PhD Position: Education, Econometrics and Immigrant Integration

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Chair of Education Systems CES investigates the shifts in educational systems in the face of challenges such as globalization, an aging society, and the rapid development of technology. We also examine the characteristics of the most effective education systems in the world and how they align to labor market demand. Our research focuses on comparing education systems and analyzing their institutional frameworks.

Project background

As a result of sharp increases in the age-dependency ratio and declining fertility rates in Europe, an influx of immigrants is expected in the following decades to sustain long-run economic growth. According to projections from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office for example, foreign immigrants are expected to account for more than 80% of Switzerland’s population increase over the next 30 years, with other EU countries like Germany and France following the same trend (Kohli et al., 2020). Yet, few countries in the EU have been successful in economically integrating migrants into the society.

Job description

The main objective of this PhD position is therefore to examine the relationship between education systems and immigrant integration. The geographic focus should naturally be on countries with large shares of immigrants such as Switzerland. Specifically,

  1. how effective is the education system in integrating immigrants (economically and socially)?
  2. how can education systems foster greater immigrant integration?

These questions should be answered through policy analyses using available (or requested) data and the application of econometric methods. At the end of this Ph.D. position, you are expected to have at least 3 research papers of publishable quality, with at least 1 paper that is single-authored.

The position is available from 1 November 2022 or by arrangement.

Your profile

  • a Master’s degree in Economics from a university in the area of economics or related fields.
  • a strong affinity to quantitative data analysis; (prior experience with econometric panel data analysis in education or labor economics is a plus). 
  • particularly interested in the Swiss apprenticeship system and its connection to education systems in relation to the role they play in immigrant integration (both economic and social).
  • Your command of English should be excellent.

Your workplace

We offer

We offer you an exciting research environment that evolves around current policy topics. You will work closely with an interdisciplinary research team that consists of economists and sociologists. The position offers attractive salary conditions and an office located in downtown Zurich.

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 by 1 October 2022 with the following documents:

  • Cover letter motivating your application for this position,
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • University transcripts and certificates,
  • Master’s thesis and (optional) other relevant research papers and/or publications, and
  • Two reference letters (preferably academic references) *can be provided after the deadline if not available in time. Please get your referees to send their reference letters to '' with the subject title in the format: [applicant'sname_referenceletter]. Alternatively, you can attach the reference letters when you apply for the position via the ETH portal. Note that fabricated references will not be accepted and all references will be checked. 

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

For further information please visit our website of the Chair of Education Systems, Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Audrey Au Yong Lyn by email '' (no unsolicited 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.