PhD position in Exoplanet Formation at ETH Zürich

The Experimental Planetology Group invites applications to undertake a PhD on the relevance of compositional diversity among exoplanetary bodies for their interior structure and evolution in the context of the SERI-funded ERC Grant, 2ATMO.

The discovery of planets orbiting stars other than our Sun (exoplanets) has prompted us to think about how planets form from a new perspective. Of the >5000 exoplanets found to date, a significant fraction are thought to be rocky based on their masses and radii. However, the compositions, and hence the mineralogies and interior structures of these bodies, are poorly known.

The successful candidate will estimate compositions of exoplanets from existing data and perform high-temperature / high-pressure experiments under controlled conditions to simulate the interiors of such bodies. The data will be used together to develop improved thermodynamic models for the mineralogy, melting behaviour and structures of exoplanets. The candidate will work in an interdisciplinary environment at the forefront of experimental, theoretical and observational work on the characterisation and evolution of rocky planets. At ETH, PhD completion is expected within 4 years.

Prospective applicants should hold an MSc in the broad field of physical sciences; such as experimental petrology/geochemistry, astronomy/astrophysics, chemical thermodynamics, or related disciplines. The successful candidate is expected to fulfil some laboratory and/or teaching duties. Remuneration will conform to the internal rate set by ETH Zürich for doctoral students, here.

ETH Zurich is ranked first in the world for Earth Sciences, a product of the cutting-edge research performed within the Department of Earth Sciences (D-ERDW).

We look forward to receiving your application in the form of a CV and a 1-page statement of motivation here. The deadline for applications is the 1st of March, with a start date no later than the 1st of June, 2023. Any other inquiries should be addressed to Prof. Paolo Sossi, paolo.sossi [at]

posted: 10 February 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.