ENAC- PhD Position in Soil Biogeochemistry

We are offering a fully funded, four-year PhD position in the Soil Biogeochemistry Laboratory (SOIL) at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. The PhD project is a collaboration between SOIL and Nestlé Research.

Agricultural systems are under pressure to produce increasing amounts of food for a growing human population while preserving, and ideally enhancing, the capacity of soils to sequester carbon and provide a habitat for biodiversity. Regenerative agricultural practices can help us achieve this goal. One such practice is the application of organic fertilizers. The PhD candidate will conduct a field study (in canton Vaud and Bern) to investigate the effects of organic fertilization strategies on soil greenhouse gas emissions, crop productivity, soil health, and carbon sequestration capacity. The work will be carried out in collaboration with the Nestlé institute of Agricultural Sciences. 

Main duties and responsibilities include

  • Regular collection of soil, gas, and plant samples from agricultural fields.
  • Process and analyze collected samples (general soil characterization, soil mineral and organic matter characterization, soil microbiological analyses)
  • Interpret the collected data and communicate research findings.
  • Complete classes required by the EDCE doctoral school.
  • Write scientific articles for publication in international peer-reviewed journals.
  • Participate in teaching assistance.
  • Attend and present at national and international conferences and meetings.

Your profile

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., environmental science, soil science, environmental engineering, ecology).
  • Enthusiastic, self-motivated, and willing to learn.
  • Critical thinker and rigor in experimental work.
  • Good organizational and communication skills.
  • Motivation for field work, field experience is desirable.
  • Fluent English.
  • Fluent French and/or German is an asset.

We offer

  • An opportunity to develop a scientific career in soil and environmental biogeochemistry.
  • Access to state-of-the art experimental techniques at EPFL.
  • Opportunities to attend and present at international conferences
  • Stimulating research environment.
  • Opportunity to build a scientific and professional network.
  • Excellent educational and working conditions.

Start date: February 2024

Work rate: 100%

Duration: one-year fixed-term contract that is renewable for a maximum of four years according to EPFL rules

To apply, please send the following documents as one single pdf file to [email protected]:

  • A brief letter of motivation / interest in the project
  • Detailed CV- including contact information for 2-3 references
  • Grades for master and bachelor studies

Please also ensure to apply to the Doctoral Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering (EDCE).

For additional information, please contact Prof. Meret Aeppli by e-mail via [email protected]