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PhD Position in Noble Gas Cosmochemistry in Zürich

Studierende finden an der ETH Zürich ein Umfeld, das eigenständiges Denken fördert, Forschende ein Klima, das zu Spitzenleistungen inspiriert.


100%, Zurich, temporary

The Isotope Geochemistry Group of the Institute for Geochemistry and Petrology at ETH Zurich is offerering a PhD Position in Isotope Cosmochemistry

The PhD project includes cosmochemical investigations to evaluate the origin, distribution and composition of the volatile elements in the solar system. The work will focus on noble gases and their carriers in various materials. Noble gases are very helpful to disentangle processes in the early solar system.

Project background

Samples to be analysed will include material from NASA's comet sample return mission "Stardust", “interplanetary dust particles” and meteorites. The studies will mainly utilise noble gas mass spectrometry. Complementary methods will be applied to better characterise potential carrier materials. In particular, this project aims to (i) unravel how and which noble gases were incorporated into comets and asteroids and determine possible links between cometary volatiles, the terrestrial atmosphere or other solar system reservoirs, and (ii) analyse separates of enstatite chondrite materials to define timing and conditions of incorporation and modification of the trapped noble gases into them.

Job description

The position is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation to perform cutting edge research. Small potential contributions to scientific collaborations, general laboratory maintenance, the set up of new instrumentation, supervision of undergraduates, teaching, outreach or administrative work are expected.


Your profile

We seek a team-oriented communicative individual with an interest in planetary science and a grasp for experimental laboratory work. A Masters or comparable degree in a subject related to the PhD project, e.g., Earth Sciences, Mineralogy, Astronomy, Physics or Chemistry with a very good grade is required, at the latest at the start of the PhD position. Good communication and writing skills including proficiency in English, and a flexible, reliable, and accurate working style are essential. Advantageous will be experience in analytical research, particular in mass spectrometry and/or isotope geochemistry.


ETH Zurich
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.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents: CV incl. a list of publications, relevant experiences and names of three to max. five potential referees. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. The selection process starts on Oct. 11th and will continue until the position is filled. The position is available from November 1st, 2019 (negotiable).

Further information about the group can be found on . For further questions on details of the position please contact Dr. Busemann, (henner.busemann@erdw.ethz.ch) or Dr. Riebe (my.riebe@erdw.ethz.ch) (no applications).

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