The Swiss Government Excellence Postdoctoral Scholarships for foreign researchers is offered by The Swiss Government via the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS). It aims to enable selected applicants to undertake a postdoctoral research at one of the 10 Swiss cantonal universities, the two Swiss federal institutes of technology, the public teaching and research institutes or the universities of applied sciences.
The Scholarship is valid only for full-time Postdoctoral research in Switzerland. It is not valid for mixed research (part-time in Switzerland and part-time in another country). This scholarship is not compatible with field trips outside Switzerland. Therefore, no possibility and no funding for fieldwork.
- Areas: Available research fields at Swiss universities and institutions.
- Number of awards: Not specified.
- Host institutions: University of Basel, University of Bern, University of Fribourg, University of Geneva, University of Lausanne, University of Lucerne, University of Neuchâtel, University of St. Gallen, University of Zurich, Università della Svizzera italiana, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ), Research Institutes of the ETH Domain (PSI; WSL; EMPA; EAWAG), Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland, Bern University of Applied Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Northwest Switzerland, University of Applied Sciences Eastern Switzerland, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, The Zürcher Fachhochschule, Universities of teacher education.
- Duration: 12 months (starting in September); no prolongation possible. Grant applications for stays lasting less than 9 months will not be treated as a priority. Grant applications for stays lasting less than 6 months will be rejected
- Target group: Open to Highly qualified postdoctoral researchers at the beginning of their academic career from all academic fields.
Swiss Government Excellence Postdoctoral Scholarships Benefits
The Swiss Government Scholarship is a fully funded program that provides successful applicants with the followings:
- The scholarship amounts to a monthly payment of CHF 3’500.
- For non-EU and non-EFTA grantees only: the FCS pays mandatory Swiss health insurance.
- Scholarship holders from non-EU and non-EFTA countries receive a flight allowance (lump sum) for a ticket back to their country of origin (provided at the end of the scholarship).
- Special CHF 300 housing allowance (paid once at the beginning of the scholarship).
- One-year half-fare public transportation card.
- Support services and various trips, dinners and sightseeing tours organized for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship holders.
Swiss Government Excellence Postdoctoral Scholarships Eligibility
To be eligible for this scholarship to study in Switzerland, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- PhD degree achieved after 31 December 2016 and before 31 July 2020 (PhD degree certificate) recognized by the Swiss university. As a proof, the degree has to be submitted to the Federal Commission for Scholarships before the start of the scholarship.
- Applicants who have been in Switzerland since more than one year at the beginning of the scholarship in September are not eligible.
- Applicants must provide a letter from an academic host professor (including her/his short CV) at the chosen Swiss university confirming why she/he is willing to supervise and support the postdoctoral research. Without such support, the application will be rejected.
- Academic supervisors for postdoctoral scholarship applicants must not be their former PhD mentors and their co-directors for the cotutelle PhD if the academic supervisor is at a Swiss university.
- Applicants must have a research proposal including a time-frame. This is the centerpiece of the application. The applicant must devote all required attention to it. Applicants must be in command of the necessary language skills required for the postdoctoral research.
- Applicants who have already benefited from a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship are not eligible to apply for a second scholarship.
- Scholarship holders are expected to move to Switzerland during their grant period.
The following aspects and selection criteria are primarily considered for the Swiss Government Scholarship. The :
- candidate: academic profile, research capacity and motivation
- research project: originality and methodological soundness
- academic context: quality and context of supervision and potential for future academic cooperation.
Interested candidates must select their country of origin ( Countries A – L / Countries M – Z ) according to their passport in order to find the application deadline and the different types of scholarship on offer.
The application package for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for PhD can be obtained by e-mail from the Swiss Embassy in candidate’s home country or concurrent Embassy. Please submit 2 sets (=1 original + 1 copy) of application documents in exact order given below: The 1st set contains the original, signed documents plus the confidential letters of recommendation and, if applicable the attested translations in English. The other set is the copy of the 1st set except for the confidential letters of recommendation (only 1st set). No copies for 2nd set.
- Signed FCS application form (typed and printed) with photo.
- A full CV with list of academic publications, awards etc.
- A motivation letter (max. 2 pages).
- A complete research proposal (max. 5 pages, signed), using exclusively the FCS research proposal form.
- A copy of the letter from an academic host professor (including her/his short CV) at the chosen Swiss university confirming why she/he is willing to supervise and support the PhD thesis.
- Two confidential letters of recommendation from two different professors in the applicant’s field (use exclusively the FCS reference form – originals in sealed envelopes only for the 1st set). No copies for 2nd set.
- Photocopies of certificates and grade sheets from previously attended universities/colleges and diplomas with grades, starting with the most recent. If not in English, French, Italian or German with attested certified translations in English. Do not submit the original certificates.
- Signed medical certificate (use only the FCS health certificate form).
- Two copies of the applicant’s passport (main page with personal data). Dual nationals add copies of both passports. Applicants already in Switzerland during the application procedure add a copy of the residence permit for Switzerland.
The deadlines vary depending on the country and are between August and September for the opening dates and between November-December for the closing dates. For more details on the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for PhD Students, please consult the official page. To be the first to see latest opportunities, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.