PhD Position in Interiors of Magma Ocean Planets
ETH Zurich Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics

PhD Position in Interiors of Magma Ocean Planets

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The newly established research group of Caroline Dorn at the Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics (ETH Zürich) invites applications for young scientists. The research group also belongs to the Center of Origin and Prevalence of Life led by Prof. Didier Queloz. 

The PhD project is funded for four years. The successful candidate can start earliest in autumn 2023 and no later than February 2024.

Project background

With her SNSF Starting Grant, Caroline Dorn establishes her research group on exoplanets at ETH Zürich. Her innovative research in areas as diverse as planet interiors, origins of atmospheres, and planet formation demonstrates her intellectual mobility to collaborate across disciplines. Caroline Dorn is a leading expert in the characterization of exoplanet interiors. For the success of individual research projects, her group members are expected to collaborate with international experts as well as colleagues from ETH, the University of Zurich, and the NCCR PlanetS, depending on the projects.

Job description

This PhD project is highly interdisciplinary as it links geophysics and exoplanetary science. You will explore and refine static interior models for Super-Earths and Sub-Neptunes to better understand the diversity of their interiors and atmospheres. Specifically, the presence of magma oceans and their chemical coupling to the atmosphere are of key interest. With a new generation of in-house interior models, you will explore fundamental questions of exoplanetary science that link to the formation and evolution of distant worlds.

Your profile

  • We seek motivated students with a strong background in geosciences or physics, including atmospheric sciences, astronomy, geochemistry or planetary sciences. Courses throughout the PhD program will familiarise you with the areas you have not been specialising in during your undergraduate studies.
  • You must hold a Master's degree or equivalent by the starting date of the position.
  • Previous research experience and skills will be important criteria during the selection. Familiarity with MAC/Linux/UNIX computer environments, high-performance computing, and Fortran/Python/C computer languages is desirable but not required.

Your workplace

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

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We value diversity

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 our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application including:

  • a cover letter describing their research experience and career goals
  • CV
  • the names and email addresses of at least two professional references

Please send your applications as soon as possible but no later than April 15, 2023.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Informal inquiries about the thematic direction of the positions are welcome and should be sent to (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

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.

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