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Research Coordinator: Distributed Cognition for Social Resilience

100%, Singapore, temporary

ETH Zurich is one of the leading universities of the world with a strong focus on science and engineering. In 2010, it established the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC) in collaboration with the National Research Foundation (NRF) to do interdisciplinary research on pressing problems. In collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), SEC is undertaking a research programme on "Future Resilient Systems", The FRS addresses the challenges with critical infrastructure systems that provide essential services to modern societies, which is of particular importance to innovation-driven economies like Singapore and Switzerland. Within this framework we are announcing the following job opening.

Project background

The second phase of the FRS programme consists of three clusters: cyber-physical systems resilience, resilience of high-density urban systems and distributed cognition for social resilience. 

Our research team in the cluster Distributed Cognition for Social Resilience aims to quantify social resilience, predict future disruptions so that we can mitigate the negative impacts, and understand how a resilient society interacts with infrastructure and is affected by disruptions. Based on a distributed cognition approach enabled by data science innovations, researchers will combine approaches such as real-​time data acquisition from mobile sensors, automated analysis of social media data, and context-​based spatiotemporal analysis. Ultimately, improved sense-​making and cognition at organisational and community levels will lay the foundation in building more resilient communities.

Job description

The candidate will assume the role of coordinating and initiating research activities, disseminating research outcomes, monitoring the deliverables and conducting further research to ensure coherence among the five research modules (Measuring, Modelling and Enhancing Social Resilience; Dynamic Mobile Sensing Platform; Automated Hazard Detection for Social Resilience; Spatiotemporal Analysis for Weak Signals Detection; Interactions with New Technology & Financial Systems).

Main tasks include

  • Coordinate research activities and initiate new research ideas for developing research synergies across the five modules by:
    • planning and conducting research meetings with module PIs and researchers;
    • summarizing research progress and outcomes;
    • performing research to fill in the gaps, if necessary, so that the outputs are coherent.
  • Develop innovative research outcomes that lead to high quality refereed journal and conference publications, cluster pamphlets and reports.
  • Write research proposals to seek external funding in collaboration with PIs.
  • Integrate research outputs of different modules into synergized demonstrable research outcomes.
  • Work closely with PIs to engage relevant agencies and stakeholders to initiate, discuss, develop and implement collaborations.
  • Organise meetings, workshops, seminars, events, etc. to discuss research and share and disseminate research outcomes internally and externally.
  • Actively seek collaboration opportunities with researchers from other modules and clusters in the FRS 2 programme.
  • Mentor and lead junior researchers and students in the project.

Your profile

The candidate should have:

  • A PhD degree in relevant engineering disciplines or in empirical social sciences
  • A minimum of 2 years of post-doctoral experience
  • An excellent track record of publications
  • Research experience at the intersection of engineering and social science
  • Experience in data analysis and modelling, and computer programming languages such as Python, Matlab or R
  • Interest and necessary communication skills to engage various researchers, stakeholders and partners

Singapore-ETH Centre

The Singapore-ETH Centre provides a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment to researchers working on diverse themes focussed on sustainable and liveable cities, resilient urban systems, and patient-centric healthcare. The centre is home to a community of over 100 doctoral, postdoctoral and professorial researchers working in three main programmes: Future Cities Laboratory, Future Resilient Systems, and Future Health Technologies.
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We look forward to receiving your online application including the following documents: A cover letter explaining your past work and future research interests including information about how you can contribute to this project (3 pages max), a CV, electronic copies of three of your top publications or essays, and contact details for two referees. Please 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 Dr. Jonas Joerin (email:, Co-Director of FRS or Prof. Dr. Martin Raubal (email:, Professor of Geoinformation Engineering in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at ETH Zurich. 

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