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Institute of Design Invites Applications for Funded Position in its PhD Program

March 1, 2022

Tomoko with Students
Join NSF research efforts to reduce food waste

The Institute of Design (ID) at Illinois Tech invites applications for a 3-year funded position in its PhD program, the first PhD program in Design offered in the US. The successful candidate will work with Weslynne Ashton, ID Associate Professor of Environmental Management and Sustainability, on developing design frameworks to enable more effective use of food in the United States.

This research is part of a broader initiative, the Wasted Food Research Network, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), bringing together over 40 researchers and 14 institutions working across the food system to advance the science needed to make our wasteful food system sustainable, equitable, and resilient. More about the project is available here.

The Institute of Design was founded in Chicago by Bauhaus émigré László Moholy-Nagy in 1937. It is home to the only US design school devoted completely to graduate students and has pioneered human-centered design, systems design, and a methods-based approach to design.

The team at ID and the Illinois Institute of Technology will collaborate with community, industry, and academic stakeholders in Chicago and beyond, in research and co-design, for developing circular innovations for wasted food, articulating the multiple types of value advanced through collaborative approaches in wasted food management, and facilitating partnerships for adopting and scaling such solutions.

Requirements: English proficiency, background in design research/strategy and a technical area of expertise (e.g., engineering, data science, or food science).

Preferences: significant experience working with organizations and communities in US cities; knowledge of urban and/or environmental design, industrial ecology and/or circular economy, and prior teaching experience.

Please email Weslynne Ashton at for further information about how to apply for this position.