ETH ALIVE doctoral Fellowship

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

We welcome applications to complete a doctoral training in Advanced Engineering with Living Materials (ALIVE) as part of the MaP Doctoral School ( hosted by the ETH Zurich Competence Center for Materials and Processes (MaP). We offer up to 20 full-time doctoral researcher positions to start early 2022.

Job description

The ALIVE Initiative of ETH Zurich aims at elucidating and applying the design principles of living systems as a basis for sustainable, intelligent and resilient materials and technologies of the future. Our approach encompasses the study of natural systems and the development of biohybrid or biomimetic synthetic systems bridging across scales, from the nano to the macro and structural scale. ALIVE is organised in three interrelated project streams:

  • Actuated human joint organoid on chip for personalised health
  • Multiscale biohybrid tissues for robotics driven by applications in health
  • Living systems for carbon-capturing in self-aware infrastructure

Two participating professors from ETH Zurich act as co-advisors. Accordingly, doctoral students are expected to take advantage of the opportunities offered by both research groups and to actively seek cross-group collaborations. The MaP Doctoral School offers a wide range of activities like symposia, workshops and lecture series, as well as the possibility for the doctoral students to engage in organising such formats. ETH ALIVE Doctoral Fellowships are an exciting opportunity and admission is highly competitive. The fellows will be employed according to the regulations of ETH Zurich. The corresponding guidelines for doctoral education apply. Upon successfully completing the doctorate, the fellows are awarded the title "Doctor of Sciences (Dr. sc. ETH Zurich)". more info about ETH Zurich doctorate

Your profile

You are enthusiastic to drive future transformations in the way Materials and Processes shape the world - sustainably, intelligently and resiliently. You must hold a Master's degree in a field relevant to at least one of the above project streams: materials science, biology & biosystems science, (bio-)engineering, robotics, architecture, computer science, or other related subjects. You must have an excellent track record and meet the general admission requirements for a doctorate at ETH Zurich. You are ready to make an impact in science and society by pushing research frontiers in areas such as:

  • functional microorganisms engineering
  • advanced manufacturing of living materials (multiscale & multimaterial)
  • tissue & systems engineering at the interface of living & non-living materials
  • data-driven bio-hybrid systems engineering
  • stem cell-derived organoid systems
  • organ-on-chip technology
  • synthetic, bio-inspired & bio-hybrid robotic systems
  • bacterial & muscle biology
  • mechanobiology
  • self-sensing & -healing infrastructure
  • microbially-mediated negative emission technologies

Good written and spoken English is essential. The MaP Doctoral School seeks to enhance diversity in the scientific workforce. Therefore, anyone with a keen interest in the above project streams and who meets our academic requirements is encouraged to apply.

Your workplace

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

Please submit your application through our online application portal; applications sent via email or postal services will not be considered. The application deadline is 25 November 2021 at midnight (23:59 CET). Applications must be submitted through and need to include:

  • Detailed CV including a list of publications, talks and awards (if applicable)
  • Short motivation letter (750-1000 words) outlining your research interests and career plans in relation to the present offer. In the case of a specific motivation to work with a certain professor of the ALIVE initiative, please explain the reasons of your choice.
  • Scanned degree certificates and transcripts (Bachelor's, Master's and other degrees)
  • Names and email addresses of 2-3 individuals (established faculty researchers, max. 1 letter from a postdoctoral researcher or non-academic (e.g. industry) supervisor is allowed) who can provide reference letters. Please ask your referees to submit their reference letters to our online system within the application deadline.

Following the application deadline, all complete applications will be reviewed carefully, first by the MaP Doctoral School office and then by our faculty members, in a competitive process. Interviews with shortlisted applicants will take place in the week of 31 January 2022.

Starting date
We expect all successful applicants to start their doctorate between 1 March and 30 June 2022. There is no specified common start and the doctoral fellows agree upon their specific start date together with their advisors. However, starting within the prescribed time window will enable the fellows to constitute a cohort of doctoral students with the aim of promoting collaboration and a common culture. The Master's degree must be completed before the start date of the contract for the doctoral position.

Please find additional information about the doctorate at ETH Zurich in the AVETH Survival Guide. For further questions, please send an email to with the subject line "ALIVE Doctoral Fellowships".

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.