PhD Positon in Chemistry

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

PhD Positon in Chemistry

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The research group of Prof. Copéret is looking for an excellent candidate to fill a PhD position.

Project background

The project addresses one of the key challenges in modern heterogeneous catalysis, namely understanding the structure of active sites and establishing quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) in industrially relevant Ziegler-Natta catalysts. The main challenges comprise developing model catalysts as well as acquiring and interpreting NMR, XAS, and EPR spectroscopic signatures of active sites in model and industrial catalysts, with an ultimate goal of establishing QSAR and rational guiding principle to improve the performance of Ziegler-Natta catalysts. This PhD will be carried out in collaboration with one of the world's leading companies in the field of Ziegler-Natta catalysis.

Job description

You are expected to establish a molecular-level understanding of the active sites and develop structure-activity relationships for the industrially relevant Ziegler-Natta catalysts, through detailed characterization of model systems and industrial catalysts using a combination of spectroscopies (solid-state NMR, XAS, and EPR) augmented with computational approaches. Combining the evaluation of catalysts under relevant conditions and detailed data analysis will enable the candidate to develop quantitative structure-activity relationships and guideline principles toward rational catalyst development. You are expected to develop skills across a range of scientific areas. Participation in regular meetings with the industrial partners will also help the candidate to develop their soft skills.

Your profile

You are expected to have an:

  • MSc degree in Chemistry or related topics. Experiences in the field of molecular and/or material chemistry with a strong background in physical chemistry and/or advanced spectroscopic techniques (NMR, EPR, XAS)
  • Cmputational skills are important assets and highly valued

We are looking for:

  • highly motivated
  • committed
  • and creative individuals, able to work in teams

Working in a top-level research environment with advanced laboratory infrastructure, you will have a unique opportunity to develop their research abilities. The position is available from January 2024 onwards.


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 with the following information:

  • Motivation letter (1 page)
  • CV
  • Transcript
  • Names of potential referents

Applications that do not include this information will not be considered. Please also note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Dr. Christophe Copéret or Dr. Alexander Yakimov at or (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.