The Branco Weiss Fellowship – Society in Science is a unique postdoctoral programme based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, that awards young researchers around the world with a generous personal research grant, giving them the freedom to work on whatever topic they choose anywhere in the world, for up to five years.
This research fellowship is designed to support postdoctoral researchers after their PhD and before their first faculty appointment. Those in current postdoctoral positions are also eligible. Ideally, fellows pursue unconventional projects in new areas of science, engineering and social sciences.
The ideal applicant has the competencies to design a surprisingly novel and scientifically rigor- ous research project which blazes new trails, profiting from the freedom uniquely offered by the fellowship. The applicant:
• should hold a PhD on the stipulated date
• should have obtained the PhD a maximum of five years prior to the stipulated date
• should not hold or have held a faculty-equivalent position (e.g. assistant professor or lecturer)
• propose a project that departs from the mainstream of research in their discipline
• must have a record of outstanding scientific achievement
• must demonstrate in the proposal, a willingness to engage in a dialogue on relevant social, cultural, political or economic issues across the frontiers of their particular discipline
The following reasons for delays after obtaining PhD are acceptable:
• parental leave (maximum of one year per child)
• inability to work due to illness or accident
Applicants must explain their reasons for applying for an extension and provide the relevant documents. The number of weeks that the research work was interrupted is accepted as an extension.
A Branco Weiss Fellowship consists of CHF 100,000 per year. It may be used to cover all legitimate costs of research (i.e. salary and/or equipment, travel expenses, consumables, personnel, etc.).
The fellowship is awarded in two installments for a total of five years:
1. The pioneer phase: the first two years of research
2. The exploitation phase: the remaining three years
The applications are open once a year.