PhD Position in Isotope Geo- and Cosmochemistry

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Planetary Geochemistry group (Prof. Maria Schönbächler) investigates the pathways that led to the formation and evolution of planets in our solar system. The group is part of the Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology at the Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich.

We are seeking a highly motivated, flexible, and team-oriented doctoral candidate with a strong interest in the laboratory-based analysis of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples. The position is available immediately (negotiable) and is fully funded for a maximum of 4 years.

Project background

Meteorites are precious material mainly originating from asteroidal bodies, which formed during the time when planets started to accrete. As such these bodies are leftover planetary building blocks. This project will use meteorite samples to establish genetic relationships among planetary bodies and to obtain unique information about physico-chemical processes in the early solar system that influenced the composition of the planets.

Job description

The PhD project will include geochemical and mass spectrometric investigations to determine nucleosynthetic isotope variations in extraterrestrial samples with the goal to improve our understanding of the processes involved in the formation and evolution of planets. The development of new analytical methods will be an important part of the laboratory tasks. The project will include a substantial amount of work in our state-of-the-art clean-room laboratories. Research results will be presented regularly at international conferences and published in high-profile journals.

Your profile

  • Masters or comparable degree, preferably in a subject related to the PhD project, such as in Earth or Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Physics or Planetary Sciences
  • Highly self-motivated, independent, affinity for laboratory work, strong experimental or instrumental interests, and ability to work closely together in a team
  • Research experience in analytical geo- or cosmochemistry are advantageous
  • Good English writing and communication skills

Your workplace

Your workplace




We offer

Our interactive research group is considered one of the world-leading research teams in the field. We are well-connected with the international research community and provide the unique opportunity to perform cutting-edge research. We offer training on state-of-the-art research instrumentation, in-depth exchange with researchers around the world, the opportunity to benefit from various teaching experiences, and the possibility to prepare for your academic career.

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

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.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • a brief (1-2 pages) cover letter illustrating your background and your interest and motivation to apply for our position
  • your CV
  • your transcripts
  • the name of 2-3 possible references that may be contacted during the shortlisting process

The review of applications will begin on 1 March until the position is filled.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information can be found here: the Department of Earth Sciences , the Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology , and the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group.

For more information about the position, contact Prof. Maria Schönbächler (mailto:mariasc@ethz.ch), (no applications).

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.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • a brief (1-2 pages) cover letter illustrating your background and your interest and motivation to apply for our position
  • your CV
  • your transcripts
  • the name of 2-3 possible references that may be contacted during the shortlisting process

The review of applications will begin on 1 March until the position is filled.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information can be found here: the Department of Earth Sciences , the Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology , and the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group.

For more information about the position, contact Prof. Maria Schönbächler (mailto:mariasc@ethz.ch), (no applications).

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.