New: Start-up grants to prepare a proposal for Doc.CH or Forschungskredit
The Graduate School supports outstanding MA graduates in raising the funds for their own doctoral project. By awarding competitive grants, prospective doctoral students receive start-up funding to prepare a proposal for Doc.CH (Swiss National Science Foundation) or for the Forschungskredit Candoc (University of Zurich).
Four start-up grants of CHF 20,000 each will be announced for 2021. The duration of the grants is six months (from summer 2021). The grants will be paid out in two tranches: CHF 10,000 at the beginning, CHF 10,000 after three months. A positive interim report from the professor supporting the application is required for the payment of the second tranche.
The call for applications follows the spring application deadlines of Doc.CH and Forschungskredit. During the grant period, an application is prepared for Doc.CH or the Forschungskredit. The application must be submitted to one of the two agencies no later than one year after the start of the grant period. If the application is successful, the doctorate must be completed at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Zurich (PhF).
Who can apply?
The start-up grants are primarily aimed at MA graduates of the PhF who have an outstanding degree and are in the initial phase of their doctorate or are just starting it. However, external persons may also apply.
During the term of the grants, the grant holders are supported by the Graduate School or the PhD coordinators. The PhF Application Support Office is also available for advice.
The prerequisite for the evaluation of an application is an outstanding MA degree, the formulation of an innovative research project as well as a letter of recommendation from a professor of the PhF; this must include the promise of supportive supervision.
The complete application documents in German or English include:
- Project outline (max. 5 pages, excl. bibliography):
- research question, scientific relevance, originality
- State of research
- Method/procedure, (hypo)theses
- Where and when to submit the proposal (Doc.CH and/or Forschungskredit)
- CV (max. 2 pages)
- Final documents BA and MA
- Excerpt from MA thesis: introduction and one chapter
- Letter of recommendation from the main supervisor (template follows)
The application must be submitted in an integral PDF by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by 2 May 2021.
The Executive Committee of the Graduate School decides on the awarding of the grants. It reserves the right to call in representatives from individual disciplines for an expert opinion.
The following aspects will be considered in the evaluation: Qualification of the applicant; scientific quality and originality of the project.
The Graduate School will inform the applicants of the decision in early June 2021. The term of the fellowship begins either on 1 July or 1 August 2021.
Due to the restrictions caused by the Corona virus, many planned research trips cannot take place at the moment. The Graduate School is therefore converting its funding line «Funds for short research travels and lodging» into the funding line «Research Support» for the time being in order to be able to support the needs of doctoral students more flexibly.
Doctoral students at the Faculty of Arts can apply for grants for the following items:
- Costs for collection, analysis and management of empirical data (e.g. software; no hardware).
- Costs for language courses at the Language Centre UZH/ETH or at comparable institutions in Switzerland (online courses are also possible if the language is not offered at the Language Centre or the course cannot be taken there for reasons related to the Corona pandemic).
- Costs for specialist literature, costs for book deliveries from the ZB
- Travel and accommodation costs for short research trips
Applications are possible for the whole year 2021.
Doctoral students enrolled at PhF are eligible to apply (including leave of absence during the publication phase). One application per person and year can be made for a maximum grant of 600 Swiss francs. It is not possible to combine several items in one application. There is no entitlement to full reimbursement of the requested costs. Amounts under 50 francs will not be paid out. The budget reservation applies.
Submission of applications
Please do not submit your application until you have completed your trip, service or purchase any of the above items. The application must be received in writing by the Dean's Office no later than two months after completion of the trip or service.
Applications can be submitted until 1 December 2021.
Please send your application by post or internal mail (preferably in reusable envelopes) to the following address
As a doctoral student, please also check the possibility of obtaining financial support for your research from the chair, the institute/seminar or the Graduate Campus.
The complete application consists of the following documents:
- Explanation of why the position applied for is important for the dissertation project, signed by the main supervisor (max. ½ page)
- Application form for a research grant (DOCX, 51 KB)
- Expense claim form for research support (XLSX, 104 KB) (only to be filled in for UZH employment)
- original expenditure receipts (expenditure receipts must be scanner-ready, without staples, on a separate A4 sheet of paper with a transparent adhesive strip extending over the entire upper edge of the receipt)
- For services: The receipts must show that the provider of the subsidised service is able to pay the statutory taxes and duties (e.g. an UID for Switzerland and the EU or a TIN for the USA).
Incomplete or late submitted documents will be returned unprocessed. Please enter the exact amount you wish to claim on the expense form. This must not exceed the budget of 600 francs. The Dean's Office does not conduct any correspondence regarding payment. As a rule, payment is made to your account within two months of receipt of the application.
Grants for Copy Editing and Translation Costs
In 2021 funding is available for copy editing and for translations. These funding can be provided for editing and translation expenses which are of central importance for your dissertation project (depending on budget reserve).
