ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowships in Swiss 2023

Opportunity Detail

  • Gender MaleFemale
  • Level PH.D
  • Eligible Region/Countries


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  • Medium of Instruction English
  • Opportunity ID 72140
  • Funding Type Partially Funded
  • Duration 2 Years

Opportunity Description

Applications for the ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowships (ETH Fellows) 2023 are now open for international fellows. The ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Fellowship supports incoming postdoctoral researchers at ETH Zurich. This program intends to foster young researchers who have already demonstrated scientific excellence in the early stages of their careers. Applications from candidates of both gender with all backgrounds are strongly encouraged.

To apply for the ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship, the candidate and the potential host, who should be an ETH Zurich professor interested in mentoring the fellow, should make a joint application. Each professor can only submit an application with one candidate in each evaluation round. There must be effective collaborations between the host and the ETH Fellow.

Priority goes to applicants who propose their projects. Therefore, applicants must develop innovative and original ideas and draft the application themselves. It means the applicant fellow and mentor have not closely collaborated before applying to the fellowship.

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The ETH Postdoctoral Fellowship is for two years which is not extendable. This program is a competitive opportunity with only a limited number of fellowships each year. Please note that the success rate of applications was about 25% in the last rounds.

Brief Details

Application Deadline: 01 September 2023 (17:00 Swiss Local Time)

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Interviews:7,8,9 November 2023

Final funding decisions: Four months after the submission deadline

Fellowship Duration: 2 Years

Organized by: ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

Location: Swiss

Eligible Countries: All

Funding and Benefits

ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowships, in particular, can help the fellows with the following funding and support:

  • The fellowship covers the fellow’s salary 100%, based on ETH standards. For 2023, the following rates are applicable:
  1. For the first year of the fellowship: the gross salary is CHF 91,280, and the total rate reaches CHF 105,000.
  2. For the second year of the fellowship: the gross salary is CHF 95,860, and the total rate reaches CHF 110,200.
  • ETH Fellows will also receive CHF 10,000 per year for research expenses. The expenses include travel or mobility allowances and research costs. Fellows cannot use the budget for travel and research costs to cover salary costs, and vice versa.

Note: Applicants should use the total salary rates for budgeting (CHF 187,140 for total gross wage and CHF 215,200 for total rates). These amounts include 15.0% social security contributions payable by ETH Zurich.

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Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should meet the following criteria to apply for the ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship:

  • Applicants should hold a Ph.D. or will complete their doctorate within the next six months at the time of application.
  • D. applicants must have obtained their Ph.D. within two years before the submission deadline.
  • Applicants who will complete their Ph.D. must submit a certification of the planned date of their The advisor or department chair should have signed the certificate.
  • Candidates with a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich or ETH Zurich are not eligible to apply for this opportunity.
  • International candidates should not have resided or done any work, studies, or major activities in Switzerland for more than twelve months in the last three years immediately before the submission deadline.
  • International candidates should not have carried out their main activity, such as work, studies, etcetera, at either ETH Zurich, a research institute of the ETH domain (PSI, WSL, Empa, and Eawag), EPF Lausanne, or the University of Zurich for more than six months in the three years immediately before the submission deadline.
  • Applicants should have at least one scientific publication in a peer-reviewed journal or have received an award for their doctoral thesis.
  • Applications that do not meet these eligibility criteria will not be successful

Application Requirements

Upload the following documents in 1 single pdf document:

  • Description of the research project, role, and input of the candidate, and explain how the ETH Fellow’s project relates to other research directions in the host group
  • Complete the candidate’s CV, indicating a list of publications, start and end dates of education, and employment terms with details of month and year.
  • A brief outline of the candidate’s career goals (1-page max.)
  • Certification of the planned date of the defense (if applicable)
  • Invitation letter from the host professor, stating how the applicant is fitted and counted as excellent
  • Brief CV of the host professor (2 pages max.)
  • two external reference letters e-mailed directly to the Grants Office by the referee (10 days before the submission deadline)

How to Apply for ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship?

  • Applicants can submit their application electronically in pdf format via the ETH Zurich grant application system by entering the link below.
  • Please find the templates for the project description here (project details and accompanying information).
  • The ETH Zurich Research Commission will evaluate all submitted applications. The commission will assess the proposals in the first step; the selected candidates will receive an interview invitation.
  • The interview is online and takes about 15 minutes to complete. All applicants should reserve all interview dates as mentioned in the Brief Details Section. Please note that individual references are not eligible.


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Evaluation Criteria

The funding decisions will occur based on a strict, quality-based evaluation process. Selection Commission will evaluate the applications against criteria addressing the candidate’s aptitude, the proposed research’s quality, and the synergy with the host lab.

The criteria for the candidate’s aptitude are as per the followings:

  • CV
  • Reference letters and the career outline
  • Research performance and potential
  • Track record relative to opportunities and career stage
  • Competence for the proposed work and synergy with the host professorship
  • Compatibility of the ETH Fellowship with the career goals of the applicant

The criteria referring to the research proposal include the following:

  • Scientific quality of the planned research
  • Significance and innovativeness of the project
  • Suitability of the proposed procedures
  • Difficulties expected and chances of success
  • Consideration of gender aspects where appropriate

The criteria referring to the synergies with the host lab include the following:

  • Particular strengths and skills relevant to the host lab
  • Added value and integration into the host lab
  • Ambition to move beyond their and the hosts’ previous research

Please refer to ETH Zurich’s website to learn more about the ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship.

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