Student research assistants at KOF Swiss Economic Institute

Updated: 15 days ago
Job Type: Permanent

20%-30%, Zurich, fixed-term

The KOF Swiss Economic Institute at the ETH Zurich is the leading institute for applied research in economics in Switzerland.

KOF has a strong collaborative environment that promotes exchange between research and administrative staff at different levels and in different functions and is committed to rigorous, applied research on policy-relevant topics with a connection to Switzerland.

Project background

The successful candidate contributes to the project “Firms, workers, and collective bargaining in Switzerland” funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. A key aim of this project is to put together a new dataset of collective bargaining agreements in Switzerland. Using this data, the project examines how collective bargaining affects workers’ wages, wage inequality, and employment, and how it affects firm outcomes and firms’ flexibility to adjust to economic shocks.

As a student research assistant, you will be a member of the research division Swiss labour market at KOF. The division identifies and analyses labour market trends and generates knowledge on how labour markets work, with a particular focus on Switzerland.

Job description

Your task will be to support the research staff in all aspects of the field research of this project. You will work closely with the project leaders, Dr. Michael Siegenthaler, head of the research division, and Prof. Dr. Dina Pomeranz from the University of Zurich, as well as the postdocs, PhD students and other student research assistants involved in the project. You will be responsible for coding the content of Swiss collective bargaining agreements, describing and conducting econometric analyses of microdata, and documenting the findings.

The concrete tasks for the position include:

  • Collecting and codifying data (both quantitative and textual) in a structured manner in Zurich, Bern, and Neuchatel
  • Documenting the collected data and its coding in a codebook
  • Linking the assembled dataset to individual-level wage data, cleaning the data, and analysing it descriptively using the statistical software packages R or Stata
  • Contributing to a research article documenting the dataset and the changes in the collective bargaining landscape in Switzerland since 1998


You must be enrolled at a Swiss University, preferably in a humanities, social science, or data science track toward the end of your Bachelor or in your Master  and willing to work between 1 to 2 days per week (15h) for at least 1-2 year for this project, starting July or August 2024. At KOF, working time is typically handled very flexibly such that student assistants can take time to study for exams or fulfil other obligations for their studies while coordinating with the research staff at KOF when their tasks need to be completed. 

We are looking for individuals with a strong interest in research in labour topics, particularly trade unions, collective bargaining, labour market policies, and wage inequality. Prior experience in coding, analysing, and visualizing data using the statistical software packages R or Stata is desired and an interest in expanding these skills is expected. Strong reading and writing skills in German and English are important. The ideal candidate also has a good command of French or Italian and is interested in pursuing a PhD.



We offer
  • A unique opportunity to gain research experience in a supportive and dynamic research group at the academic forefront of national and international labour market research
  • An office location in the centre of Zurich, flexible working hours, and work-from-home options
  • An opportunity to gain experience in important data science skills including data coding and cleaning, regression analysis, and data visualization in either Stata or R
  • A co-authorship on the codebook and public use file of the new dataset

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Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application until July 31, 2024, including

  • a motivation letter that details your interest in labor markets
  • a Curriculum Vitae
  • a writing sample in German or English (e.g., Bachelor or Master Thesis, term paper)
  • copies of certificates (including grade records)
  • contact information for 1-2 potential referees

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 the Institutes KOF Swiss Economic Institute can be found on our website.  Questions regarding the position should be directed to KOF HR Services [email protected]  (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.

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