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Planet MARS Project

The aim of the Planet MARS project is to investigate and characterize the nature of Mars’ interior structure and dynamics using a broad range of observations as well as theoretical, numerical, and experimental approaches. This ETH-funded project builds upon the successful landing and acquisition of data from the NASA Mars InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander. InSight is the first robotic explorer to study crust, mantle, and core of Mars with the goal of answering key questions about the early formation of the inner solar system rocky planets and rocky exoplanets. InSight also measures tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars today. Considering the scale and breadth of the scientific challenge, Planet MARS proposes an integrated, fully comprehensive approach joining exploration geophysicists, geodynamicists, experimental petrologists, mineral physicists, volcanologists, geochemists, and numerical and observational seismologists in a unique collaborative framework.

Planet MARS: seven PhDs in Geophysics, Geochemistry, and Geodynamics

Requirements and Offers

We are looking for exceptional candidates with a MSc in Earth science or an equivalent degree in natural sciences (Math, Physics, Chemistry), a strong background and interest in numerical and theoretical geophysics, experimental petrology, mineral physics, geochemistry, and volcanology. We expect the candidates to be proficient in written and spoken English.

ETH Zurich offers competitive salary and excellent working conditions in a highly stimulating environment. Gender balance is an important element of our hiring policy.


We look forward to receiving your online application including a CV, statement of research interests, course grades and transcripts, and the names and contacts addresses of two referees. The selection process starts now and will continue until the positions are filled. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through the ETH online application portal.

Apply here.

Further Information

For further information on the Earth Science Department, please visit our website. Questions regarding the Planet MARS project and the positions should be directed to Dr. Amir Khan or Dr. Simon Stähler (no applications). Please quote ‘Planet MARS PhD Position’ in the subject of any email correspondence concerning this position.


The research to be carried out represents a cross-disciplinary effort involving nine groups at ETH:

  1. Seismology and Geodynamics (Prof. D. Giardini)
  2. Exploration and Environmental Geophysics (Prof. J. Robertsson)
  3. Earth and Planetary Magnetism (Prof. A. Jackson)
  4. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (Prof. P. Tackley)
  5. Swiss Seismological Service (Prof. S. Wiemer)
  6. High Pressure Petrology (Prof. M. Schmidt)
  7. Experimental Mineral Physics (Prof. M. Murakami)
  8. Planetary Geochemistry (Prof. M. Schönbächler)
  9. Magmatic Petrology and Volcanology (Prof. O. Bachmann)