Design++ Postdoctoral Fellowship 2024

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

Design++ is the new Center for Augmented Computational Design in Architecture, Engineering and Construction at ETH Zurich. The vision of the center is to create novel solutions to address pressing sustainability challenges while pushing construction productivity and striving for high-quality built environmental spaces. In Design++, we see that the path to such a future within the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is via innovation in computational methods, artificial intelligence (AI) and extended reality (XR). To achieve this, Design++ supports collaborative, cross-departmental research activities and industry exchange.

Project background

The Design++ postdoctoral fellowship program is expected to develop a strong emphasis on innovation in augmented computational design in the AEC industry. This fellowship program aims to support talented researchers in bringing promising technologies and solutions further into development with an emphasis on commercialization. The intention is to help fill an implementation gap for promising technology and solutions which promote resource efficiency, circularity, integrated planning processes and to reduce carbon emissions in the AEC industry. Research topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Establishing innovative methods or digital tools (for example based on AI, machine learning, XR) for the full value chain from design to fabrication for new construction or renovation projects
  • Advancing XR and Robotics to support planning, construction, prefabrication, and renovation
  • Creating methods for augmenting/automating building information modeling (BIM), to bridge the gap between construction and operation
  • Developing data-driven digital planning to advance innovation for facades and building skins, construction and structures, interiors, and/or building services

Job description

The primary responsibility of the Postdoctoral researcher is to lead the research agenda outlined in their proposal within the two-year fellowship. The fellow is expected to provide a short annual report of the progress of their research project to Design++ (in the respective 12th and 22nd month of employment). As a fellow, you are also expected to actively participate and support the planning of industry exchanges to promote knowledge transfer in the AEC industry. Other obligations such as teaching, defined by the fellow’s hosting professors should also be fulfilled. 

Together with other Design++ affiliated researchers and staff, you are expected to join and support scientific exchanges, social events and participate in other Design++ activities such as workshops, summer/winter schools, conferences, etc. 

Profile

We are looking for highly motivated fellows who demonstrate scientific excellence and who have an innovative research proposal within one of the above outlined topics. The selection criteria include:

  • previous performance, publication record, and potential awards
  • track record relative to opportunities and career stage
  • competence in the proposed research area
  • uniqueness and scientific quality of the research proposal
  • fit of the Design++ postdoctoral fellowship with the career goals of the applicant
  • the compatibility of the research proposal with the vision of Design++
  • intended contributions to the center’s goals of knowledge transfer with industry and scientific exchange

Eligibility Criteria: At the time of the submission deadline, candidates must hold or plan to complete their doctorate (PhD) within four months of the submission deadline. The doctorate may be in architecture, civil engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, material science, or other relevant fields to the proposed research project. Applicants must have obtained their doctorate a maximum of six years prior to the submission deadline. The decisive date is the date of the oral examination or defense.

Workplace

Workplace




We offer

At Design++, we offer a modern, dynamic, multidisciplinary and international work environment. You will be embedded within Design++ and therefore have access to the network of experts across ETH, the world leading Immersive Design Lab, state-of-the-art XR equipment, and will join a growing cohort of motivated and talented researchers. 

The duration of the Design++ postdoctoral fellowship is two years. Fellows will be employed and paid according to the standard regulations of ETH Zurich. The Design++ fellowship covers 75% of your salary and social costs, the remaining 25% should be covered by two hosting ETH professors over the two-year fellowship. 

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.

