Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists

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.

Host Schools:
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:
•    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:
Scholarships consist of monthly payments (tax free net amount) of:
•    CHF 1920 — for postgraduate students
•    CHF 1920 — for fine arts and music students
•    CHF 1600 — for students attending language courses in Fribourg or Lugano
The scholarship is meant to cover a student’s living expenses. To give an idea, in a Swiss city, the food and housing costs are around CHF 1200 per month. With a scholarship of 1920 CHF per month it largely covers the financial needs.

The Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students does not cover the cost of academic and /or term fees. Generally-speaking, the universities and the Zurich Federal Institute of Technology exempt holders of Swiss government scholarships from term fees, but not necessarily from Masters programme enrolment fees. In the event that these fees are not waived, it is up to the scholarship holder to arrange payment.

Main conditions for the applicants are:
•    First class master, doctoral degree or equivalent university degree
•    Sufficient knowledge of the teaching language (French, German, Italian or English)
•    Age limit: 35 years (excluding the postdoctorate scholarships)
•    If you are in Switzerland since more than 1 year you are not eligible for a Swiss Government scholarship.
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 eligibility criteria and the application procedure.

Eligible groups
Scholarships are open to students from both industrialized and developing countries:
•    Africa: Benin, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cap Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Sudan South, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda
•    Others: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakshtan, Kenya, South Korea, Kyrghyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mexico, Moldavia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.
Method of Application
If you fulfill the eligibility requirements, contact the Swiss diplomatic representation in your country of origin (see ‘Contact’ below). The diplomatic representation will provide you with all the necessary information regarding the procedure including application forms and a list of required documentation.

The new offer for academic year 2014-2015 will be online end of July 2013. 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 application deadline falls between the end of October and early November 2013 depending on the Swiss Embassy to which the applications have to be submitted.

To apply, click here
It is important to note that each country has its own application deadline, so contact the Swiss Diplomatic Representation in your home country to know their application deadline.

For eligibility criteria, application procedure, deadlines, and contact information specific to your country, see link below.

State Secretariat for Education and Research SER,
Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students
T: +41 (0)31 323 26 76

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