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.
Our Department Environmental Social Sciences is offering a
PostDoc Position (80-100%, 4 years)
within the Swiss National Science Foundation Sinergia (a funding scheme targeted to support collaborative, interdisciplinary projects where breakthrough research is expected) Project ‘Transformation toward resilient ecosystems: bridging natural and social sciences (TREBRIDGE)’. This project addresses the challenge of transforming highly managed Alpine watersheds toward more resilient ecosystems to meet societal and ecological needs through an inter- and transdisciplinary approach. The project brings together inter- and transdisciplinary scholars, geologists, geomorphologists, hydrologists, ecologists, economists and policy analysts. Through a structured process of science integration, the project (a) combines different disciplinary perspectives involved in the project to attain cohesive research results and tailored synthesis products (WP1), (b) develops and assesses scenarios through a participatory process by engaging with stakeholders to co-develop policy and management options (WP2). To do so, the project (c) quantifies the erosion and the sediment cascade in three case study regions (WP 3) and assesses whether and how different forest management practices have an impact on sediment production and transfer in the case study regions (WP 4). The project then (d) draws on the quantitative findings from WP 3 and WP 4 to assess the (non-)monetary values of material (e.g., sediment, timber) and non-material Alpine resources (e.g. ecological functions) based on societal preferences (WP 5). The project thus strives to provide a new level of integration across different disciplines (interdisciplinary integration) as well as science, policy and practice (transdisciplinary integration) to tackle one of the most important land management challenges of heavily engineered landscapes in European mountain regions: a transformation toward resilient ecosystems.

The PostDoc position is situated at the interface between different disciplines, fields and sectors. It contributes to the inter- and transdisciplinary integration, by (a) developing integrative boundary concepts (e.g., ‘resilience’, ‘ecosystem services’, ‘transformation’) as well as integrative methods and tools (e.g., ‘context analysis’, ‘scenario development’), (b) co-elaborating a common conceptual framework for the entire project, (c) generating tailored synthesis products for different target audiences (e.g. policy briefs), and (d) co-creating scenarios with different stakeholders through a participatory process. The position requires panoptic perspectives and strong interactions with all PIs, PostDocs and PhDs involved in the project as well as with stakeholders from policy and practice from the local to the national level. Candidates should be intrinsically motivated to contribute to inter- and transdisciplinarity in both theory and practice. They should be eager not only to lead inter- and transdisciplinary integration at the interface between different disciplines, fields and sectors, but also to engage with different theories and epistemologies, identify critical connections between different approaches and analyze challenges and opportunities of integration at a cognitive, social and emotional level. The position is part of an effort to develop and promote academic careers for integration experts.

Successful candidates must have earned an excellent PhD in integrative studies (sustainability science, social sciences - e.g. sociology, political science -, science and technology studies, sustainability transformation, environmental sciences) and must have experience in collaborating within inter- and transdisciplinary teams and developing and applying inter- and transdisciplinary concepts, methods and tools. We expect good integrative skills, and high social and emotional intelligence. Fluency in German and English (spoken and written) is required, skills in French are an asset.

Eawag is a leading institute worldwide for research in Aquatic Sciences & Technology with some 600 collaborators including over 100 PhD students in a stimulating multidisciplinary environment. As a modern employer Eawag 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/

The institute is located close to Zurich, which provides ample possibilities for international education and is known for its excellent quality of life.

For further information, please contact Dr Sabine Hoffmann or Dr Eva Lieberherr

Deadline for applications is 8 January 2022 with a potential start on 1 March 2022. Please submit your motivation letter and CV (including grades, diploma, publication list and two references) in electronic form as one single PDF on our online portal.

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