A maximum of 2'000 CHF can be attributed per person.
Funding for the following expenses may be granted:
- copy editing: for texts in non-native language exclusively
Eligible to apply are PhD students enrolled at PhF (incl. leave of absence during publication phase). There is no claim for full coverage of costs. Maximal funding will be matched pro rata if employment or PhD studies started during the course of the year. Costs of less than 50 CHF will not be funded.
Please apply only after the service has been completed. The application must be received in writing at the Dean's Office no later than two months after receipt of invoice for the service. Extension of deadline is excluded. Last date for application: 1 December 2021.
Please send your complete application by mail (or internal UZH mail envelopes) to the following address:
and add the following documents:
- Formular Antrag Editing/Übersetzungszuschuss (DOCX, 52 KB)
- Formular Spesenabrechnung Editing/Übersetzungszuschuss (XLSX, 104 KB) (only applicable if employed by UZH)
- a letter of justification, signed by your main supervisor, stating the necessity and the importance of the editing or translation for your dissertation (half a page A4)
- original invoice or original expense receipts (suitable to scan, without paper clips, with receipts being taped in complete width on A4 sheet)
- Invoice or receipt must show that the provider of the subsidised service is in a position to pay the taxes and charges imposed by law (e.g. indication of a UID for Switzerland and the EU or a TIN for the USA).
Incomplete or delayed applications will be returned without processing.
Please fill in the "Spesenformular" with the exact amount of funding that you are applying for. The sum may not exceed 2'000 CHF.
The dean's office will not enter into any correspondence regarding the payment. Reimbursements will usually be transferred to your account within two months.
Funding for Self-Organised Working Groups
The Graduate School will again provide funding for doctoral students who, in the course of 2021, will devote themselves to a common research topic in self-organised working groups.This funding supports the initiative of doctoral students and the development and implementation of target group-oriented formats.
A total of seven thematic working groups can each receive up to CHF 5,000 in order to organise their academic and professional development in a self-organised manner. The budget reservation applies.
The activities of the working groups are not curricularly creditable and no ECTS credits are awarded for them. As a rule, the activities take place at the UZH. Exceptions are possible in justified cases. The working groups and their projects are presented on the Graduate School website: Showcase PhD.
Groups of three or more PhF doctoral students are eligible to apply. Prior approval by supervisors or specialist committees is not necessary. However, the proposal (especially the budget) must be discussed in advance with a PhD coordinator.
The application consists of:
- Project description (max. 1 page). The nature of the activity and its benefit for the doctoral students must be clear from it. Due to the unclear pandemic situation for 2021, a digital substitute option must be presented and budgeted for each requested presence activity.
- Budget table: Planned expenditure for all activities; additional income, e.g. funding by the Graduate Campus or PhF units.
The proposal and budget must be submitted in an integral PDF to the Graduate School (email@example.com) by 1 March 2021.
The Executive Committee of the Graduate School will decide on the applications by the beginning of April 2021.
Once the funding has been granted by the management committee, the funding amount will be made available to the doctoral student groups as a budget. Under the responsibility of the respective doctoral coordinator, a PSP element is opened at the graduate school, on which the expenses of the groups can be booked up to the total amount awarded (max. 5,000 CHF).
Financial Support for Childcare during Congress Trips
Doctoral students whose participation in a congress would be endangered due to a lack of childcare can apply to the Graduate School for a contribution to the costs incurred for on-site childcare up to a maximum of 300 CHF per year.
- The application can be made for children up to 6 years of age.
- The subsidy can be used for travel and accommodation costs as well as for local childcare costs.
- The subsidy can be applied for congresses in Switzerland and abroad.
- The costs incurred must be proven with appropriate receipts.
Please do not submit your application until after childcare has been provided during a congress trip. The application must be received in writing by the Dean's Office no later than two months after the end of the congress. An extension of the deadline is excluded. Applications can be submitted until 18 December 2020.
Please send your application by mail or in-house mail (preferably in reusable envelopes) to the following address:
University of Zurich
Faculty of Philosophy
The complete application consists of the following documents:
- Childcare Grant Application Form (DOCX, 52 KB)
- Childcare expense claim form (XLSX, 104 KB)(only to be completed if you are employed at UZH)
- Brief explanation of why childcare became necessary.
- Original receipts (the receipts must be scanner-suitable, without staples on a separate A4 sheet of paper with a transparent adhesive strip extending over the entire upper edge of the receipt).
Incomplete or late submitted documents will be returned unprocessed.
Please enter the exact amount you wish to claim on the expense form. This must not exceed the budget of 300 CHF.
The Dean's Office does not conduct any correspondence regarding the payment. As a rule, payment is made to your account within two months of receipt of the application.