PhD Position: Project on Artificial Intelligence and People Analytics 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

Project background

Recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have enabled algorithms to undertake tasks that previously required human judgement and decision. This project aims to advance understanding of how organizations can integrate fast, accurate and low-cost predictions provided by AI into strategic functions in order to enhance productivity, reduce coordination costs and improve knowledge sharing.

Job description

In particular, the project focus lies on the application of AI for people analytics functions such as recruitment, well-being monitoring, and coaching. The introduction of AI into human resources functions is challenging due to the unique characteristics of AI algorithms; their opaqueness, embedded bias and autonomous nature reshape the way individual users and organizations perceive trust and fairness. In collaboration with UBS, you will investigate various applications of AI in organizations, which have a key strategic importance yet remain underexplored.
Given the research-focused orientation of the Chair, we are specifically looking for an aspiring scholar with career ambitions in academic research. The project should culminate in a thesis composed of at least three high-quality research papers targeted at the field’s leading journals.

Your profile
  • You should hold an MSc, MA, or MPhil degree (MBAs are not eligible) in computer science or business administration, or in related fields such as psychology, mathematics, engineering, physics or statistics.
  • A strong affinity with AI/Machine Learning and some background in statistics.
  • You have gained experience in field research in an agile workplace and can demonstrate strong business-centric capabilities and stakeholder management skills.
  • Excellent written and spoken English skills are required.
  • You possess a strong interest in developing research skills, enjoy researching and writing, are curious, learning-oriented and self-directed, enjoy collaborating in teams, and have a strong interest in contemporary issues in management and organizations.
Your workplace
Your workplace

We offer

You will be co-supervised by Prof. Georg von Krogh and a team of senior researchers at .

The SMI group offers an inspiring, supportive, and team-based research environment to support your immediate immersion into an ambitious research agenda. Our team consists of a dynamic and international group of researchers who share a common vision of contributing significantly to the highest-level academic research in the fields of strategic management and innovation. We direct our work to topics such as knowledge management, information systems innovation, collaborative innovation, organization and management theory, and competitive strategy. The team has an excellent track record for publishing in the field’s leading journals (including The Academy of Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Nature Biotechnology, Management Science, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal), and has a strong international network of collaborators.

Our industry partner UBS is the world’s largest and only truly global wealth manager. UBS operates through four business divisions: Global Wealth Management, Personal & Corporate Banking, Asset Management and the Investment Bank. Its global reach and the breadth of its expertise are major assets that set UBS apart from its competitors. With more than 70,000 employees, UBS has a presence in all major financial centres in more than 50 countries. UBS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. UBS respects and seeks to empower each individual and support the diverse cultures, perspectives, skills and experiences within its workforce.

We offer competitive . Funding is secured for at least three years. For more information on employment 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 to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.
Curious? So are we.

Applications should be submitted online until January 31, 2023:

Your application should contain the following documents:

  • A cover letter motivating your interest in the position
  • Curriculum Vitae (1-2 pages)
  • University diplomas and transcripts
  • Master thesis and other research papers
  • At least one reference letter

At a later stage in the recruiting process, we will transmit the applicant’s application documents to UBS for their review. The applicants will also need to share their criminal records with this industry partner.

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