Two PhD Positions: Data quality in border control and law enforcement 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 research group «Technology and Governance» at ETH Zurich is looking for two PhD candidates to work within CURATE, a 5-year ERC-SERI-funded project that investigates data quality in European border control and law enforcement cooperation.
The starting date will be 1st  April 2023 or per agreement.

Project background

Our research is theory-driven, empirically grounded, and methodologically broad. The CURATE project focuses on data quality questions in European border control and law enforcement and pays particular attention to the origins of quality shortcomings in data, the effects of data quality on both the protection of human rights and the operational effectiveness of security agencies and ways to address and improve data quality.

We draw on approaches from international relations, critical security studies, science and technology studies, criminology, and critical data studies. We predominantly use qualitative and participative methods.

Job description

You will be expected to carry out project-related research activities and develop your own PhD project within the larger context of CURATE, preferably using synergy effects and research data produced throughout CURATE activities.

Your profile


  • have a background in international relations, science and technology studies, criminology, or a related discipline
  • possess excellent English language skills, high-level analytical and writing skills, and a well-organized and team-oriented working style
  • are interested in or have previously worked on questions of databases and data sharing in the security domain
  • have theoretical and practical knowledge of qualitative methods
Your workplace
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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.

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.

We look forward to receiving your online application including the following documents by 3rd February 2023:

  • a letter of interest explaining the skills and motivation you would bring to the position
  • a CV
  • a research proposal (max. 3 pages)
  • one or two single-authored writing samples (e.g. a seminar paper, MA thesis, or academic article)

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 inquiries, please contact Prof. Matthias Leese at (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.

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