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Scientific project assistant for water protection 100%

Workplace8046 Zürich, Zurich region, Switzerland
DurationThe position is limited to 1 year with the option of extension
Occupation rate
Job Start1.5.2024 or to be agreed

Agroscope is looking for a:

Scientific project assistant for water protection 100%

The research group Water Protection and Nutrient Fluxes conducts research on nutrient management, fluxes and dynamics in agroecosystems and combines the latest scientific findings with practical and policy advice. Within the group, the Water Protection team investigates specific measures for improving water and nutrient retention in Swiss agroecosystems. To do that, we integrate experimental and modelling methods.
The aim of this project is to investigate to what extend nitrate leaching into the groundwater can be reduced by considering site-adapted, graduated measures that are less restrictive to agricultural productivity (e.g. adapted fertilisation, intercropping, restriction of ploughing dates) in addition to general extensification measures (e.g. conversion of arable land to grassland, reduction of vegetable/potato area in favour of cereals). A process-based modelling approach will be used to quantify the potential for reducing nitrate leaching.

About us

The ’Agroecology and Environment’ Research Division investigates the effects of agriculture on the environmental dimensions of climate, air, soil, biodiversity, nutrient cycles and water. Based on the principles of agroecology and using real-world data, we develop solutions for a sustainable agricultural sector. The interconnectedness of the disciplines is essential here for identifying synergies and trade-offs.

Agroscope is the Swiss federal centre of excellence for research in the agriculture and food sector. Its researchers work at a number of sites in Switzerland. Headquartered in Bern-Liebefeld (as of 2026: Posieux), Agroscope is attached to the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER.


  • You will process data from various long-term experiments conducted at the lysimeter facility in Zurich-Reckenholz
  • You will calibrate a mechanistic simulation model of the physical and biological processes in an agricultural field for estimating nitrate leaching
  • You will evaluate the transferability of the calibrated model to different regions in Switzerland
  • You will communicate with cantonal offices and federal authorities
  • You will document your work and contribute to scientific and practice-oriented publications


  • Completed Master’s degree in agricultural sciences, environmental sciences or comparable research fields
  • Very good understanding of nutrient dynamics in agroecosystems
  • Proven competences in working with process-based plant growth models that include the nutrient balance (e.g. Daisy, SWAP-ANIMO, EPIC)
  • Team player with an open and performance-orientated personality
  • Knowledge of two official Swiss languages and a very good command of written and spoken English

We offer

We offer you a varied job in an interesting work environment as well as thorough training and a modern research infrastructure. Flexible working hours and good employee benefits are additional perks of the job.

Contact and Address

If this position appeals to you and you meet the requirements profile, we look forward to receiving your online application at www.stelle.admin.ch, ref. no. 9350 (English is not an official Swiss language, please choose German, French or Italian as correspondence language).

Further information can be obtained from Amelie Holzkämper, head of the Water protection team by e-mail at amelie.holzkaemperagroscope.admin.ch or by phone at +41 58 46 87516 (please do not send applications to this e-mail address).

The Federal Administration is attentive to the different needs and backgrounds of its employees and promotes diversity. Equal treatment is a top priority.


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In your application, please refer to myScience.co.nl and reference JobID 15645.