The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for PhD 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 PhD at one of the 10 Swiss cantonal universities, the two Swiss federal institutes of technology or the Graduate Institute.
The scholarship is valid only for full-time PhD studies in Switzerland at a Swiss university. It is not valid for mixed PhD programmes (part time in Switzerland and part time in another country). “Cotutelle de these” under the joint direction of two supervisors are eligible for a 12 month research fellowship only.
- Areas: Available field of study 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).
- Duration: 12 months (starting in September) prolongable up to 36 months based on the achieved academic results.
- Target group: Open to Highly qualified postgraduate students from all academic fields.
Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for PhD Benefits
Selected candidate for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for PhD will have the following benefits:
- The scholarship amounts to a monthly payment of CHF 1920.
- For non-EU and non-EFTA grantees only: the FCS pays mandatory Swiss health insurance.
- There are no family allowances.
- No financial support for fieldwork or for conferences.
- 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 organised for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship holders.
Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for PhD Eligibility
To be eligible for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for PhD, applicants must satisfy following criteria:
- Master’s degree or equivalent university degree achieved before 31 July 2020 (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.
- Applicant’s date of birth after 31 December 1984.
- 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 PhD thesis. Without such support, the application will be rejected.
- If an assistant professor supports a candidature, a full professor who is entitled to supervise the PhD during the entire scholarship has to co-sign the support letter.
- 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 PhD studies/ research.
- Applicants who have been in Switzerland since more than one year at the beginning of the scholarship in September are not eligible.
- 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.
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 deadline is 05 December 2019. For more detail on the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for PhD, please visit the official page.