The ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship programme (ETH Fellows) 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. A professor may only submit with one candidate in each evaluation round. 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 about 25% in the last rounds.

Applications from candidates of all genders and backgrounds are strongly encouraged. We monitor success rates in order to avoid potential biases.

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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 defence/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 defence/viva voce must have been completed by the time the fellowship is started.

Graphical representation of the time window for applying for a fellowship
Time window for fellowship applications

Applicants who earned their PhD from ETH Zurich or the University of Zurich will not be considered.

Applicants may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Switzerland for more than twelve months in the three years immediately before the submission deadline.

Applicants may not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) at either ETH Zurich, EPF Lausanne, a research institute of the ETH domain (PSI, WSL, Empa and Eawag), or the University of Zurich for more than six months in the three years immediately before 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.

The fellowship covers the fellow’s salary (100%, based on ETH standards). As of 2023, the following rates apply:

Gross salary
Total rates
1 CHF 91,280 CHF 105,000
2 CHF 95,860 CHF 110,200
Total CHF 187,140 CHF 215,200

The total rates must be used for budgeting. They include 15.0% social security contributions to be paid by ETH Zurich.

ETH Fellows are also entitled to CHF 10,000 per year for research expenses, including travel/mobility allowances and research cost contributions. The budget allocated for travel and research costs may not be used to cover salary costs, and vice versa.

Applications must be submitted electronically in pdf format using the ETH Zurich grant application system (eResearch). The template for the project description can be downloaded from this page (under Documents on the right side).

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 online 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.

Submission deadlines are 1 March and 1 September at 17:00 Swiss local time each year. The interview dates are tied to the deadlines as indicated below and will be conducted via video call.

Interview dates
1 March 2023, 17:00 Swiss local time 9 May, 10 May, 11 May 2023
1 September 2023, 17:00 Swiss local time 7 Nov, 8 Nov, 9 Nov 2023

Within two months 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 eight months after the submission deadline. If they cannot adhere to this date, an approval for a later start must be requested from the Grants Office.


Further information

You may for further information on the ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowships. Before writing to us, please read the documents provided on this website carefully, especially the Downloadguidelines (PDF, 188 KB), the DownloadFAQ (PDF, 220 KB) and the How to submit.


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