NOMIS Foundation ETH Fellowship

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: Permanent

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The NOMIS Foundation ETH Fellowship Program supports incoming postdoctoral researchers at ETH Zurich within the Centre for Origin and Prevalence of Life. The program is intended to foster young interdisciplinary researchers in the field of the origin and prevalence of life who have demonstrated scientific excellence in the early stages of their careers, and to enable conditions to conduct interdisciplinary, fundamental, and high-risk research with the necessary independence (funding) and autonomy.

Project background

ETHCentre for Origin and Prevalence of Life is an innovative new collaboration between five ETHZ departments to comprehensively address the big questions of life’s origins and ubiquity. It includes a dedicated gathering place to meet up and hold scientific discussions in a casual environment, hot desks, temporary office space, for students and faculty located at nearby campuses as well as for visiting scientists.  

The purpose of the Centre for Origin and Prevalence of Life is to establish and promote new forms of scientific collaborations that transcend existing disciplinary boundaries to exploit opportunity and synergies, linking planetary context with chemical forms and functions of life. For that purpose, the COPL Centre is deploying a program including state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research projects, the development of exceptional talents, recruitment of world-class professors, an extensive science network, and eventually interdisciplinary teaching and curriculum about the origin and prevalence of life.

The NOMIS Foundation supports and enables insight-driven science across all disciplines, focusing on researchers who put forth bold new ideas, exhibit a pioneering spirit and seek to inspire the world around them. The foundation’s vision is to “create a spark” in the world of science by enabling pioneering research in the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities that benefit humankind and our planet.

The foundation serves as a catalyst for scientific and human progress by supporting interdisciplinary research, establishing collaborative research networks and developing strategic partnerships. In addition to providing financial support, NOMIS endeavours to develop and strengthen the conditions conducive to the pursuit of high-risk basic research.

To learn more about the NOMIS Foundation and the research they support, please visit our website .  

Job description

Once appointed, NOMIS-ETH Fellows become an integral part of and have direct access to an international network of leading interdisciplinary researchers and institutions through the NOMIS collaborative research network.

The duration of a NOMIS-ETH Fellowship at ETH is three years plus one year and cannot be prolonged. The fourth year is only granted after a review 18 months after the start of the fellowship and must be funded by the host professor(s). The fellowship is competitive with only a limited number of fellowships (usually two to three) available each year.

Your profile

At the time of the submission deadline, you must hold a doctorate (PhD) that must have been obtained a maximum of three years before the submission deadline and preferably, they must have acquired their first postdoctoral experience and/or interdisciplinary training.

You must have an existing affiliation to an academic/research.

Following the initial evaluation round, you must be available for a remote interview.

A professor may only submit one candidate in each evaluation round. The host professor(s) (mentors) must have a guaranteed ETH position for the entire duration of the proposed fellowship. The host professor can only have one NOMIS-ETH Fellow at a given time. The primary hosts and supervisors shall be members of the Centre. The ETH professor must commit to providing the allowance and any additional support required beyond the fellowship allowance to carry out the research project as well as resources for the fourth year, provided the candidate successfully passes the review process.

Applications not complying with the eligibility criteria will be rejected on formal grounds.

Your workplace

Your workplace

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

chevron_right Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich
We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our

Equal Opportunities and Diversity website

to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application by the 10th of December 2022 at 17:00 CET with the following documents:

  • a description of the research project and the specific role and input, as well as how the NOMIS-​ETH Fellow’s project relates to other research directions in the host groups and the Centre (by using the template)
  • a complete CV, including lists of publications and a picture; it is important that all dates at least include the month and year
  • a brief outline of the career goals of the candidate (one page)
  • a description of the interdisciplinary nature, the high-risk/out-of-the-box character of the proposed research and the synergy of the proposal with the Centre’s mission.
  • an invitation letter by one of the host professors, stating how you are deemed to be excellent and a statement of financial support for the fellowship in year 4.
  • a filled-​form concerning ethical issues and research requiring authorization or notification
  • The signed NOMIS code of conduct.
  • two external reference letters for the candidate, to be e-mailed by the author of the letter directly to the office of the Center for Origin and Prevalence of Life until the application deadline (

Each NOMIS-ETH Fellowship application comprises an individual signed cover sheet (with date) and several attachments that have to be uploaded as a single electronic document via the online ETH job platform “ETH Zurich Job Board” . All other documents must be created using standard text-editing software and uploaded as a single PDF file by the applicant. Please use the templates provided on the website where necessary.
The required reference letters should be sent directly by the reference persons (for confidentiality reasons) to the Centre for Origin and Prevalence of Life Office (e-mail: ) before the submission deadline (no password-protected files).

The necessary templates can be downloaded here :
Please do not change the internal structure of the templates and stick to the file naming conventions explained above.

The application should be submitted here .

Entering persons who submit reference letters

Important: All documents must be converted to PDF files (no password protection) before uploading and your name should be added as indicated in the overview table above. Please note that the size of a single PDF file may not exceed 5 MB.

Incomplete applications will not be processed.

Table 1: Document list.

Document Name

Type of information



Cover letter



Signed Cover letter

A02_ProjectDescription_name of applicant



Detailed project description including summary, research plan, midterm research vision, list of reference letters to be expected, and literature list. See template for details

A03_CV_name of applicant



Complete CV of the candidate including list of publications and a picture. It is important that all dates at least include month and year.

A04_invLetter_name of applicant



Letter by host professor, stating why the candidate is considered excellent and why they are invited to the host groups. In addition, The ETH professor must commit to providing the allowance and any additional support required beyond the fellowship allowance to carry out the research project as well as resources for the fourth year, provide the candidate successfully passes the review process.

Z01_Ethical Issues_name of applicant



Information on ethical issues and research requiring authorization and notification.

Z02_Code of Conduct_name of applicant



Signed Code of conduct of the NOMIS foundation

To monitor and improve the program, each NOMIS-ETH Fellow is requested to submit a final report within three weeks after completion of their fellowship to the ETH Zurich Centre for Origin and Prevalence of Life Office. The relevant request and form will be sent to you in due course.

If you experience problems with the electronic submission system, please contact the Centre for Origin and Prevalence of Life Office (send an e-mail to: ). Outside office hours, no support can be provided for problems with electronic submission.


There is one NOMIS-​ETH Fellowship call per year, opening in October with a submission deadline on December 10, 17:00 Swiss local time. Applications should be submitted electronically via the online ETH job platform “ETH Zurich Job Board ”. The reference letters must be sent directly to the administration manager of the Centre (email: ).

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about (Centre for Origin and Prevalence of Life) can be found here . Questions regarding the position should be directed to (Mrs Corinna Marchand), Tel +41 (0)44 632 42 21 or email ( (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

View or Apply

Similar Positions