November 11, 2015

Switzerland: Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships

Course(s) Offered: Approved fields
Course Level: Graduate (masters, research, phd, postdoc)
Provider: Swiss Government (via FCS)
Country to Study in: Switzerland

Scholarship Description
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); AND
  • 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 postgraduate studies or research in Switzerland at one of the public funded university or recognized institution.

Warning against a fake scholarship offer using the name of the Swiss Government Scholarships (phishing)
The State Secretariat for Education and Research issues this warning against fake Swiss Federal Government Scholarships advertised by e-mail. The Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (CFBE) never advertises its scholarships by e-mail. The scholarships are directly managed by the Swiss Embassies in the various countries.
The Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships recommends to never answer to these e-mails and above all not to send any money.

Applicants for the University Scholarships must:
  • hold a university degree (Bachelors/Masters) on commencement of the scholarship.
  • be able to demonstrate their academic abilities and what they aim to achieve.
  • contact the institution and/or the professor supervising their period of research. Universities may request supplementary information and/or set certain additional conditions to determine whether or not you qualify for admission.
  • be under the age of 35 (born on or after 1 January 1976).
  • be suitably proficient in the language of instruction (French, German, Italian or English) in order to draw full benefit from their studies in Switzerland.
For country-specific criteria and information, please use the drop-down menu (on official site via link below) to see what type of scholarships are offered for your country of origin. You will also find the necessary information regarding general and specific eligibility criteria and the application procedure.

Award (Selection criteria):
Applications are subject to preliminary selection by the relevant national authorities and/or the Swiss diplomatic representation. The short-listed applications are then assessed by the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) which subsequently takes the final decision.

The FCS is composed of professors from all Swiss public universities. Scholarship awards are decided on the basis of academic and scientific excellence.

Eligible groups
Citizens of more than 180 countries across the world (both African and Non-African). Visit the official website (link to it is below) for complete list of eligible countries.

Participating Institutions
All recognised / accredited tertiary-level educational institutions in Switzerland - ten (10) Public Universities, two (2) Federal Institutes of Technology, public teaching and research institutes and Universities of applied sciences.

Fields of study
All courses offered at Switzerland's higher education institutions: Applied sciences, Arts, and any other approved disciplines

Number of awards
Not specified by provider, but several will be awarded

Sponsorship duration
Scholarships are provided for the whole duration of study:
  • Research fellowships: 12 months (no extension possible)
  • PhD scholarships: 3 years maximum. (The scholarships are not automatically extended. Every request will be analyzed according to the FCS criteria as well as the academic results)
  • Postdoctorate scholarships: 12 months (with the possibility of extension for 6 month)
Scholarship benefits
The scholarship covers a monthly payment, exemption of tuition fees, health insurance, air fare, special lodging allowance, etc. See the fact sheets for exact scholarship benefits.

Method of Application
Please use the drop-down menu on the official website (link to it is below) to see what type of scholarships are offered for your country of origin (i.e. masters, PhD, etc). You will also find the necessary information regarding eligibility criteria and the application procedure.

The new offer for academic year 2016-2017 will be online end of July 2015. The scholarships always start in August/September. (It is not possible to start the scholarship in the spring semester or any other time in the year).

The deadline for applications varies from one country to another, typically 30 November 2015.

The next offer for the academic year 2017-2018 will be online from August 2016.

The FCS will announce its decisions regarding the scholarships 2016-2017 by mid-May 2016 at the latest.

It is important to note that each country has its own application deadline, so use the drop-down menu on the official website; OR contact the Swiss Diplomatic Representation in your home country to know their application deadline.

Application Deadline: Varies by country (typically 30 November 2015)
Open to International students: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: Top Scholarships in Switzerland for International Students

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