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Research Assistant

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Job Details

  • Part Time
  • £26,495 - £30,688 Per annum pro rata
  • Cardiff University
  • Closes 7th October 2017
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Post: 6379br

Research Assistant

Welsh School of Architecture

The Welsh School of Architecture invites applications for a 3 year Research Assistant position to work on the project ‘The Prismatic City : How Las Vegas Reveals the True Nature of City-Design-and-Building Processes’. The project is led by Professor Aseem Inam Ph.D. Chair in Urban Design and will be funded by the Welsh School of Architecture. This is a part-time post, offering the chance to undertake a PhD at Cardiff in tandem if desired.

Project Description

The primary research project is a book project tentatively entitled The Prismatic City: How Las Vegas Reveals the True Nature of City-Design-and-Building Processes. Las Vegas has long been portrayed by designers and urbanists as an outlier and exemplar of what urbanism should not be. The book argues otherwise: That the city is not only worthy of serious analysis, but also serves as a prism for understanding the true nature of contemporary American urbanism. The book analyses several phenomena that reflect and refract the American city: how histories of urbanisms reveal ways in which cities are truly shaped, how so-called “public-private partnerships” actually work, how cities change over time in fits and starts, the symbiotic relationships between the “frontstage” and “backstage” of cities, ways in which the public interest is served by labour unions rather than planners, and the surprising ways in which Las Vegas is perhaps the most authentic city in the world.
Ultimately, the book sheds light on multiple and complex narratives about cities, and argues in favour of urban theory that emerges out of fine-grained empirical analysis.

A second research project that will lead to a book is about the ways in the resourcefulness and innovation of informal urbanisms can be inspirations for new modes of transformative design practice. The book examines what informal urbanisms are, how they are integral to cities in the global south and the global north, highlights experiments in informal urbanisms that the author has lead in Sao Paulo, New York and Toronto, and concludes with implications for 21st century design practice.

The Candidate

I am looking for an Assistant who has experience conducting serious research, either in academia or in practice. The Research Assistant will help me identify and collect material about these topics, including interviews, photographs, videos, government reports, newspaper articles, historical archives, scholarly books and journal articles, online resources, and other sources [including from Cardiff University libraries]. The Research Assistant will also work with me to analyse the material and craft arguments by assisting with writing papers and preparing presentations. The student must be highly motivated and well organized.

The post is a part time position 17.5 hours per week, is fixed term for 3 years and is available from October 2017.

Salary : £26,495 - £30,688 Per annum pro rata (Grade 5). Please note this post will not be appointed above spine point 26 (£26,495).

Date post advertised: Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Closing Date : Saturday, 7 October 2017


Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world. In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

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