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PhD Student - Ruminant Nutrition and Emissions

Workplace8356 Ettenhausen (TG), Eastern Switzerland, Switzerland
DurationThe position is for a fixed period of 4 years
Occupation rate
Job Start1 May 2023 or as agreed

Agroscope is looking for a:

PhD Student - Ruminant Nutrition and Emissions

100%-100% / 8356 Ettenhausen (TG)

good food, healthy environment
In Switzerland, grazing is common in dairy farming. Grazing offers benefits for animal welfare; it also contributes to a reduction in ammonia (NH3) emissions, since urine seeps away quickly on pasture. Nevertheless, the soiled areas in the dairy housing continue to emit while the cows are on pasture. Measurement data are lacking on NH3 and methane (CH4) emissions from the housing when dairy cattle are grazed. This project measures NH3 and greenhouse gases from a naturally ventilated dairy housing with varying grazing durations and different feeding strategies. Annual values are modelled based on these measurements in order to improve the data base for emission inventories.

About us

Agroscope is the Swiss Confederation’s centre of excellence for research in the agriculture and food sector. Its researchers carry out their activities at various sites in Switzerland. Headquartered in Bern-Liebefeld (and from 2025 in Posieux, Canton of Fribourg), Agroscope is affiliated with the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER.

Based at the Posieux (Canton of Fribourg) and Tänikon (Ettenhausen, Canton of Thurgau) sites, the ’Ruminant Nutrition and Emissions’ Research Group deals inter alia with the study of emissions from dairy farming and their reduction.


As part of the Swiss National Science Foundation-funded project ’Grazing strategies: quantification and modelling of housing-based emissions (graziQ-house)’, you will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Planning and execution of emission measurements (NH3, CH4, CO2) at herd level in the experimental dairy housing for emission measurements using the tracer ratio method, as well as CH4 emissions on pasture using the GreenFeed system
  • Recording relevant parameters in the housing and on the pasture (e.g. climate, animal and feeding data, regrowth, soiling of exercise areas)
  • Data preparation and analysis; modelling of annual emission values
  • Publishing the results in peer-reviewed journals; presenting findings at scientific conferences


  • University degree (Master’s) in Agronomy/Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Biology or a related field
  • Sound knowledge of ruminant husbandry and nutrition; you enjoy practical data collection in the housing and on pasture, and are experienced in handling cows
  • Ability to work independently and systematically; ability to work as part of a team, flexibility
  • Experience of standard PC applications (including Excel) as well as data processing and analysis
  • Knowledge of two official Swiss languages and a knowledge of spoken and written English

We offer

We offer you a varied job in an interesting work environment, as well as thorough initial training. An outstanding research infrastructure will be at your disposal. You will benefit from flexible working hours and good employment benefits. The project is carried out in cooperation with the Empa Dübendorf (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) and ETH Zurich.

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

Contact and Address

If this challenge appeals to you and you meet the requirements profile, we look forward to receiving your online application including covering letter, CV, copies of your credentials (MSc & BSc) and the addresses of 2-3 references at www.stelle.admin.ch, Ref. No. 4410. (English is not an official Swiss language, please select German, French, or Italian as correspondence language).

Sabine Schrade, Project Coordinator of the ’Ruminant Nutrition and Emissions’ Research Group, sabine.schradeagroscope.admin.ch or Tel. +41 58 480 33 33, would be pleased to provide you with further information (please do not send any applications to this email address).

Reference number: JRQ$540-4410


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In your application, please refer to myScience.uk and reference JobID 228083.