Distributed Computing
ETH Zurich
DISCO Job Information

Information for potential job applicants

We work in three areas: distributed systems, machine learning, algorithms & theory. We always consider outstanding candidates in all three areas. If you think that you are a good match, please apply for a PhD position!

We usually hire twice per year, in the summer and winter seasons. During the winter there is also the possibility to apply through the ETH AI Center Fellowship program. While you can send a spontaneous email application to wattenhofer@ethz.ch in spring or fall, please be aware that outside our hiring seasons only the most exciting applications will be answered at all. Be aware that the competition for a position is fierce. We usually get hundreds of applications per hiring season, many of them from top students at top universities.

Prior to submitting your application

Applications must include

We do not need letters of reference. However, we would like to have a proof of your interests and talents. This proof can have various forms:

How to apply online

During hiring season, please use the link to the online application form on our web page.

In the online application form, you have to fill in one page of meta data (hopefully autofill) such as name, address and birth date. Then you get to a second page where you can upload PDFs. Feel free to upload multiple PDFs or simply merge all your documents (motivation, CV, transcripts, supporting documents) in one PDF. Your online application will be reviewed by multiple people, and you will for sure receive an answer after your application.

There is no specific application deadline. We interview applications on a regular basis during the hiring seasons. Once a search ends, a new call starts just about 3 months later.

Terms of employment for Ph.D. students at ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is considered to be one of the top academic institutions in Europe. It is usually ranked in the top 10 in the world. Sometimes our area is ranked number one in the world. The completion target for a Ph.D. is 3 years, with a major milestone (PhD Aptitude Colloquium) at the end of the first year.

Fixed salary

First year of employment   CHF 72,000 (CHF > EUR > USD)
Second year of employment   CHF 77,000
Third year of employment   CHF 82,000

Taxes and other deductions

The income tax is currently about 8% for the above mentioned starting salary. The total deduction for social security, pension plan and accident insurance is about 13%. There is no tuition at ETH Zurich.

Paid vacation

Employees are entitled to 25 days of paid vacation per year.

Health insurance

Swiss residents are required to buy their own health insurance. The monthly premium for basic health insurance starts at approximately CHF 120, depending on your insurance plan.

Work visa for foreign citizens

The citizens of most EU-member countries are eligible to an immediate work visa in Switzerland. Citizens of new EU-member countries and candidates of other nationalities have to apply for a temporary work visa before entering Switzerland. ETH Zurich will take care of the due application process.

Room and board, transportation

ETH Zurich does not supply rooms or other housing opportunities on campus. Registered students are eligible for reduced prices at the campus’ cafeterias and special tariffs for public transportation.

More detailed information