Research Position on Biodiversity and Water Footprint Modeling and related Concepts for Science-Based Targets (Postdoc or Research assistant)

ETH Zürich
Zürich, Switzerland
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. It is renowned for its excellent education, its cutting-edge fundamental research and its efforts to put new knowledge and innovations directly into practice. The Ecological Systems Design Group at the Institute of Environmental Engineering is an internationally leading research group in the field of modeling, analyzing and improving the resource efficiency and environmental performance of products and processes, new technologies, and consumption patterns from a systems perspective. We offer a friendly and professional working environment, and are inviting applications for the research position further described below.

Research Position on Biodiversity and Water Footprint Modeling and related Concepts for Science-Based Targets (Postdoc or Research assistant)

This research position is part of ongoing activities in the group to quantify environmental footprints in the context of planetary boundaries. The main goal of the project is to assess a set of environmental impacts from global, national and company perspective and to contribute to the development of science based targets for biodiversity loss and water scarcity. The project will analyze environmental footprints with advanced methods, combining various databases. A framework will be developed on how to best measure the footprints and how to derive science based targets for different actors on different geographical scales, based on the environmental pressures in each region and the resilience of the systems. This also requires compilation of data sources to assess reduction potentials. Currently, the position is limited to 1 year, but might be extended depending on funding.

An integral part of your work is publishing your results in peer-reviewed journals and presenting them at international conferences. The work will be carried out in collaboration with international initiatives. You will also work together with experts in the group already working on global assessment of environmental impacts using Multi-Regional Input-Output tools and spatially explicit assessment of inventories and impacts. 

Your qualifications should include a master level university degree in environmental engineering, environmental sciences or similar studies with excellent grades. A PhD is an advantage, in which case the employment will be a postdoc position. A background in industrial ecology and LCA would be highly desirable. Knowledge and experience in MRIO and trade assessments would be an asset. Interest in modeling and programming would be an advantage, but more important are capabilities to develop conceptual frameworks to properly set science based targets at various scales. Your employment will be contracted according to the standard regulations of ETH (funding secured for 1 year). The project will start in May 2019 or upon mutual agreement.

We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas and contact details of two referees. We will start interviewing candidates as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 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 about the Ecological Systems Design Group please visit our website Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Stefanie Hellweg, (no applications) or Dr. Stephan Pfister, (no applications).