PhD position on Sustainable Circular Economy

ETH Zurich


February 10, 2022


In der aktuellen Covid-19 Situation laufen die Rekrutierungen weiter. Es kann dabei allerdings zu Verzögerungen kommen. Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis.


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  • PhD position on Sustainable Circular Economy

    100%, Zurich, fixed-term

    The Group for Sustainability and Technology (SusTec) within the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics of ETH Zurich investigates technological, institutional and organizational change in different sectors.

    Sustainable Circular Economy is one perspective we are using to understand the transition of industries towards sustainability. In the plastics industry, one of our focus industries, innovation is happening on all levels and we expect to learn much from this for future change in other industries. Right now, a few potentially disruptive innovations are being developed, one of which is chemical recycling. As part of a long-term industry collaboration, we want to better understand what this kind of innovation might imply for the economy and invite applications for a PhD position on Sustainable Circular Economy.

    Job description

    Your research will focus on plastic recycling technologies that are key for a sustainable circular economy. Your main activity is the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the innovation environment and trajectory of the selected technologies in different geographies with a focus on chemical recycling. This includes, for example, the analysis of different business models along the value chain as well as regulatory boundary conditions which affect the business case and ultimately the material flow and production. Your work will make an important contribution to the question in which applications and with which infrastructure plastics can be brought onto the market in the future in a sustainable way. To gain the necessary insights into the respective innovation processes, but also to bring your research results to practical impact, you will be in frequent exchange with our industry partners.

    An integral part of your work is publishing your results in peer-reviewed journals as well as more outreach-oriented formats. In addition, you will supervise master students and support the group with other activities, for example related to teaching.

    Your profile

    Your previous activities reflect your strong interest in sustainability- related technologies and business strategies, ideally already related to the circular economy.

    You have a university-level master's degree in a field of study related to engineering, economics or environmental science. Your excellent academic record underlines your ability to think analytically, and at the same time across disciplines, both on an abstract and an applied level.

    Work experience is a plus, especially in areas related to sustainability or the circular economy. You are fluent in English and have at least a working knowledge of German. Your working style is team-oriented and you have strong communication skills. Beyond sustainability and circular economy, you have an interest in current political and societal discussions.

    We offer

    We offer an entrepreneurial research atmosphere within a dynamic team at a globally leading academic institution. We also offer national and international development opportunities through collaborations within academia and with industry, as well as an attractive location. The annual salary is very competitive, and the starting date is negotiable.

    ETH Zurich

    ETH Zurich is one of the world's leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

    Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich Get connected


    We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation including your research interests
  • CV including contact details of two referees
  • BSc & MSc grades
  • Written work of yours (e.g. your master thesis)
  • Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

    For additional information about the Group for Sustainability and Technology, please visit our web page at www. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Catharina Bening (

    In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit ourEqual Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

    Apply online now

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