Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists in Switzerland

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships

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

Scholarship Description
Each year the Swiss Confederation awards Government Excellence Scholarships to promote international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and over 180 other countries. Recipients are selected by the awarding body, the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS).

The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships are aimed at young researchers from abroad who have completed a master’s degree or PhD and at foreign artists holding a bachelor’s degree.

The scholarship provides graduates from all fields the opportunity to pursue studies or research in Switzerland at one of the public funded universities or recognized institutions. Scholarships are awarded as Research (or University) scholarships and Arts scholarships.

Warning against fake scholarship offers using Swiss Government Scholarships (phishing)
The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation issues this warning regarding false advertisements for Swiss government scholarships sent by email or on social media. Fraudsters are offering fake scholarships in an attempt to get their victims to transfer money (e.g. by claiming that this money is required for visa or social insurance costs).
The Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students FCS recommends that members of the public ignore these fraudulent offers and above all do not transfer any money. The application process for a Swiss government scholarship is free of charge.

The research scholarship is available to post-graduate researchers in any discipline (who hold a master’s degree as a minimum) who are planning to come to Switzerland to pursue research or further studies at doctoral or post-doctoral level.
Research scholarships are awarded for research or study at all Swiss cantonal universities, universities of applied sciences and the two federal institutes of technology. Only candidates nominated by an academic mentor at one of these higher education institutions will be considered.

Art scholarships are open to art students wishing to pursue an initial master’s degree in Switzerland. Art scholarships are awarded for study at any Swiss conservatory or university of the arts. Only those who have already been awarded a place to study may apply. This scholarship is available to students from a limited number of countries only.

Selection Criteria:
The Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) assesses scholarship applications according to three criteria:
  1. Candidate profile
  2. Quality of the research project or artistic work
  3. Synergies and potential for future research cooperation
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 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.

For country-specific criteria and information, use the country links (Countries A - L / Countries M - Z) on the 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.

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

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
Swiss government scholarships are offered by the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students exclusively via Switzerland’s official diplomatic representations in the applicants’ countries of origin. Please use the country links (Countries A - L / Countries M - Z) on the official website 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.

It is important to visit the official website (link to it is below) to access complete information for your own specific country. You will also find details of what to do next and where to get more information.

Programme is advertised early August, and call for proposals set for September. The submission deadline of applications for academic year 2021-2022 at Swiss representations varies from one country to another, but typically between September to December 2020

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. The FCS will select scholarship holders for the 2020-2021 academic year and announce its decisions regarding the new scholarship awards by the end of May at the latest.

Application Deadline: Sept - Dec 2020
Open to International students: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: Top Scholarships in Switzerland for Students

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