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PhD Student: Reform Implementation in International Education Systems in Zürich

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


100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Chair of Education Systems investigates the shifts in educational systems in the face of 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. Building on our experience in translational research, our research contributes to the evaluation and development of education systems in a number of countries on all six inhabited continents.

CEMETS is the Chair’s international education systems reform lab. Our work is focused on the design and implementation of education systems reforms of all types, especially in the areas of vocational and professional education and with the goal of improving (youth) labor market outcomes. We develop benchmark instruments and contribute to the understanding of what successful reform takes across institutional and cultural contexts.

Job description

CEMETS research investigates the implementation of education systems reforms in various countries, with specific focus on a smaller number of countries with more in-depth research projects. The main objective of this PhD position is the application of econometric and other research methods to the data gathered in these projects. The analysis will focus on the conditions that help or hinder successful reform implementation and positive impact on (youth) labor market outcomes—among other key outcomes. You will also support the research and data collection in target countries.

We offer 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 in accordance with and an office located in downtown Zurich.

The position is available in summer 2021.

Your profile

We are looking for a PhD student with a Master’s degree from a university in the area of economics or related fields. You should have a strong affinity to quantitative data analysis; prior experience in education or labor economics is a plus. You should be interested in education systems and their connections to labor markets, equity, and other outcomes.

Excellent organizational and communication skills are required, as well as excellent speaking and writing in English. Other languages are a bonus. You need to be familiar with MS Office applications as well as modern analytical tools like Stata or R.

You bring enthusiasm for education, and policy work. Ideally, you have already gained initial experience in this environment. Most importantly, you work well independently and with others and are happy when you are part of a high-performing team.

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 are happy to accept applications from a wide range of backgrounds. Please include the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation
  • CV/resume

You can find more information about the Chair of Education Systems and CEMETS at our websites ( and ). Questions regarding the position can be directed to Dr. Katie Caves at katie.caves@mtec.ethz.ch (no applications). Please apply exclusively via the online application portal.

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