Get Started at D-INFK

Getting Started at D-INFK

Are you a new member of the scientific staff of D-INFK? If yes, then you will probably find the following information useful! You’re welcome.

TLDR; all the links:

AVETH welcome guide

Before we begin: AVETH (Akademische Vereinigung des Mittelbaus der ETH, or, for non-german-speaking mortals, the ETH-wide organisation for scientific staff) already has a useful non department-specific guide for new scientific staff at ETH, so you might want to check that out (five star bedside read). Now that you have read the AVETH guide in detail, let’s come to our department.

D-INFK Welcome Guide

VMI periodically welcomes new members to the department. On that occasion, among a myriad of gifts and gadgets, you will receive a gorgeous department-specific welcome brochure. What will you do until then?! No worries, we got you covered. We provide an electronic version (high-res) of the brochure for you to enjoy until our trusted VMI board tracks you down.

VMI: Joining and Staying Up to Date

How do you become a member of VMI (Verein des Mittelbaus der Informatik an der ETH Zürich if you so feel inclined)? Excellent question. You will conveniently find the answer on another page of this website. We send out a monthly newsletter to all D-INFK scientific staff with exciting announcements about our upcoming events. If you are a member and are not receiving our emails, or if you are not a member and you would like to receive our emails for other reasons, please reach out to us, so we can add you to our mailing list.

Teaching Duties

Part of the duties of doctoral students and postdocs at D-INFK is assisting in the organisation of Master and Bachelor courses. At D-INFK, the teaching load is divided using a point-system: for each semesterly TA (teaching assistant) job, your research group gets awarded (in most cases) 1 teaching point. Each research group must obtain a number of teaching points proportional to the number of its members. Within each group, teaching duties are divided according to internal rules. Reach out to the teaching coordinator of your group early on to learn about the internal rules of your own group. HAT is used to find and apply for TA positions.

Finding Help

On a serious note, you might find yourself in a difficult situation later in your doctorate. AVETH provides a great list of counseling services that includes our VMI helpdesk. Futhermore, you will find references to the Ombudspersonen and trusted intermediaries, who can help you mediate workplace conflicts, or a link to ETHZ’s and UZH’s professional and free (!) psychological counseling service.


Who still prints in 2023?! Just kidding (kind of), if you need to print documents, the webprint service comes to the rescue. Simply upload your files, find one of the many printers situated around ETH buildings, and swipe your legi (aka your ETH id-card). Costs are covered (at least until you get caught printing 10k copies of your rejected STOC submission to use as fire fuel for the winter).

Booking Rooms

At D-INFK, a variety of rooms and spaces to satisfy your every need is just a click away. Reserve rooms for meetings, presentations, and many other (legal) activities at D-INFK Rooms.

How to Present Yourself

When it comes to presentations, posters, flyers, webpages (basically everything but clothing!), ETH works hard to maintain an attractive, modern, eye-catching look. You can find a variety of templates and guidelines for both digital and print jobs on the corporate design webpage, appealing to a variety of users from dinosaur Beamer lovers to master-of-procrastination PowerPoint-animation enjoyers.

Software Shop

If your research activities require any special software or licenses (e.g. for Office 365), 9 out of 10 dentists agree that you can find it at the never-out-of-stock ETH software shop. Editing the movie of your latest Bali vacation during the exam correction period may or may not be a good justification to get the latest version of FinalCut Pro.

Aptitude Colloquia & Your Doctorate

If you are not a doctoral student, this does not concern you. If you are, you might already be concerned.

The doctoral ordinance defines an aptitude colloquium to be taken by all new doctoral candidates. This means that, at the end of your first year, you will have to present your doctoral plan in front of a commission (comprising at least of your supervisor, your second advisor, and the chair of the aptitude committee). After the presentation, you will have to answer a few questions.

You can find all information regarding your doctorate on this page, and since aptitude colloquia have only recently been introduced, some of your beloved VMI board members have attended a few aptitude colloquia to report our impressions. Our sample size of 3 allowed us to come to the following statistically relevant conclusions: the atmosphere is quite relaxed, and the probability of crying is close to zero. Read more on page 17 of the D-INFK welcome brochure (high-res).

Tech Support

Something’s not working? Then it might be time to annoy your group’s IT coordinator (should you have one). If you don’t have one or cannot figure out who it is, you can also contact ISG!

Floor Plans

You are lost. Do you even know where your office is? Good news! You remember that you read the VMI Welcome Guide once and recall that it had a link to the ETH floor plans. Relief!