Switzerland: ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowships (ETH Fellows)

Categories: News

Tags: Switzerland | ETH | Fellowship

The ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme supports incoming postdoctoral researchers at ETH Zurich. The programme is intended to foster young researchers who have already demonstrated scientific excellence in the early stages of their careers.

Applications have to be made jointly by the candidate and the potential host, who must be an ETH Zurich professor and willing to act as the mentor of the fellow. There must be convincing synergies between the host (group) and the ETH fellow. The fellowships are intended as early support towards academic independence, hence priority will be given to applicants who propose their own projects. Thus, it is important that applicants come up with their own ideas and draft the application themselves and that the applicant and mentor have not closely collaborated prior to the fellowship.

The duration of an ETH Fellowship is two years and cannot be prolonged. The fellowship is competitive with only a limited number of fellowships available each year. The success rate was 25-30% in the last rounds.


At the time of the submission deadline, applicants must hold a doctorate (PhD) or will complete their doctorate within the next six months. Applicants with the doctorate (PhD) must have obtained it a maximum of two years prior to the submission deadline. The decisive date is the date of the examination or viva voce.

Applicants who have not yet completed their doctorate must submit a certification of the planned date of their defense signed by the advisor or department chair. The examination or viva voce must have been completed by the time the fellowship is started.

Applicants who earned their PhD from ETH Zurich or the University of Zurich will not be considered. Similarly, applicants must not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) at either ETH Zurich or the University of Zurich for more than six months prior to the submission deadline.

Applicants need to have at least one scientific publication in a peer-reviewed journal or have been awarded a prize for their doctoral thesis.

Applications not complying with the eligibility criteria will be rejected on formal grounds.

Application procedure

Applications should be submitted electronically using the dedicated online system. The documents to be attached are listed in the submission instructions (PDF, 414 KB). The templates A02 (DOCX, 69 KB) (Project description) and Z02 (DOC, 98 KB) (Ethical issues) can be downloaded from this page.

To log in you will need an ETH (nethz) user name and password. If you are not employed yet, the electronic submission must be handled by an employee of the host professorship. Further Information on the submission procedure is provided in the detailed submission instructions (PDF, 414 KB) and on the ETH Fellows help page.

The ETH Zurich Research Commission is responsible for the evaluation of applications. Proposals are assessed in the first step, after which selected candidates are invited to interviews.

The interview takes place at ETH Zurich and lasts about 15 minutes. Please reserve all interview dates given below for your submission deadline until you have been assigned a specific date. Individual preferences cannot be considered.


The submission deadlines are 1 March and 1 September each year. The interview dates are tied to the deadlines as indicated below.

Deadline Interview dates
1 March, 23:59 CET, 2019 7 May, 8 May, 9 May, 2019
1 September, 23:59 CET, 2019 5 Nov, 6 Nov, 7 Nov, 2019


Six to eight weeks after the deadline, the candidates will be informed whether they are invited to an interview. The final funding decisions are communicated about four months after the submission deadline.

ETH Fellows are expected to start their fellowship at the latest six months after the submission deadline. If they cannot adhere to this date, an approval for a later start must be requested from the Office of Research.

Further info