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Bayi Glacier in Qilian Mountain, China (Credit: Xiaoming Wang, distributed via

Job advertisement Director of the WSL

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European Geosciences Union

Director of the WSL

Director of the WSL

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ETH Board

The ETH Board is the ETH Domain’s strategic management and supervisory body.

The ETH Board is appointed by the Federal Council and consists of the President and ten further members. The ETH Board represents the ETH Domain vis-à-vis the federal authorities and is responsible for the implementation of the Federal Council’s strategic objectives as well as for the four-year strategy for the ETH Domain and the allocation of federal funds to the institutions. The ETH Board submits requests to the Federal Council for the appointment of the Presidents of the two Federal Institutes of Technology and the Directors of the research institutes. It appoints the Vice-Presidents of both Federal Institutes of Technology, the further members of the executive boards of the research institutes and the professors of the two Federal Institutes of Technology. The ETH Board also prepares the budget and the accounts of the ETH Domain and coordinates the management and the preservation of the value of functionality of its real estate.


Birmensdorf, Switzerland


Relevant divisions
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)
Cryospheric Sciences (CR)
Natural Hazards (NH)

Full time



Preferred education

Application deadline
31 January 2024

24 November 2023

Job description

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) deals with the sustainable use and protection of the environment as well as responsible handling of natural hazards. The WSL has around 600 employees at its main campus in Birmensdorf, at the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF in Davos, and at sites in Lausanne, Cadenazzo and Sion, Switzerland.

The WSL is part of the ETH Domain, which also includes ETH Zurich, EPFL and the federal research institutes PSI, Empa and Eawag. The ETH Board, the strategic management and supervisory body of the ETH Domain, is advertising the position of

Director of the WSL

in accordance with its mandate. The ETH Board is responsible for proposing a candidate for this position to the Swiss Federal Council. It is planned that the person appointed will hold a joint professorship at ETH Zurich and EPFL.

You are an internationally renowned personality with a recognised scientific track record in environmental, climate and/or sustainability sciences. You are familiar with mission-driven, impact-oriented, interdisciplinary research and with the implementation of research results together with public authorities and practitioners.

You are experienced in leading a research institution, a large research unit, or large interdisciplinary projects. You are familiar with the WSL’s areas of activity and are able to develop the research institute thematically in such a way that it is strategically well positioned and embedded within the ETH Domain and the Swiss research landscape. You are willing and interested in joining forces with the other institutions of the ETH Domain in order to best position and organise the ETH Domain to meet current and future needs of society. You have the ability to lead and inspire corresponding development and change processes.

You are a dynamic, widely interested personality, with excellent leadership, interpersonal and communication skills. You are familiar with the Swiss and European political and legislative processes, and have a good understanding of Switzerland’s cultural diversity in order to interact successfully with the various stakeholders. You have a good command of English and at least one official language of Switzerland, whereby a working command of German is required.

How to apply

Please send your complete application to by 31 January 2024. The President of the ETH Board, Prof. Michael O. Hengartner, will be pleased to provide additional information (, +41 58 856 86 01). The WSL is an equal opportunity and family-friendly employer, values diversity, strives to increase the number of women in leadership positions, and is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.