PhD researcher on the topic “Rift-initiation in the lower to middle crust”

Einleitung / introduction

The Institute of Geology at the University of Bern seeks to appoint a PhD researcher on the topic “Rift-initiation in the lower to middle crust”.

Beschreibung / description

The project combines fieldwork, microstructural analysis, petrology, geochronology and modeling to investigate the feedback between strain localisation and fluid flow during lower crustal extension. A set of versatile analytical instruments will be used for microfabric (FEG-SEM, EBSD), petrochemical (EMPA, SXES, FTIR, stable isotope massspectrometry) and geochronological (LA-ICPMS, SIMS) analyses. The investigated structure will be the Pogallo lower crustal normal fault in the Southern Alps, northern Italy. The project will be supervised by a multidisciplinary team with expertise in structural geology (Prof. Marco Herwegh and Prof. Alfons Berger), petrology (Prof. Jörg Hermann) and geochronology (Prof. Daniela Rubatto) and will involve international collaborations and secondments within a MSCA Doctoral Network.

Aufgaben / tasks

This doctoral position is part of the MSCA Doctoral Network TALENTS, a European-based research network. TALENTS aims at training early career researchers with the interdisciplinary, science-driven understanding and skills that are the foundation to develop new sustainable solutions for the global challenges of the energy transition. We focus on continental rifts which are key regions for geothermal energy, carbon capture and storage, new resources such as native hydrogen as well as high-risk human habitats due to geohazards such as earthquakes and volcanic activity. TALENTS fuses research and training at 18 European institutes and academic partners as well as 11 companies that are actively involved in the energy transition. The doctoral network is centred around 12 individual PhD projects addressing fundamental scientific aspects of rift system processes, collectively bridging several orders of magnitude of spatial and temporal scales. Each doctoral candidate is linked to a second academic partner to complement and broaden their scientific training and to a dedicated industry partner to acquire industry-relevant skills and preview possible non-academic career paths.

Anforderungen / requirements

The applicant should hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Earth Sciences and have a vivid interest in structural geology, petrology and geochemistry. Some experience with fieldwork is welcome, and a flair for analytical techniques is mandatory. Enquiries regarding the specifics of the project should be directed to Prof. Marco Herwegh, The available positions is free to apply for, given that the following criteria defined by the EU are fulfilled by the applicant: (1) All researchers recruited in a doctoral network must be Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs; i.e., be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree). (2) Researchers can be of any nationality. (3) Mobility Rule: at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. (4) The mobility rule applies to the (first) beneficiary where the researcher is recruited, and not to beneficiaries to which the researcher is sent or seconded. It is also only determined at one point in time: that of the fellow's first recruitment in the project.

Wir bieten / we offer

The Institute of Institute for Geological Sciences at the University of Bern ( has a strong expertise in hard rock geology, with well-equipped analytical laboratories (e.g. SEM, Raman and FTIR spectrometry, EPMA, LA-ICP-MS), and sample preparation facilities. We have a vibrant research environment.

Bewerbung / Kontakt / application/contact

The application should include (1) a motivation statement, (2) a statement of research interests, (3) a career vision, (4) a curriculum vitae, (5) academic credentials (mark sheets and degree statements), (6) a short abstract of the MSc thesis or equivalent, and (7) the names and contact details of two referees. The application should be submitted to as a single pdf by 15 March 2024. Start of the project is planned between June 1st and September 1st 2024 and the position is funded for 4 years.

(%) Beschäftigungsgrad von / (%) employment level from: 100
(%) Beschäftigungsgrad bis / (%) employment level to: 100

Email für Bewerberlink / email for application link:

posted: 12 February 2024     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.