PhD Position, Substance Use Research

Job Description

This PhD position is affiliated with both Prof. Quednow’s Experimental and Clinical Pharmacopsychology and Prof. Shanahan’s Risk and Resilience research laboratory at the University of Zurich. The PhD position will be embedded in the project “Substance use and stress in young adulthood” funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation aiming to a) investigate the prevalence and concordance of self-reported drug use and objective measures of drug use (hair toxicology) at age 20, b) examine childhood, adolescent and young adult social stress and antisocial behaviors as predictors and correlates of problematic substance use during young adulthood, and c) explore childhood, adolescent and young adult social stress predictors and correlates of stress-related hormones in hair during young adulthood in a large longitudinal cohort (N~1200).


Applicants should hold a master's, “Diplom” or equivalent degree in psychology, public health, sociology, epidemiology, or related fields. Applicants should intend to pursue an academic career, have strong interests in substance use/addiction research, developmental science, and physiological stress measures. Additionally, they should have strong skills in research and statistical methods, and experience with large epidemiological data sets and longitudinal data analysis is preferred. The ideal candidate has experience with statistical packages that handle missing data and multilevel data (e.g., MPlus, R, SAS). Excellent skills in interpreting, visualizing, and communicating results from longitudinal analyses are required. Working languages are English and German (English-speaking only will suffice).

We offer

Students receive CHF 47,000-50,000 annually for 3 to 3.5 years. In addition, each year, some travel funds are available for the doctoral student to visit national and international conferences.

What to include in your application

  • a general statement detailing your motivation to join the research team (one page, 12-pt type, single-spaced)
  • your curriculum vitae
  • a scanned copy of official master’s (or equivalent) diploma, or proof of imminent completion
  • a sample of your writing (publication, preprint, manuscript, or thesis)
  • in addition to this PDF file, please provide at least one independent letter of recommendation sent separately to

Start of employment

The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.

How to apply

Please send all of the following materials in one PDF file to:

Job description (PDF, 12 KB)