The Swiss Government via the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students FCS is offering Swiss Government Excellence Postdoctoral Scholarships for foreign researchers.
Scholarship program enables 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.
Eligible universities and 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
- Federal Institutes of Technology
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)
- Universities of applied Sciences
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
- Teaching and Research Institutes
Universities of teacher education
The Scholarship is only valid 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 fieldtrips outside Switzerland. Therefore no possibility and no funding for fieldwork.
Highly qualified postdoctoral researchers at the beginning of their academic career from all academic fields are eligible to apply. No funding for sabbaticals.
12 months (starting in September) no extension 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.
Amount and additional allowances
- 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.
- There are no family allowances.
- No financial support 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
Eligibility criteria and specific conditions
- PhD degree achieved after 31 December 2015 and before 31 August 2019 recognised 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 for 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.
- Not accepted as academic supervisors for postdoctoral scholarship applicants are 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 timeframe. This is the centrepiece 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:
- The candidate: academic profile, research capacity and motivation.
- The research project: originality and methodological soundness.
- The academic context: quality and context of supervision and potential for future academic cooperation.
- Application deadline: 15 November 2018
- Beginning of the scholarship: 01 September 2019
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 postdoctoral research.
- 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. Originals have not to be submitted.
- 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 the “Permis B”.
Please do not put the documents into plastic folders or binders.