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ISEK - Institut für Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft Ethnologie

Vacancy 2-3 Academic Assistants (60%) / PhD-Position

We offer:

A dynamic, innovative and challenging research and teaching environment, an excellent opportunity for further qualifications, and a motivated faculty interested in academic exchange. PhD students have also the opportunity to join the „Swiss Graduate Program in Anthropology“ (


Applicants are expected to have expertise and an active research interest in at least one of the following thematic and regional specializations:

  • a)  Economic anthropology
  • b)  Cognitive anthropology
  • c)  Regionally: Central and Inner Asia


The Department for Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies (Section Ethnology) of the University of Zurich consists of four chairs, which supervise the research projects in Social Anthropology. Regionally, the focus is on Asia, but research and teaching also address other regions, including Europe.


As an “Academic Assistant” (Junior Lecturer / PhD Researcher) you are working on your own research project, the objective of which is the doctorate. At least 40% of your working time will be reserved for your own research. The rest of the working time will be spent on teaching (undergraduate) courses – you will be assigned one class per semester – and supervision of student work and other fields of activity, such as:

  • Supporting the chair in administrative tasks and research activities
  • Participation in the Social Anthropology Colloquium Series
  • Coordination of literature acquisition in the relevant area of specialization
  • Participation in university committees and commissions

For more information, please read the provisions of the General Outline of Rights and Responsibilities for holders of junior academic positions of the Faculty of Arts of January 25, 2005: - this document is only in German but you will find further information here: postdoc/PhD_Guide_en.pdf

Terms of employment:

Employment of 60% as “Academic Assistant” following cantonal guidelines. For a start, the employment is limited to three years and may be extended up to six years on the basis of a positive evaluation. The position offers attractive working conditions and a competitive salary.


  • M.A. or an equivalent university degree in Social Anthropology or a related discipline
  • Research and teaching experience
  • Interest and ability to work in a team

Applicants are not expected to speak German. But we expect that people who work with us for a longer period of time start to learn German.

Starting date:

September 1, 2020 or by mutual agreement


For questions regarding the application process:
Georg Winterberger, managing director (0041 (0)44 635 22 17,
Prof. Dr. Peter Finke, chair holder (0041 (0)44 635 22 33,


We are looking forward to your application. Please enclose the following documents:

  • Cover letter with an indication of your research interests
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • M.A. thesis and/or other publications as writing sample
  • Copies of your degrees
  • Address of two persons who can be contacted for a letter of recommendation

Please send your documents to:
Pia Kumar
University of Zurich, ISEK – Ethnology Andreasstr. 15
8050 Zurich

Application deadline: