Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Shoulder Biomechanics

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

A post-doctoral research fellowship is available at the Institute for Biomechanics (Department of Health Sciences and Technology) under the guidance of Prof. Stephen Ferguson, in collaboration with the Schulthess Klinik represented by Prof. Philipp Moroder. The Institute for Biomechanics is a multidisciplinary research unit dedicated to the biomechanical investigation of the human body. We investigate the mechanics and material properties of the musculoskeletal system, as well as movement control, from a macroscopic (body/organ) scale to a microscopic (cell) scale. The Schulthess Klinik in Zurich is one of Europe’s leading orthopaedic clinics, treating patients with joint, spine, hand and foot conditions. The position is available from 01. March 2023.

Project background

The available position is funded by an independent foundation grant, with the overarching goal to establish a reference centre for shoulder biomechanics as a collaborative research group between ETH Zurich and the Schulthess Klinik. This research fellowship aims to connect the expertise of the partner institutions in clinical science, surgery, human movement analysis, experimental methods and computer simulation to better understand the mechanisms of shoulder injury and degeneration, to explore improved treatments of trauma and pathology and to establish objective measures of clinical outcome.

Job description

You will be responsible for conducting your own independent research, and for contributing to the establishment, supervision and growth of an independent research group, in the area of shoulder biomechanics. A focus is placed on the use of multi-body musculoskeletal simulation to create a virtual shoulder model allowing the analysis of shoulder loading in the healthy and diseased state, and to predict the outcome of current and future surgical interventions. You will work closely with your clinical partners to ensure a close alignment of scientific research goals with relevant clinical challenges.

Specific duties:

  • Develop multi-scale musculoskeletal and/or finite element models of the human shoulder joint
  • Design and coordinate human shoulder movement studies in the Schulthess Klinik motion lab, in collaboration with the clinic's research team
  • Establish research collaborations with national and international partner labs specialising in in vitro orthopaedic biomechanical testing
  • Define and supervise BSc, MSc and doctoral projects of biomedical engineering students and/or medical fellows, within the research infrastructure of the ETH Zurich
  • Disseminate research results in peer-reviewed journal articles and national and international conference presentations
  • Contribute to funding applications for the extension of the shoulder biomechanics group
  • Communicate research results to stakeholders (clinic, public, funding agency)

Development opportunities:

The post-doctoral research fellowship is initially funded for a period of three years, with the vision to extend this, contingent on the successful acquisition of additional third-party funding. Career development for scientific staff at the ETH Zurich places an emphasis on mobility but foresees the possibility of promotion to a non-permanent group head position ("Oberassistent:in"), with the aim to transition to a permanent scientific position beyond the ETH Zurich.

Your profile

Essential experience, skills and characteristics:

  • A relevant PhD/DSc in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering or a related relevant field
  • Demonstrated experience with shoulder and orthopaedic biomechanics
  • English proficiency
  • Strong teamwork and communication skills
  • Good track record of shoulder-related publications in international journals
  • Ability to work independently, with flexibility, humour and critical thinking
  • Ability to guide and expand a biomechanical research team

Desirable criteria:

  • Experience with, and strong interest in, multibody musculoskeletal simulation methods and finite element analysis
  • Experience with in-vitro experimental methods
  • Experience in orthopaedic biomechanics and related measurement systems
  • Experience with human movement analysis
  • Good track record of multidisciplinary research projects with national and international clinical and industry partners
  • German proficiency
  • Experience with ethics applications and Good Clinical Practice for health research studies with human subjects
  • Excellent communication skills and engagement of clinicians (collaborators) and public (potential research participants)

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:

  • Covering letter with statement of motivation
  • your CV
  • a copy of or link to your PhD/Doctoral thesis
  • and names and contact details of two references

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 Institute for Biomechanics can be found on our website. For further information, please contact Prof. Stephen Ferguson, or email sferguson@ethz.ch (no application documents).

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:

  • Covering letter with statement of motivation
  • your CV
  • a copy of or link to your PhD/Doctoral thesis
  • and names and contact details of two references

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 Institute for Biomechanics can be found on our website. For further information, please contact Prof. Stephen Ferguson, or email sferguson@ethz.ch (no application documents).

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.