The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland and employs approximately 2,100 people. Its research focuses on three main subject areas: Matter and Materials, Energy and Environment, and Human Health. As a national user laboratory, PSI develops, constructs and operates complex large-scale research infrastructures. Every year, these unique facilities are used by more than 2,300 scientists from Switzerland and around the world. In addition to its research activities, PSI operates Switzerland’s only proton therapy centre and works closely with the PARK INNOVAARE innovation park, one of the “Switzerland Innovation” sites.

PSI is part of the ETH Domain, which also includes ETH Zurich and EPFL as well as the federal research institutes WSL, Empa and Eawag. The ETH Board is the strategic management and supervisory body of the ETH Domain. The ETH Board is advertising the position of a male or female

Director of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)

in line with its mandate. The ETH Board is responsible for proposing a candidate for this position to the Swiss Federal Council. It is expected that the person appointed will hold a dual professorship at ETH Zurich and EPFL.


You have an internationally recognised scientific track record in one of PSI’s main subject areas, together with a thorough knowledge of the use, preferably also the planning, construction and operation, of large research facilities. As an experienced senior manager in a major organisation – ideally a large-scale international research infrastructure – or else in trade and industry, you have proven your integrative leadership skills. You have good networks inside and outside the scientific community and take an active role in scientific, technological and societal areas of current importance. Given your ability to establish strategic guidelines, you will commit yourself to developing PSI’s future and helping to proactively shape the entire ETH Domain.

You are an open, creative and enthusiastic person, with integrity, a persuasive manner and the ability to make decisions quickly and effectively. Along with your excellent interpersonal skills, you demonstrate assertiveness and an ability to manage conflict. You possess very good communication skills, which you would use both inside and outside PSI, and you understand Switzerland’s political structures, legislative processes and cultural diversity. Finally, you are interested in the wider economic and business context and have a good command of German and English, and preferably also a knowledge of French. You are willing to hold office for at least two terms of office (i.e. eight years). The successful candidate will be expected to take up this appointment at the start of 2020.


Please send your complete application to Egon Zehnder is assisting the ETH Board in its preparations for the selection process. The interim President of the ETH Board, Beth Krasna, will be pleased to provide further information (phone +41 79 447 84 75, All applications received by 28 May 2019 will be considered in the selection process. Your data will be treated in strict confidence. It will be used only in connection with your application and in accordance with Swiss data protection law. By submitting your application, you give us your consent to process your data for this purpose and to exchange it with the above-mentioned company.