Each year the Swiss Confederation awards Government Excellence Scholarships to promote international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and over 180 other countries. The Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) selects the recipients of the scholarship. Moreover, the fully funded Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships aim young researchers from abroad who have completed a master’s degree or PhD and at foreign artists holding a bachelor’s degree.
Moreover, the Swiss Government provides two types of Excellence Scholarships including:
- The research scholarship is available to post-graduate researchers in any discipline. Further, the candidates should be planning to come to Switzerland to pursue research or further studies at the doctoral or post-doctoral level.
- Art scholarships are open to art students wishing to pursue an initial master’s degree in Switzerland. This scholarship is available to students from a limited number of countries only.
Fully Funded Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships
The Swiss Government covers tuition fee, as well as provide a monthly stipend to the beneficiaries of the fully funded scholarships. Further, it also covers health insurance, airfare and provides a housing allowance. The scholarship scheme may differ country-wise. Hence, please refer to the country-specific fact sheets for exact scholarship benefits.
- One-year half-fare public transportation card.
- Support services and various trips, dinners and sightseeing tours organized for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship holders.
- For non-EU and non-EFTA grantees only: the FCS pays mandatory Swiss health insurance.
- However, there are no family allowances.
- Scholarship holders from non-EU and non-EFTA countries receive a flight allowance
Eligibility for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships
Swiss Government considers candidates for fully funded Excellence Scholarships if their profile aligns with the following requirements:
- Master’s degree or equivalent university degree achieved before 31 July 2020 (degree certificate) recognized by the Swiss university
- Must be born after 31 December 1984.
- Mustn’t have been in Switzerland for more than one year at the beginning of the scholarship in September are not eligible.
- Further, the 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 research. Without such support, the application will be rejected.
- Applicants must have a research proposal including a timeframe.
- Moreover, they should have command of the necessary language skills required for the research/studies.
- 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
How to apply for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships?
Candidates must submit 2 sets (=1 original + 1 copy) of application documents in the exact order. 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 a 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 research.
- A short CV of the academic mentor at the home institution.
- Two confidential letters of recommendation from two different professors in the applicant’s field
- Photocopies of certificates and grade sheets from previously attended universities/colleges and diplomas with grades, starting with the most recent.
- Signed medical certificate (use only the FCS health certificate form).
- Two copies of the applicant’s passport (main page with personal data). Also, copies of both passports if dual nationality.
Candidates must check for a further list of required documents in the country-specific list of the scholarship. To complete the application process, the candidates must submit the application to the Swiss Embassy of their countries.
The deadline for the fully funded Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for researchers and artists for the academic session of 2020-2021 usually varies from country to country. Hence, candidates should make sure to apply before their country-specific deadline.