PhD position on the impact of NIF effects in indoor-dominated lifestyles (ESR 14)

We will explore the role of (daylighting) design in non-visual effects, and more specifically, how the so-called non-visual responses to light (attention and cognition, alertness, phase-shifting effects) complement visual comfort requirements in order to better define what “healthy” (indoor) lighting conditions may be. We will aim to determine the extent to which it is relevant to consider non-visual lighting needs in the design of spaces and how daylight and electric lighting complement each other in this respect. The work will combine simulations-based evaluations relying on existing models with field studies.

The research will be conducted under the supervision of Prof. Marilyne Andersen within the Laboratory of Integrated Performance in Design (LIPID) at EPFL. We have planned secondments with the Intelligent Lighting Institute at TU/e and with VELUX.


Within the broader objectives of the LIGHTCAP project – which stands for LIGHT, Cognition, Attention, Perception – supported by the Horizon 2020 ITN program which involves 8 universities with altogether 15 PhD openings, research conducted at LIPID will aim to determine how lighting conditions found in the built environment influence the neurophysiological behavior of its occupants, with a dedicated focus on daylighting aspects. We will put a special emphasis on alertness and circadian phase synchronization, and will explore how these co-called non-visual responses to light (attention and cognition, alertness, phase-shifting effects) complement visual comfort requirements.


EPFL is one of the most dynamic university campuses in Europe and ranks among the top 20 universities worldwide and offers an exceptional working environment with very competitive salaries. LIPID offers a highly motivating, interdisciplinary scientific environment, with excellent research facilities. This project also offers the opportunity to collaborate with seven other universities and with the private sector, including secondments at TU Eindhoven and at the project’s industrial partners (ARUP, VELUX).


Candidates interested in interdisciplinary approaches and with prior knowledge and/or background in one or more of the following fields are sought: (day)lighting and photometry; biology / neuroscience; psychology; physics / mathematics / statistics; computational engineering / data science.

Experience in lab (with experimental equipment) and/or in field studies (with human subjects) is a plus. There is no limitation concerning the country of origin of the candidate but for this particular project, candidates should not have spent more than 12 months in Switzerland in the last 3 years.


New applications for this position are no longer accepted (deadline for the two EPFL position openings was April 15, 2020).