2-years PostDoctoral researcher on climate risk and multi-criteria decision modelling

80%-100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Weather and Climate Risks Group is a chair established in 2016 within the Institute for Environmental Decisions with a double affiliation at the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss). The activities of IED include research, teaching, and outreach at the intersection of natural and social science, contributing to the development of effective policy and decision-making strategies in the areas of climate policies, social justice, and the environment. The WCR Group works on analyzing the risk of extreme weather events for all socially relevant aspects (e.g., the risk for critical infrastructures, displaced people, global ecosystems, food security, supply chains, work productivity, and many more), and how these will change in the future. In particular, the role of climate change, and the opportunities for adaptation strategies to reduce future risks are investigated.  To this effect, the group is actively developing and using CLIMADA (CLImate ADAptation), a fully open-source climate risk modelling platform written in Python. Ultimately, the main goal is to provide an information basis for forward-looking decision-making concerning climate adaptation strategies.

Project background

This project is part of a larger EU-innovation project seeking to demonstrate how tools from the whole weather and climate-risk management chain (e.g., forecasting, post-disaster assessment, or appraisal of adaptation options) can be made interoperable. The arising synergies will significantly improve the various models and provide increased support to decision-makers from civil society, politics, industry, and the humanitarian sector for managing current and future risks. The full project has a strong focus on innovation, and thus researchers and practitioners from the industry are among the partners.

The advertised position is to be conducted within the WCR group, and as such integrates within the larger research program on investigating risks of extreme weather events under current and future climate.

Job description

  • We are looking for someone eager to engage with stakeholders and can implement co-created solutions in a complex data and model context.
  • The main tasks will be to integrate the existing open-source CLIMADA platform into a new data matrix and to develop and implement a multi-criteria decision methodology. This includes a programming element, a research element to demonstrate the new methods, and a stakeholder interaction element.
  • You are expected to participate in the co-development of CLIMADA and other prototypical decision support systems together to improve the decision process along the full processing chain and across disciplines. Given your interests, interactions and involvement with other ongoing research projects at the WCR group are fully supported.

You should begin between April and June 2023, and the position is for 2 years.

Your profile

  • You should have a doctoral degree in either natural science (physics, chemistry,...); in computer science; in environmental science; or social science (with a computational background)
  • Interest in weather and climate and pertinent knowledge is a plus. 
  • You should have analytical skills and possess an eagerness to understand and model complex natural-socioeconomic systems.
  • Solid knowledge in programming, and in particular experience with the Python programming language is required. 
  • You should have a deep interest in combining natural catastrophe impact modeling with decision support architectures.
  • Interest in interaction with stakeholders and pertinent knowledge is a plus.
  • Fluency in English is a must, German, French, and Italian are welcome.

Your workplace

Your workplace




We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers, and benefits.

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 by January 30, 2023:

  • CV
  • PhD thesis
  • one letter of reference, all in one pdf.

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 about the Weather and Climate Risks group can be found on our website www.wcr.ethz.ch. For further information, please contact Sarah Spitzauer, sarah.spitzauer@usys.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 by January 30, 2023:

  • CV
  • PhD thesis
  • one letter of reference, all in one pdf.

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 about the Weather and Climate Risks group can be found on our website www.wcr.ethz.ch. For further information, please contact Sarah Spitzauer, sarah.spitzauer@usys.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.