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At this time, there are no staff positions open. However, we have open research positions for those interested in working towards a doctoral degree:


PhD Positions

The Laboratory for Software Technology provides research opportunities for Ph.D. students.
Possible research topics include:

  • Coupling of applications and networks
  • Framework design and evaluation
  • Software architecture
  • Compilers (code generation, optimization, runtime system interface)



If you are interested, please contact Thomas Gross by email (thomas.gross at Use ASCII -- no attachments please. Your message should include some evidence of past performance and a statement about your research objectives. The evidence of past performance includes usually a CV (2 pages at most) and a transcript of your classes and a list of 3 people who can provide information about you and your working style. You don't have to send a photocopy at this time. You can type in the classes you took, with your grade. If your curriculum requires that you take classes outside your area (physical education, history, etc.), you can summarize those as "other". We care about the classes you took that are important for computer science.

The second item is a statement that you have to write: Why do you want to get a Ph.D. degree? What interests you in Computer Science? What topics do you want to work on? What do you plan to do after you get a Ph.D.? This statement is limited to two pages (in a font that can be read without magnifying glass). A good estimate is no more than 110 lines of (at most) 75 characters each. If you participated in some research project as an undergraduate, then mention this fact in your statement (and your CV). What did you learn? Why was your project interesting? What was difficult about it? What kind of programming projects have you done? You indicated an interest in software engineering -- what is your experience, building software?

Keep in mind that members of our laboratory try to design, build, and evaluate systems. The first and third activity are highly verbal -- you must be at ease writing text: describing a design, explaining an evaluation. Your prose does not have to be error-free, but you cannot take the position that writing is a waste of time. The second activity requires another kind of writing -- writing code. Let us know what programs you have written, what you have learned from writing them. And of course you must enjoy reading -- text and programs. Also, as part of your duties, you'll be a teaching assistant for classes. So you should like to deal with undergraduates. Have you done some teaching (or grading) before?


Dr. sc. ETH

There are few important differences between obtaining a doctoral degree at ETH Zürich and a US or Canadian institution (and the comments about ETH Zürich apply to many institutions in Central Europe). The advisor plays a more important role in the life of an ETH doctoral student than in the education at a US or Canadian institution. There is no departmental or school-wide Ph.D. program that admits students. Instead, every advisor selects students based on his or her model of a doctoral education. The institution operates an office that administers the sequence of steps that finally lead to granting a degree, but the prospective student deals with this office only after he or she has found an advisor. The institution imposes only a few formal requirements (e.g., about taking courses or classes). Most of the decisions regarding the student's program are made by his or her advisor. Consequently, the expectations can differ significantly between professors even in the same department.

My personal opinion is that a person who holds a Ph.D. degree (or its equivalent) should be an independent researcher. This statement implies that this person should be able to identify a research topic, pursue the research, and then report and disseminate the results. So an important part of obtaining the degree is to find a topic in collaboration with an advisor. If the topic is already defined (by the advisor or another party) at the start of the doctoral education, then the student may be able to demonstrate that he or she can carry out a complex task. But such a plan does not allow the student to learn what it takes to identify a research topic. And this skill of identifying a research theme is essential for an independent researcher. It is difficult to predict how long it takes to tackle these steps mentioned above. A student must spend some time surveying the field and may very well pursue a few dead ends. Better to do this as a student than in your first job. Some advertisements may say that an institution offers you a position for n years (often n=3) and will reward you with a degree for working on the XYZ problem. If you care about getting an academic title in a short time, such a position may be ideal for you. On the other hand, if you want to learn what it takes to do research then you may want to apply here.

Please note: The laboratory usually does not offer opportunities for internships, practical training, or traineeships. The high volume of email does not allow us to respond individually.

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