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.
The Department of Environmental Microbiology has a vacancy for a
Research Assistant in Biochemistry & Synthetic Biology (2 years)
We seek a highly motivated and qualified individual to work on a project on the discovery and characterization of metagenomic hydrolytic enzymes involved in pollutant biodegradation. This research builds on an ongoing, large-scale study on pollution-induced community tolerance in stream biofilms. The overall scope of the project offering this position includes the identification and characterization of candidate pollutant-degrading hydrolases from stream biofilms using a combination of metagenome mining, synthetic biology, and machine learning techniques. Specifically, the research assistant will be involved in the development and optimization of a whole-cell assay for high-throughput enzyme activity screening. The candidate will further be involved in cloning, heterologous enzyme production, and functional characterization. This research will contribute to an improved understanding of biodegradation of pharmaceuticals, artificial sweeteners, and insecticides to improve water quality.

The successful applicant will be based primarily in the Department of Environmental Microbiology (Microbial Specialized Metabolism group, Dr Serina Robinson) in close collaboration with the group of Prof. Dr Kathrin Fenner in the Department of Environmental Chemistry.

Your profile
MSc in biochemistry, biotechnology, microbiology, analytical chemistry or a related field, or bachelor’s degree in a related field with additional laboratory experience e.g., an apprenticeship. Hands-on experience in molecular methods, including gene cloning and expression, protein purification, and in vivo and in vitro assay development for functional characterization. Prior experience with FPLC, LC-MS, FACS, and/or other analytical instrumentation is a plus. We furthermore expect proficiency in English (spoken and written), excellent communication and organizational skills, an outgoing and open-minded attitude as well as the ability to work independently and as part of a team.


Eawag is a modern employer and offers an excellent working environment 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. For more information about Eawag and our work conditions please consult www.eawag.ch and www.eawag.ch/en/aboutus/working/employment.

Applications should include a letter of motivation explaining your career goals and why you fit this position well, your CV, and the names and contact information of two referees.

The deadline for applications is 20 August 2021, or until the position is filled. For further information, please contact Dr Serina Robinson.

We look forward to receiving your application. Please send it through this webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. A click on the button below will take you directly to the application form.
Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology