Doctoral position for engineering living microrobots for sensing and repair (as part of the eth zurich alive initiative)

WorkplaceZürich, Zurich region, Switzerland

Doctoral position for Engineering Living Microrobots for sensing and repair (as part of the ETH Zurich ALIVE Initiative)

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The RBSL ( ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> ) seeks an excellent doctoral candidate to work on the project “Engineering living microrobots for sensing and repair ” as part of the ETH Zurich ALIVE Initiative.The RBSL seeks an excellent doctoral candidate to work on the project “Engineering living microrobots for sensing and repair ” as part of the ETH Zurich ALIVE Initiative.

ALIVE doctoral fellows are welcome to join the MaP Doctoral School ( ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> ) hosted by the ETH Zurich Competence Center for Materials and Processes ( MaP ). The MaP Doctoral School provides topclass international doctoral education in advanced materials, processes and manufacturing technologies. Future graduates get ready to drive transformations in the way Materials and Processes shape the world. Find out how doctoral students get prepared to realise an impact in science and society, and what they enjoy most during their doctoral studies at ETH Zurich: ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> .

Project background


Advanced Engineering with Living Materials Initiative of ETH Zurich aims at elucidating and applying the design principles of living systems as a basis for sustainable, intelligent and resilient materials and technologies of the future. Our approach encompasses the study of natural systems and the development of biohybrid or biomimetic synthetic systems bridging across scales, from the nano to the macro and structural scale. ALIVE is organised in three interrelated project streams:

  • ZJ

    Actuated Human Joint Organoid on Chip for Personalised Health

  • BHR

    Multiscale Bio-Hybrid Tissues for Robotics Driven by Applications in Health

  • CO2SAI

    Living Systems for Carbon-Capturing in Self-Aware Infrastructure

ALIVE brings together over 20 professorships from material science, engineering, biosystems science and possible impact areas such as architecture and health. A cohort of ca. 20 doctoral students is currently being recruited and each doctoral student will be co-advised by at least two participating professors from ETH Zurich. Accordingly, doctoral students are expected to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the research groups involved and to actively seek cross-group collaborations.

Job description

Within this multidisciplinary endeavour, you will be researching for the ALIVE project stream “BHR”, and will develop living microrobots for sense and repair functions within biohybrid robotic actuators, indluing the delivery of payload and detection of inflammatory or stress signals. These microrobots will be biohybrid themselves and based on genetically modified and physicochemically functionalized E. coli bacteria. Your work will entail the design of suitable genetic circuits, genetic engineering, bioconjugation for nanomaterials and integration of readout instrumentation. This work will be accomplished in a multidisciplinary team of highly motivated and trained members. The starting date is as soon as possible and no later than December 2022, to constitute a cohort of doctoral students with the aim of promoting collaboration and a common culture across ALIVE.

Your profile

You are enthusiastic to drive future transformations in the way Materials and Processes shape the world - sustainably, intelligently and resiliently. You are ready to make an impact in science and society by pushing research frontiers in microrobotics. You should hold a Master’s degree in bioengineering, biotechnology, or similar. Experience in synthetic biology is essential and highly valued. You must have an excellent track record and meet the general admission requirements for a doctorate at ETH Zurich .

ALIVE is looking for highly motivated, committed, and creative individuals, able to work in a multidisciplinary team and with outstanding communication skills. Good written and spoken English is essential.

We offer

You will join an international team of chemical engineers, material scientists, and biologists and will be presented with outstanding opportunities for professional and personal development.

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.

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

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 documents:

  • Detailed CV including a list of publications, talks and awards (if applicable)
  • Short motivation letter (750-1000 words) outlining your research interests and career plans in relation to the present offer.
  • Scanned degree certificates and transcripts (Bachelor’s, Master’s and other degrees)
  • Contact details of 2-3 individuals (established faculty researchers, max. 1 postdoctoral researcher or non-academic (e.g. industry) supervisor is allowed) who can provide a reference.

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

For further information, please visit ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> . Questions regarding this position should be directed to Prof. Simone Schürle-Finke by email at (no applications).

Apply online now

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.

In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 2321308.