The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. We perform cutting-edge research in the fields of future technologies, energy and climate, health innovation and fundamentals of nature. By performing fundamental and applied research, we work on sustainable solutions for major challenges facing society, science and economy. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore, about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether, PSI employs 2200 people.

For many years the Laboratory for Waste Management has conducted multidisciplinary research on radionuclide retention and transport related to geological disposal of radioactive wastes, using a unique combination of experimental infrastructure and modelling capabilities. LES benefits strongly from on-site proximity to world-leading materials characterization facilities including the SLS synchrotron and SINQ neutron source, and the HotLab facility which is fully equipped for research utilizing radioisotopes. Such studies have strong synergies with the field of environmental engineering, circular economy including carbon capture and sequestration, and long-term performance of natural and engineered cementitious systems. A new Group Leader for the Cement Systems area at PSI, Dr John Provis, was recruited in 2023, and the appointee will work closely with him and a growing team, to conduct a world-class research program in fundamental cement science and its applications in waste disposal.

We are looking for a
Your tasks
  • Planning and conducting an experimental program on radiochemistry at the cement interface, with a focus on retention processes relevant to underground repository systems and pollutant transport in cementitious materials
  • Long term planning of an experimental research program on evolution of waste repositories, contaminant transport and cementitious materials, supported where appropriate by modelling and simulation
  • Leadership in a radiochemical laboratory context, training and guiding junior colleagues to plan and conduct their own designated research tasks
  • Publishing technical reports, papers, and presentations to showcase the work conducted
Your profile
We are looking for an expert laboratory-focused researcher, with skills and experience in radiochemistry. Expertise working with cementitious materials is highly desirable, but radiochemists with a broader experience base and who are interested to learn cement science are also welcomed. Previous involvement in international research projects devoted to waste disposal or cementitious materials is an advantage.
The candidate should have a good understanding of transport and sorption phenomena in porous media, and (geo)chemical thermodynamics. Radiochemical expertise is important in the role. The successful candidate will have a PhD degree or equivalent doctoral degree in Natural Sciences / Radiochemistry / Chemical Engineering / Materials Science / Geochemistry / Geology or a closely related field. Excellent knowledge of English is essential, and working proficiency in German will also be required.
We offer
Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure. 

This is a Tenure Track position. The employment contract will initially be limited to 3 years.

For further information, please contact Dr John Provis, phone +41 56 310 41 35 or Prof. Dr Sergey Churakov, phone +41 310 41 13.

Please submit your application online by 9 June 2024 for the position as a Scientist (index no. 4406-00).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Adina Keller, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland