SNSF Doc.Mobility fellowships

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Proposals must be submitted via the electronic web portal:

In short

SNSF Doc.Mobility-Fellowships are intended to support doctoral students who wish to make a research stay abroad in order to acquire more in-depth knowledge and advance their candidacy for a doctoral degree. The place of research must be different from the place of education. Applications are invited from all disciplines.

The two annual submission deadlines are 1 March and 1 September. Proposals have to be submitted online via the SNSF web portal mySNF, but are evaluated by the ETH Zurich Research Commission.

For the deadline of 1 March, decisions are communicated in June. Earliest possible start of the fellowship is 1 July. For the deadline of 1 September, decisions are communicated in December. Earliest possible start of the fellowship is then 1 January, of the next year.

Eligibility criteria

At the time of the submission deadline, applicants must be matriculated at ETH Zurich as doctoral students for at least twelve months. They must be Swiss nationals or hold a valid Swiss permanent residence, residence or cross-border commuter permit. Candidates who do not have Swiss citizenship must provide evidence of at least one year of activity at a research institution in Switzerland prior to the application. All applicants have to declare in writing that they intend to pursue and finalise their dissertation at ETH Zurich after the mobility fellowship.

The mobility fellowship finances the researcher’s stay at a host institution abroad. The place of research must be different from the place of education. The SNSF does not grant any award for research projects that are already being funded by the SNSF or third parties (Art. 8 Funding regulations). If you already have corresponding funds at your disposal to cover the living costs during the project (salary or a separate stipend), it is in general not possible to supplement these funds by an SNSF mobility fellowship. In case of questions, please clarify the situation with the Office of Research on behalf of the Research Commission of ETH Zurich.

Duration of fellowships and funding

The ETH Zurich Research Commission will award Doc.Mobility-Fellowships for a period of 6-12 months at a research institution abroad, if the stay provides an added value to the project; funding will be granted accordingly. If the planned duration is up to 18 months, the Research Commission expects the host institution to employ the fellow beyond the first year.

Fellowships may start not later than 12 months after the date of the ruling. Follow-up applications may be submitted by the regular submission deadline, explicitly justifying the need for an extension, however they may only be awarded up to the maximum duration of 18 months.


Proposals must be submitted electronically via mySNF. To access mySNF, a user account is required; new user accounts must be requested two weeks before the deadline at the latest. Once created, the login-information will be forwarded to the applicant by the SNSF.

For a full application, the following documents are mandatory:

  • The research plan: this should be written in English. Please note: SNSF Fellowships are not joint candidate/host proposals, hence it is not allowed to copy parts of the hosts proposals or recycle old proposals from the future host.
  • The invitation letter: this should indicate a strong commitment by the host professor to support the candidate scientifically and to provide him or her with any infrastructure required for the successful completion of the project. If the research stay is planned for 18 months, the letter should state the intention to secure funding for the remaining six months of employment.
  • Two reference letters: these are confidential and must be signed; The reference letters must be requested via mySNF. The provider of the reference then uploads the confidential reference letter directly in mySNF, no later than March 1st or September 1st, respectively. The letters, when submitted, must be attached to the application by the candidate in mySNF. Since these letters are confidential, the content of the letters is not visible to the candidates. Therefore, no additional document protection should be added by the reference writer.


The next two deadlines are 1 March 2017, 17:00 CET and 1 September 2017, 17:00 CET. The Office of Research checks each application; incomplete applications will not be considered.


The ETH Zurich Research Commission is responsible for the scientific evaluation of applications and for awarding Doc.Mobility-Fellowships. The evaluation is proposal based. Applicants may be invited to a short, informal meeting with a member of the Research Commission in order to clarify open questions. The Research Commission's decisions will be sent to the applicants within approximately three months after the submission deadline.  

Modification of the proposal after approval

In principle, neither the proposal, nor host laboratory nor start date of the fellowship may be changed after its approval. If changes are inevitable, applicants must immediately inform both the ETH Zurich Research Commission at and the SNSF at .

Final Report

A final report must be submitted within six weeks after completion of the fellowship via mySNF, including (1) a general, (2) a scientific and (3) a financial part. Fellows will receive an invitation from mySNF to submit the report in due time, together with the necessary instructions.

Further information

For further information regarding SNSF Doc.Mobility-Fellowships, please contact the Office of Research at .

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