Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG)

Postdoc position on global socio-technical regimes in sustainability transitions

Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG)

Dübendorf, Switzerland

Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is an internationally networked aquatic research institute within the ETH Domain (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology). Eawag conducts research, education and expert consulting to achieve the dual goals of meeting direct human needs for water and maintaining the function and integrity of aquatic ecosystems.

The Department of Environmental Social Sciences (ESS) has a vacancy for a

Postdoc position on global socio-technical regimes in sustainability transitions

The Postdoctoral Researcher will work in the Innovation Studies group (Cirus) at Eawag in collaboration with Dr. Christian Binz. The candidate will closely cooperate with Lund University, Sweden (Dr. Lea Fuenfschilling) and the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, the Netherlands (Prof. Bernhard Truffer), where she/he will be able to profit from a high quality research environment in innovation and transition studies, as well as economic geography. The position is fully funded through a Swiss National Science Foundation’s research grant for 2 years with a preferred start in February 2020, with a possible extension after that.

We are looking for an early career Postdoctoral Scholar with a proven track record in innovation and/or transition studies. He or she should have a strong interest in conceptual work and be willing to conduct in-depth, mixed-methods research applied to the water/sanitation sector. Candidates should hold an excellent PhD in innovation/transition studies, human/economic geography, sociology or related fields in the social sciences. Fluency in English (spoken and written) is required, skills in additional languages are an asset. Experience with social network analysis and/or qualitative expert interviews are a strong plus.

The position will focus on the question how dominant designs form in infrastructure sectors, how they diffuse in space and hinder the build-up of potentially more sustainable system alternatives. Conceptually, the Postdoc will work at the crossroads of sustainability transition studies, (network) sociology and the geography of innovation. The empirical part will focus on the global water/sanitation sector and disentangle the actor networks and institutional structures that stabilize the dominant design (large-scale, centralized infrastructures), despite increasing pressure to develop more modular and sustainable system alternatives. The candidate will closely interact with the research team at Cirus, which focuses on environmental innovation and sustainability transitions in the energy and urban water sectors with a particular focus on the geography of transitions.

Eawag offers a unique research and working environment and is committed to promoting equal opportunities for women and men and to support the compatibility of family and work. Applications from women are especially welcome. For more information about Eawag and our work conditions please consult and

If you are excited about working on this timely and challenging research topic within an international and interdisciplinary research team and with the excellent research facilities that Eawag has to offer, then we are looking forward to hearing from you.

For additional information, consult or contact Dr. Christian Binz, E-Mail: (no applications).

The deadline for applications is 30 Nov 2019. Applications should include a cover letter, CV, a writing sample (e.g., a published article, book chapter, PhD thesis) and the names and affiliations of three references. Please send your application through this webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. Please click on the button below, this will take you directly to the application form.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.