Swiss Government Excellence PhD Scholarships 2018-19 For Indian Students
Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships
PhD Scholarships

Academic year: 2018-2019

Country: India

Opening of the call: 01 August 2017

Submission deadline: 12 November 2017

Scholarship : Swiss Government Excellence PhD Scholarships for foreign students

Offered by : The Swiss Government via the Federal Commission for Scholarships for
Foreign Students FCS

Objectives : To enable selected applicants to undertake a PhD at one of the 10 Swiss
cantonal universities, the two Swiss federal institutes of technology or
public teaching and research institutes.

Universities : 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)

Teaching and research institutes : Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)

Validity : The scholarship is only valid for full-time PhD studies in Switzerland. It is
not valid for mixed PhD programmes (part time in Switzerland and part time
in another country)

Target group : Highly qualified postgraduate students (possessing

the required degrees)
from all academic fields.

Duration : 3 years maximum (starting in September)

Amount and additional allowances :

  • The scholarship amounts to a monthly payment of CHF 1’920.
  • For non-EU and non-EFTA grantees only: mandatory Swiss health insurance is paid by the FCS.
  • There are no family allowances. Scholarship holders from outside continental Europe 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.
  • PhD scholarship holders may request a supplementary allowance for fieldwork.
  • For fieldtrips lasting longer than 2 months the scholarship amount will be reduced to 50%

Eligibility criteria and specific conditions :

  • Master’s degree or equivalent university degree recognised by the Swiss university.
  • The applicant must have achieved this degree before the start of the scholarship next September.
  • 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 1982.
  • 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 PhD thesis.
  • Without such support, the application will be rejected. 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 PhD studies/ 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 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.
  • In those cases where the PhD is run within a structured doctoral school*, applicants must include in their application an admission letter or proof that they are being considered for admission. Without such a document, the application will be rejected. A support letter is required in any case additionally.
  • For EPFL doctoral school candidates*, the admission letter from the EPFL doctoral school is required before the application. As this takes time applicants must plan accordingly and submit their application for admission to the doctoral school sufficiently in advance of the scholarship programme deadline. Without those documents the application will be rejected. * A support letter from a host professor is required in any case additionally.

Selection criteria :

  • 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 Time Frame :

  • Opening of the call: 01 August 2017
  • Application deadline: 12 November 2017
  • Beginning of the scholarship: 01 September 2018

Application procedure : The application package can be obtained by e-mail from the Swiss Embassy in New Delhi

Application Documents : Please submit 3 sets (=1 original + 2 copies) 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. The other two sets are the copies of the 1st set except for the confidential letters of recommendation (only 1st set).

  1. Signed FCS application form (typed and printed) with photo.
  2. A full CV with list of academic publications. A motivation letter (max. 2 pages).
  3. A complete research proposal (max. 5 pages, signed), using exclusively the FCS research proposal form.
  4. 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. For PhD scholarships at doctoral schools*: A proof that the applicant is being considered for admission. Except: EPFL: accepted admission required. *A support letter from a host professor is required in any case additionally.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. Signed medical certificate (use only the FCS health certificate form). Two copies of the applicant’s passport (main page with personal data).
  8. Dual nationals add copies of both passports.

Please do not put the documents into plastic folders or binders.

Contact institution for the application : Questions and application documents, should to be submitted to the following address – if not mentioned otherwise below*:

Swiss Embassy in India
Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri
110021 New Delhi

E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 0091 11 4995 9500

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