for the assistant position. If accepted for the PhD position, the contract will be drawn-up for a four-year period under the terms of the Staff Regulations of the HES SO – Genève and the agreement between HEAD—Genève and EPFL. 

Application deadline: 11th of November 2018 12.00 

Interviews : 27th of November 2018 at EPFL – Lausanne. 

Beginning of contract : 1st of September 2019 or later (to be defined)