PhD position in Technology and Public Policy: The economics of (advanced) geothermal power

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Energy and Technology Policy Group (EPG) together with the Climate Finance and Policy Group (CFP) are seeking a PhD candidate in Technology and Public Policy to evaluate the innovation and cost reduction potentials of (advanced) geothermal power. You will also analyze financing options and policies that enable cost and risk reductions.

Job description

This PhD position is part of the Innosuisse Flagship Initiative AEGIS-CH, which involves multiple investigators from other labs within and beyond ETH Zurich, including engineering, earth sciences, and life-cycle analysis, as well as industry partners. The PhD project will combine several methods, including techno-economic modelling, patent research, policy analysis, and expert interviews.

You will be co-supervised by Prof. Tobias Schmidt (EPG) and Prof. Bjarne Steffen (CFP) and collaborate with PIs and fellow PhD students within the AEGIS-CH project. The position is for up to four years. The salary is by the Swiss National Science Foundation PhD regulation.

Your profile

  • You should hold a Master’s degree in energy, mechanical, or industrial engineering, applied natural sciences, innovation studies, technology management, or science, technology and public policy (or be close to finishing their Master’s). 
  • A good understanding of geothermal power technologies is a valuable asset.
  • You should be dedicated to scientifically rigorous work that at the same time is relevant to decision-makers in the public and private sectors.
  • Your working style is team-oriented and you are proficient in English; further language skills are an additional asset but not a core requirement.

Your workplace

Your workplace




We offer

We offer an entrepreneurial research atmosphere within an interdisciplinary and highly relevant project at continental Europe’s leading research university. You will have the opportunity to contribute to the AEGIS-CH consortiums’ research discussions and are encouraged to co-advise master’s students. EPG and CFP belong to the leading research groups in their respective fields. They collaborate with other national and international academic and policy institutions (e.g., UC Berkeley, MIT, Princeton, PIK, and the UN). We are a highly diverse team (in terms of disciplines, gender and nationalities) and strongly value inclusion. As such, we encourage all qualified candidates to apply. Our offices are centrally located in Zurich. The starting date is negotiable, yet, a start in early 2023 would be preferred.

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 including the following documents:

  •  a letter of motivation
  • your CV with contact information of two references (no recommendation letters required at this point)
  • your university diplomas or transcripts
  • and a sample paper or chapter from your Master's thesis.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. The positions will remain open until filled.

For further information please contact Prof. Tobias Schmidt (no applications) by email: tobiasschmidt@ethz.ch

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 including the following documents:

  •  a letter of motivation
  • your CV with contact information of two references (no recommendation letters required at this point)
  • your university diplomas or transcripts
  • and a sample paper or chapter from your Master's thesis.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. The positions will remain open until filled.

For further information please contact Prof. Tobias Schmidt (no applications) by email: tobiasschmidt@ethz.ch

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.