Scientist or PostDoc in cheminformatics

Materials science and technology are our passion. With our cutting-edge research, Empa's around 1,100 employees make essential contributions to the well-being of society for a future worth living. Empa is a research institution of the ETH Domain.
In line with Empa's mission, the Technology and Society Laboratory (TSL) explores the role of novel materials and emerging technologies in sustainability transformation and supports stakeholders in designing more sustainable materials, technologies and systems.

Your tasks

Within TSL, the Environmental Risk Assessment and Management Group (ERAM), is looking for a Scientist or a PostDoc responsible for developing and applying a toolbox for open data on the chemical and material uses in the frame of the ETH Domain project OpenChemUses and the Horizon 2020 project “Zero Pollution of Persistent, Mobile Substances (ZeroPM).” OpenChemUses belongs to the Open Research Data initiative, with the aim to enable and engage the wide scientific and regulatory communities to work towards open FAIR data on the uses of chemicals and materials by developing and disseminating a “big-data” toolbox that address both existing and future use reporting. The ZeroPM project will establish an evidencebased multilevel framework to guide policy, technological innovation, and market incentives to minimize use, emissions and pollution of persistent and mobile substances to the environment. The overall goal of the work performed at Empa is to build databases of chemicals and materials on the global market towards better understanding of their uses and fate in the technosphere. The project implementation will be achieved in close collabora-tion with the project partners, including IBM Research Europe, the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and the University of Luxembourg.

Your profile

  • PhD in environmental/natural sciences, computer sciences or engineering 
  • The field of expertise is ideally in big data analytics or cheminformatics, along with some experience/interest in environmental chemistry or pollution research
  • Skills in a relevant programming language (e.g., R, Python) are essential, ideally including machine/deep learning and natural language processing
  • Practical experience or good familiarity with textual nomenclature for diverse chemical structures and substructures (InChI, SMILES/SMART) and other identifiers (CAS numbers and names, IUPAC names, etc.) is desirable
  • Proficiency with working with large database and relational database structures (e.g., PostgreSQL) is desirable and experience in cloud-based implementations of these databases is beneficial
  • Willingness to work closely and cooperate actively in a larger team 
  • Excellent communication skills and fluency in English (both written and oral) 
  • Proven track record in scientific writing and publishing

Our offer

We offer a stimulating academic environment in a laboratory with more than 40 scientists dedicated to sustainability transformation. The position, which is initially limited to 2 years with potential for prolon-gation is available immediately. Working place is St. Gallen, the starting date can be negotiated.
We live a culture of inclusion and respect. We welcome all people who are interested in innovative, sustainable and meaningful activities - that's what counts.
We look forward to receiving your complete online application including a letter of motivation, CV, certificates, diplomas and contact details of two reference persons. Please submit these exclusively via our job portal. Applications by e-mail and by post will not be considered.
Sarah Stüdli, Bereichspersonalleiterin / HR Partner


  Dr. Zhanyun Wang
Technology and Society

Your future place of work

Lerchenfeldstrasse 5
9014 St. Gallen

Empa as an employer

Innovative, sustainable, meaningful activities
Creating added value for society
International, multicultural working environment
Freedom to create and develop
Culture of inclusion and respect
Excellent balance between different areas of life
Multiple award-winning and certified employer
Benefits for rail, mobile, childcare, catering, etc.