PhD student Positions in Environmental Chemistry| University of Zurich| Eawag

PhD PhD student Positions in Environmental Chemistry| University of Zurich| Eawag

Deadline: 31 January 2024

The Fenner Group at the University of Zurich and Eawag is inviting applications for two open PhD positions in Environmental Chemistry.

  1. Project context

The recently communicated Safe-and-Sustainable-by-Design (SSbD) framework of the European Union aims to develop new chemicals in a way that they are inherently environmentally safe. Implementation of this goal requires appropriate methods for high-throughput assessment of key environmental hazards, including chemicals’ persistence in the environment and their potential for causing (eco-)toxicological effects. In the frame of a recently funded collaborative project, we will work with computational scientists and (eco-) toxicologist to develop automated, high-throughput assays for persistence assessment, explore novel hazard assessment concepts (cumulative and persistent toxicity equivalents (CTE and PTE) (1) and apply them to relevant case studies, including antioxidants and other polymer additives.

  1. Tasks
  • You will develop miniaturized biodegradation assays and validate them against existing regulatory end-point data on persistence
  • You will collaborate with others to implement these workflows on liquid handling platforms for increased throughput
  • You will collaborate with others to couple degradation and toxicity assays for the
      implementation of the CTE/PTE concept
  •  You will apply the coupled assays to a number of case studies
  • You will present results at international conferences and prepare publications in
      peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • You assist the teaching at the Chemistry Department of the University of Zurich
  1. Your profile
  • Master’s degree in environmental sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, analytical
      chemistry or related fields
  • Research experience with mass spectrometry
  • Skills in data evaluation and modeling and/or laboratory automation are a plus
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and oral/written communication skills
     (English required, German desirable)
  • Motivation to work in an interdisciplinary team and across institutions
  1. Benefits
  • The project will be led by Kathrin Fenner, and will be conducted in close collaboration with Prof. Beate Escher (Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, UFZ Leipzig). Kathrin Fenner is professor in Environmental Chemistry at the Chemistry Department of the University of Zurich and group leader at the Department of Environmental Chemistry at Eawag. Both Eawag and the University of Zurich are located within the Zürich metropolitan area. 
  • As a PhD student, you will become part of the PhD program offered by the Graduate School of Chemical and Molecular Sciences Zürich.
  • The University of Zurich is a modern employer and offers an excellent working envi-ronment where staff can contribute their strengths, experience and ways of thinking. We promote gender equality and are committed to staff diversity and inclusion. The compatibility of career and family is of central importance to us.
  • Places of work/Employment: University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland &Eawag, Überlandstrasse 133, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland Employment through University of Zurich


V. Application process

  • To Apply with more information, please click here:
  • We ask for strongly motivated candidates to submit their applications containing a motivation letter, a research summary of past accomplishments (1 page), a CV (resumé), and 1 letter of support (or the names and contact details of 2 referees) in a single pdf file.
  • Employment start date will be mutually agreed upon (preferably as soon as possible).
  • For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Kathrin Fenner, [email protected].ch

VI. About Eawag

Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is an internationally networked aquatic research institute within the ETH Domain (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology). Eawag conducts research, education and expert consulting to achieve the dual goals of meeting direct human needs for water and maintaining the function and integrity of aquatic ecosystems.

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