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2016/2017 Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Students

The Swiss government, through the Federal Commission for Scholarships  for Foreign Students (FCS), awards various postgraduate scholarships to foreign scholars and researchers:

  • University scholarships (Swiss universities, Federal Institutes of Technology, as well as Universities of Applied Sciences)
  • Arts scholarships (schools of music and fine arts, only for a limited number of countries).

These scholarships provide graduates from all fields with the opportunity to pursue doctoral or postdoctoral research in Switzerland at one of the public funded university or recognized institution.

Scholarship Provider: The Swiss Government through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS)

Objectives: To enable selected applicants to undertake a PhD in one of the 10 Swiss Public Universities, the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology and public teaching and research institutes.

Switzerland Government Excellence Scholarships

How to Apply: Please see your country-specific webpages for eligibility criteria, application procedure, deadlines, and contact information specific to your country. If you meet the requirements, contact the Swiss diplomatic representation in your country of origin. The diplomatic representation will provide you with all the necessary information regarding the procedure including application forms and a list of required documentation.

Please use the drop-down menu  to see what type of scholarships are offered for your country of origin. You will also find the necessary information regarding eligibility criteria and the application procedure.

Scholarship can be taken at: Switzerland

Study Major(s): All academic fields

Course Level: To pursue Doctoral or Postdoctoral research

Scholarship for International Students: This scholarship is available to international students from more than 180 countries.

Duration of Award: The scholarship is only valid for full time PhD studies in Switzerland. It is not valid for mixed PhD programs (part time in Switzerland and part time in a third country).

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Duration: 3 years maximum (starting in September)

Scholarship Cover:

  •  The scholarship amounts to a monthly payment of 1’920 Swiss Francs.
  • Exemption of the tuition fees (except for EPFL).
  • For non-EU and non-EFTA grantees only: Mandatory Swiss Health insurance paid by the FCS.
  • A lump sum for air fare for non-European grantees only (provided at the end of the scholarship).
  • Special 300 Swiss Francs housing allowance (paid once at the beginning of the scholarship).
  • 1 year half-fare public transportation card.
  • Counseling and various trips, dinners and sightseeing tours organized for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship holders.

Closing Date: November 30, 2015

The FCS application for a PhD scholarship and the application for admission by a Swiss University for a PhD study are two separate procedures. The admission to a PhD study at your chosen Swiss University is a conditio sine qua non for a potential attribution of a FCS scholarship – but no guarantee though for a positive decision by the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students FCS. It is the applicant’s responsibility to manage both procedures in parallel.

Basic Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships, the applicant must:

  1. Master degree or equivalent University degree recognized by the Swiss University.
  2.  The applicant must not be more than 35 years old at the moment of the application.
  3. Applicants who are in Switzerland for more than 1 year at the beginning of the scholarship in September are not eligible.
  4. Applicants must provide a letter (or e-mail) from a Professor from the Swiss host institution stating that they are willing to supervise the PhD.In the case where the PhD is run within a structured doctoral school applicants must provide included in their application an admission letter or the proof that they are being considered for admission. Without such a document the application will be rejected.
  5. Applicants must have a research proposal including a timeframe (this is the central piece of the application. The applicant must devote all required attention to it).
  6. Applicants must be in command of the necessary language skills required for the PhD studies/ research.
  7. Applicants who have already benefited from a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship are not eligible to apply for a second scholarship.
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Selection Criteria:
The following dimensions and selection criteria are considered mainly:

  1. The candidate: Her/his academic profile and research capacity.
  2. The research project: It’s originality and methodological soundness.
  3. The academic context: The quality of supervision and the potential for future academic cooperation.

Application Time Framework
Opening of the call: 02.08.2015
Application Deadline: 30.11.2015
Selection Interview, ask: Swiss Embassy
Beginning of the scholarship: 01.09.2016

For more information:  Check Scholarship official page.

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