Postdoc in Evolution of Super-Earths and Sub-Neptunes
ETH Zurich Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics

Postdoc Position in Evolution of Super-Earths and Sub-Neptunes

80%-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 Postdoc project is funded for 2+1 years, with the renewal for the third year conditional on performance. The successful candidate can start earliest in autumn 2023 and no later than spring 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 Postdoc project is highly interdisciplinary as it links planetary science, geodynamics, and observations of exoplanets. You will explore the evolution of Super-Earths and Sub-Neptunes with a new generation of interior models. The focus is the influence of deep magma oceans on the evolution of planet atmospheres and planetary radii. How do volatiles in magma oceans affect the cooling and chemical differentiation of planets? By combining and further developing existing models, you will investigate the evolution of volatile-rich magma oceans that exist on hot rocky super-Earths and deep in the interiors of sub-Neptunes. This will also allow you to link newly discovered young TESS sub-Neptunes to the generally old population of planets. This project will impact our understanding of planet diversity and is important for the interpretation of exoplanet populations and individual planets.

Your profile

  • We seek motivated researchers with a strong background in geosciences or physics or related fields, including, but not limited to, atmospheric sciences, planetary sciences, geodynamics, and geophysics.
  • You must hold a PhD degree or equivalent by the starting date of the position.
  • Previous research and publication 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 your research experience and career goals
  • copies of Bachelor's and Master’s degree transcripts
  • 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 also 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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