Open Positions

Please visit this page regularly to check for open positions. If no positions are available in your field of interest, nevertheless feel free to contact the relevant group leave to inquire about future possibilities.

  • PhD position in Archaeometry

    Topic : Mineralogy and petrology of archaeological iron smithing slag.
    Assistant contract at University
    Commitment Rate : 75 % Duration : 3 + 2 years
    Starting Date : 1st october 2019
    Supervision : Prof. Vincent Serneels
    Location : Department of Geosciences – University of Fribourg
    research page

    Slag is the waste resulting from metallurgical activities. These are debris that are frequently found during archaeological excavations. Smithing slag results from the accumulation of
    various debris in the hearth during iron smithing operations. Their structure and composition provide essential information for understanding the work performed (nature of raw materials, fuel, additions, etc.).

    Different laboratory methods can be used to characterize these materials (optical microscopy, SEM, XRF, XRD).

    Over the past 20 years, studies on smithing slag have increased in number. Descriptive work has become very numerous. On the other hand, there are still gaps in the large-scale

    synthesis and comparison work. The PhD student will be able to familiarize himself with the different types of smithing slag thanks to the important collection available in Fribourg.

    He will have to carry out himself additional studies on unpublished ensembles and will be able to participate in the work in progress. He will have to produce a synthesis describing the variability of smithing slag from the earliest traces dating back to the Early Iron Age to 19th century waste. Emphasis will be placed on a petrological approach to forge slag and associated debris.

    Requested background and skills Master in Earth Sciences.

    Strong background in mineralogy-petrology and good training in microscopy (optical / electronical) and geochemical analyses (XRF).

    Strong interest for archaeology.

    Desired skils:

    • Good knowledge in laboratory techniques (XRF, XRD, SEM, etc)
    • Basic linguistic knowledge in French / German / English
    • Deadline for application: 31.8.2019

    Email address for application: vincent.serneels[at]

    Requested documents: Curriculum Vitae, Motivation letter Preferably : PDF of Master work

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  • PhD Position on the impact of changing firn on Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance

    Job description

    The PhD position on “The impact of changing firn on Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance” is funded for four years in the framework of the ERC project “CASSANDRA - Accelerating mass loss of Greenland: firn and the shifting runoff limit” at the Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

    Surface runoff is the largest contributor to mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet. Recent years saw the runoff area expanding into Greenland’s vast firn area. We hypothesize that this uphill migration is not just a direct effect of increased melt, but is amplified by changes in firn characteristics that favour runoff. This interplay between melt, firn and runoff could play a decisive role in Greenland’s future mass balance.

    The PhD focuses on understanding the changes in the relationship between surface melt and surface runoff. To answer this research question, the successful candidate will apply spatial statistics to regional climate model data, melt extent measured from passive microwave data and remotely sensed surface runoff extent. The PhD candidate will also test the ability of existing firn models to replicate observations. Finally, the work involves participation in field studies on the Greenland ice sheet where the PhD candidate will carry out their own measurements.

    More about the position

    The optimal starting date for the position is 1 October 2019, which is five months after kick-off of the CASSANDRA project. Some flexibility with respect to the starting date, however, exists.

    A group of five researchers will work In the CASSANDRA project: the PI (Horst Machguth), two postdocs and two PhD students. The PhD candidate will be supervised by a postdoc and the PI.

    This position is associated with the Cryosphere group within the Geography unit of Fribourg University. The Cryosphere group has currently a staff of c. 20 with a strong expertise in surface processes of glaciers and ice sheets, permafrost and geophysics.

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  • Monitoring of rock glacier kinematics using InSAR

    Job offer (1 year, scientific researcher, part-time position)

    Alpine Geomorphology Group, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg (Switzerland)


    A 1-year position will be open in the framework of several research projects dedicated to inventorying and monitoring the kinematics of mountain permafrost-related landforms (e.g. rock glaciers).


    The successful candidate is expected to contribute actively in the development of automatic methodologies mainly based on satellite Interferometric SAR data (InSAR) for:


    • estimating the activity status of selected landforms,
    • determining annual changes (trend) in the annual motion rate of selected landforms,
    • monitoring the intra-seasonal variation of motion rate.


    We encourage applications from scientifically highly motivated, independent and creative individuals with interests in alpine geomorphology and remote sensing applications, and who enjoy working in a team.


    The open position will be embedded in ongoing activities of the research group on Alpine Geomorphology (led by Prof. Reynald Delaloye), Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland. The Department of Geosciences offers an interdisciplinary, international working environment within a bilingual (German/French) University.


    The position is best suited for a post-doctorate level.

    • Applicants should have at least a Diploma or MSc degree in Computer Sciences or in a closely related field; and preferably an advanced experience in computer sciences (e.g. PhD) including remote sensing and GIS.
    • Experience and skills in programming (Python, R, Matlab, etc.).
    • Experience in InSAR processing and more generally in image processing.
    • Experience in database management, background in alpine geomorphology and skills in fieldwork and mountaineering would be an asset.
    • Good writing and oral communication skills in English. Knowledge of German and/or French is considered as an advantage.


    Period and working time

    12 months starting from September 2019 (or eventually slightly later) Part-time (50-60%) position.




    Contact: chloe.barboux[at]


    Please send your application including a cover letter, statement of research interest, CV, relevant diploma(s) and the names and contact details of 2-3 potential references, by e-mail in one pdf-file to chloe.barboux[at]


    Review of applications will start on the 15th of June 2019.