Application Process: Calls for applications will be published once per year. One fellow will be selected per year for a two-year fellowship position. Applications are encouraged from candidates with a keen interest to advance their research, validate the concept for market entrance, and propose new business models around the proposed research topics within the AEC industry. Applications must be made jointly by the candidate and two hosting professors from different ETH departments who are willing to act as mentors of the fellow. At least one of the two professors must be a Design++ Research Network member and at least one host professor must have a guaranteed ETH position for the entire duration of the proposed fellowship. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Your application should include all requested information in one single pdf no larger than 15 pages and must be submitted until May 22nd:

  • a detailed CV including a list of publications and awards
  • transcripts of certificates (Doctorate, Master’s degree, other degrees)
  • a research statement (1-2 pages) outlining the intended research proposal, potential for commercialization and intended collaborators
  • a statement (1 page) outlining motivation, experience, research interests, and career goals
  • The application must also include one letter of support signed by the two ETH Zurich hosting professors, stating their support of the project, and detailing the level of independence and the scientific autonomy that will be granted to Design++ fellow in the event of acceptance. Additionally, the letter must confirm that the host professors are willing to:
    • Jointly provide 25% of the salary and social costs of the fellow between the two professorships. This amount is considered either a contribution to the project or to activities of the host professorship(s), for example in terms of teaching and/or mentoring.
    • Integrate the fellow in both research groups.
    • Provide the fellow with a main workplace and access to the infrastructure required to complete the proposed research work during the two-year fellowship.

The evaluation consists of two steps. First, the written applications will be evaluated by the selection committee, the results of which will be communicated to the applicants within one month after the submission deadline. Candidates whose applications pass the first step will be invited to an interview (virtual or on-site). The evaluation process for 2024:

  • March 15: Call opens
  • May 22: Applications due
  • May 30: Decision on candidate short-list and an invitation to those candidates for an interview
  • June 7: Virtual or on-site interviews in Zurich      
  • June 15: Decision announcement for the selected fellow; notify all applicants and corresponding host faculty via e-mail
  • August 1: Estimated start of the fellowship, offer is valid for four months

Further information about Design++ can be found on the website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Danielle Griego, Tel +41 44 632 52 32, or email griego@arch.ethz.ch (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.

Curious? So are we.

Application Process: Calls for applications will be published once per year. One fellow will be selected per year for a two-year fellowship position. Applications are encouraged from candidates with a keen interest to advance their research, validate the concept for market entrance, and propose new business models around the proposed research topics within the AEC industry. Applications must be made jointly by the candidate and two hosting professors from different ETH departments who are willing to act as mentors of the fellow. At least one of the two professors must be a Design++ Research Network member and at least one host professor must have a guaranteed ETH position for the entire duration of the proposed fellowship. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Your application should include all requested information in one single pdf no larger than 15 pages and must be submitted until May 22nd:

  • a detailed CV including a list of publications and awards
  • transcripts of certificates (Doctorate, Master’s degree, other degrees)
  • a research statement (1-2 pages) outlining the intended research proposal, potential for commercialization and intended collaborators
  • a statement (1 page) outlining motivation, experience, research interests, and career goals
  • The application must also include one letter of support signed by the two ETH Zurich hosting professors, stating their support of the project, and detailing the level of independence and the scientific autonomy that will be granted to Design++ fellow in the event of acceptance. Additionally, the letter must confirm that the host professors are willing to:
    • Jointly provide 25% of the salary and social costs of the fellow between the two professorships. This amount is considered either a contribution to the project or to activities of the host professorship(s), for example in terms of teaching and/or mentoring.
    • Integrate the fellow in both research groups.
    • Provide the fellow with a main workplace and access to the infrastructure required to complete the proposed research work during the two-year fellowship.

The evaluation consists of two steps. First, the written applications will be evaluated by the selection committee, the results of which will be communicated to the applicants within one month after the submission deadline. Candidates whose applications pass the first step will be invited to an interview (virtual or on-site). The evaluation process for 2024:

  • March 15: Call opens
  • May 22: Applications due
  • May 30: Decision on candidate short-list and an invitation to those candidates for an interview
  • June 7: Virtual or on-site interviews in Zurich      
  • June 15: Decision announcement for the selected fellow; notify all applicants and corresponding host faculty via e-mail
  • August 1: Estimated start of the fellowship, offer is valid for four months

Further information about Design++ can be found on the website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Danielle Griego, Tel +41 44 632 52 32, or email griego@arch.ethz.ch (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.