ETH Zurich is one of the world's leading universities specialising in science and technology. It is renowned for its excellent education, its cutting-edge fundamental research and its efforts to put new knowledge and innovations directly into practice. In the framework of the European Horizon 2020 project RISE “Towards operational forecasting of earthquakes and early warning capacity for more resilient societies”, the Transdisciplinarity Lab of the Department of Environmental System Sciences (TdLab) offers a PhD position in collaboration with the project coordinator, the Swiss Seismological Service (SED).
PhD candidate in Communicating Earthquake Information in a Multi-Hazard Context (100%, 3 to 4 years)
More than 170 million people in Europe are exposed to significant earthquake hazard. RISE aims at enhancing earthquake resilience and limiting negative impacts of future events by advancing real-time earthquake risk reduction capabilities.
We offer a PhD position at the interface of science and society. You will be working at both TdLab and SED, two units at ETH Zurich with exceptional people and great team spirit. You will become part of an international team of researchers and practitioners collaborating on the question of how to best design information allowing its users to base decisions on. In your thesis, you will focus on information distribution in multi-hazard environments. Such platforms already exist, the apps of MeteoSwiss or AlertSwiss are examples, assembling information on multiple hazards. Up to now, information processing in such multi-hazard contexts has not been rigorously tested.
We are looking for a candidate with a completed Master's degree in social sciences or in environmental, natural, engineering sciences with interests and method skills in social sciences. Candidates should show great interest in analyzing the communication of scientific and technical information to non-experts in the field. Having advanced knowledge in designing and building different information materials or prototypes is advantageous. You need solid statistical skills and must be familiar with different social research methods (surveys, interviews etc.). Working in a multi-disciplinary team, interacting with stakeholders and the wider public should please you. Excellent English and German skills are mandatory, French and Italian skills are very helpful.
We look forward to receiving your online application including the following documents: letter of motivation, CV, contact information of two referees and a sample document of academic writing in English (e.g. Master thesis, semester thesis, publications as first author, etc.). The review of applications will start on 10 June 2019 and continue until the position is filled. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

For further information about the TdLab, please visit our website:; about the SED, please visit our website Questions regarding the position should be directed to Michèle Marti ( (absent from 23 May until 10 June) or Prof. Dr. Michael Stauffacher ( by e-mail (no applications).