Postdoctoral researcher in Transdisciplinary Research on Sustainable Development Assessment

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Transdisciplinarity Lab (TdLab) at the Department of Environmental Systems Science (D-USYS) offers a rich learning environment. Our research and teaching cross disciplinary boundaries and are organized in close collaboration with colleagues from different disciplinary backgrounds and stakeholders. The Group “Cultural Studies of Science” (CSTS) in which this position is embedded, is a dynamic team investigating methods and theories for inter- and transdisciplinary research.  

Project background

We seek a postdoctoral researcher to join our group for the EU project «Delivering the next generation of Open Integrated Assessment Models for net-zero, sustainable development» (DIAMOND), funded by Horizon Europe. 

Despite the significant evolution of integrated assessment models (IAMs) in the last decade, there remain several criticisms on their design, use, and adequacy to respond to emerging questions in light of the Paris Agreement and net-zero ambition. DIAMOND will update, upgrade, and fully open six IAMs that are emblematic of scientific and policy processes, improving their sectoral and technological detail. 

We will lead the implementation of a transdisciplinary approach to co-create the transformative impact of the modelling framework, working together with an array of fields and stakeholders (such as the IAM community, policymakers, representatives from emissions-intensive industries, NGOs and citizen groups on energy and climate).

Job description

You will lead research activities under Work Package “Co-developing new model capacity and scenario” together with international partners. Tasks comprise: 

  • Designing and implementing a transdisciplinary approach to co-produce modelling improvements and project outputs; 
  • Conducting qualitative research, including situational analysis, to study the integration process and synthesise co-produced outputs; 
  • Preparing deliverables and scientific papers and participating in consortium meetings;

You will also help consolidate the exchange between the research community and  Swiss energy stakeholders to improve the usability of models in other ongoing research projects.

This is a 4-years fixed-term position. Starting date: December 2022 (negotiable). 

Deadline for applications: 30th September 2022. 

Your profile

You should have a PhD in relevant social sciences, humanities, environmental sciences, or related fields. The PhD degree must have been acquired by the application deadline. Furthermore, you have a strong background in qualitative methods and transdisciplinary research; and proven knowledge in some of the following: integrated assessment modelling, energy, political economy, economic anthropology, sustainability, sovereignty, climate change politics, or decision analysis. Familiarity with science and technology studies (STS) or similar fields is an asset. You must be able to carry out original research in an interdisciplinary and international project environment. Excellent communication, integrative and social skills are indispensable. Excellent written and spoken English and good command of German or the willingness to learn it, are a prerequisite. 

Your workplace

We offer

The TdLab offers a theoretically and methodologically sound environment for inter- and transdisciplinary research and teaching, and a committed diverse team. There will be enough room for the candidate to design their research within the CSTS Group’s research streams. 

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 letter of motivation (max. 2 pages) that describes your relevant experience (about the job’s requirements), and your interest in the project’s topic;
  • Curriculum vitae and list of publications;
  • Two publications you consider most relevant for this application (pdf files);
  • The names and contact details of two academic references; including your relationship with each.
  • PhD degree certificate and relevant transcripts.

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

Interviews will be conducted one month after the application deadline, in person or via a video conferencing tool. 

Further information about the CSTS Group can be found on our website: 

Further information about D-USYS TdLab can be found on our website:

Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr Bianca Vienni-Baptista, Tel +41 44 632 64 22 or email (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.