The Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach is a private foundation for the study and conservation of birds. Renowned in Switzerland and internationally, the institute unites basic research, applied research and implementation of conservation measures under the same roof.

Due to the upcoming retirement of the current jobholder, we are looking for a


Head of the department of Bird Migration Research (80-100%)


starting on 1 December 2021 or by arrangement.


In this position, you will be responsible for directing and advancing research on bird migration. You will be supported by a team of currently 14 researchers.

Your tasks

  • Leading and organising the department for bird migration research
  • Coordinating research activities
  • Conducting, publishing and directing scientific projects of your own
  • Fundraising
  • Supervising student theses
  • Contributing to the development of the institute
  • Promoting internal and external collaboration and fostering a professional network
  • Alongside your scientific work, you will be involved in selected public relations activities (guided tours, evening events, etc.).

 What we are looking for

Internationally respected in your discipline, you are passionate about research in bird migration and have a broad international network. You are an innovative and creative person interested in new ideas and methods and always seeking to advance your professional field. As an integrative researcher, you enjoy conceptual work, constructive and open communication, guiding your team members and supporting their development.

You have a doctoral degree in biology as well as several years of experience in carrying out own research. Experience leading large teams and major projects is essential, as is knowledge of ornithology. You regularly publish in high-ranking journals and are an experienced fundraiser and supervisor of academic theses. You speak one of Switzerland’s national languages and have a very good command of English. Other requirements include team skills, excellent interpersonal skills and a detail-oriented and independent working style.

What we offer

We offer a varied position in an inspiring work environment, flexible working hours to facilitate the balance between family and work, and excellent social security benefits. The place of work is Sempach.

 Your application

PD Dr Gilberto Pasinelli ( / tel. 041 462 97 00) will be happy to answer your questions. The Swiss Ornithological Institute is committed to increasing the representation of women in leadership roles and research and specifically encourages applications from qualified women.

We look forward to receiving your online application by 9 April 2021. Please submit your documents (letter of motivation, CV, publication list, list of acquired third-party funds, teaching portfolio if available, copies of certificates, contact information of three referees) as one single PDF file.