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Doctoral assistant in Glaciology

Université de Lausanne
Lausanne, Canton of Vaud (CH)
Closing date
Nov 18, 2021

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Cryosphere Sciences, Global Environmental Change, Hydrology
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type
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Doctoral assistant (Assistant-e diplômé-e) in Glaciology

Starting date:            from 01.02.2022 or to be agreed upon.

Position duration:      1 year initially, with extensions up to 4 years total duration.

Level of activity:        100% 

Work location:          Lausanne Mouline, Géopolis building

Candidate profile :

In response to worldwide climate change, glaciers will evolve the way they erode bedrock and transport sediment. While much research has aimed to understand erosion by alpine glaciers in mountainous regions, little is known about the processes responsible for sediment transport from the Greenland Ice Sheet.  Here, we aim to collect sediment transport data from the field and implement numerical models of ice dynamics and subglacial sediment transport to understand changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet’s erosion. 

The research is part of a Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione Project. It is closely related to the fields of glaciology, geomorphology, sedimentology, and sediment dynamics. 

The successful candidate must have a master’s degree in environmental science, geology, glaciology, engineering, physics, or a related domain. 

This candidate must also have a history of conducting original scientific research, demonstrated through academic works (e.g. MSc thesis or publications). Working knowledge of earth surface processes and glaciology is a substantial advantage, as is experience working with numerical models. The candidate must be committed to conducting a 4-year Ph.D. thesis on observing sediment discharge from the Greenland Ice Sheet and understanding the glacial processes responsible for variations in sediment transport.

The position requires excellent skills in written and oral English. Working knowledge of French language is preferable but not necessary. Commitment to four weeks of intensive fieldwork over several seasons in Arctic climates is also required for this position.

Job description:

The majority of the workload will be dedicated to the completion of a Ph.D. thesis and peer-reviewed publications related to glacial erosion, subglacial sediment transport, arctic landform change, and glacier dynamics. This will be accomplished by utilizing and/or developing numerical models of the subglacial hydrology, sediment transport, and ice dynamics, leveraging remote sensing datasets, and conducting field trips to Greenland to collect records of sediment discharge. Participation in internal and international meetings and conferences is expected, as is actively participating at the research institute. 

A smaller component of the workload (about 15%) will consist of assisting with teaching and research duties: teaching activities under the supervision of a professor, research work not directly related to the personal Ph.D. topic, technical, and administrative tasks related to the activities of the Institute.

This position is opened in the context of an SNF Ambizione project, in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech and the University of Houston.  Travel to these partner institutions may be required or recommended.

The employment conditions are available at this address:


Application documents :

Applications should include all of the following :

  • Motivation letter (1 page),
  • Curriculum Vitae,
  • Copy of university degrees certificates and transcripts of marks awarded,
  • An electronic version of research output (MSc diploma thesis, research report, proceedings paper or other scientific publication),
  • Contact information for three references.

Only complete applications made through this website will be considered.

Questions regarding the application can be addressed by email to Dr. Ian Delaney (

Application deadline : 

10 November 2021 or until the position is filled

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