The Graduate School supports outstanding MA graduates in raising the funds for their own PhD project. Through a competitive grant awarding process, prospective PhD students receive start-up funding to prepare an application for Doc.CH (Swiss National Science Foundation) or for the UZH Candoc Grant.
For 2022, four start-up grants of CHF 20,000 each will be announced. The duration of the scholarships is six months (August 2022 to January 2023). The scholarships 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 payment of the second tranche.
The call for proposals follows the spring application deadlines of Doc.CH and UZH Candoc Grant. During the scholarship period, an application for Doc.CH or the UZH Candoc Grant will be prepared. The application must be submitted to one of the two agencies no later than one year after the start of the scholarship. If the application is successful, the doctorate must be completed at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Zurich (PhF).
During the term of the scholarship, grantees are supported by the Graduate School and the PhD coordinators. The PhF Application Support Office is also available for consultation.
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 early stages of their PhD or are just starting it. However, external students may also apply. An application for a Start-up Grant is also possible if a Doc.CH and/or Candoc application has already been submitted. In case of a rejection of a Start-up Grant application, another application is allowed once. In justified individual cases, an application can also be submitted if the MA thesis has been submitted and graded, but the MA diploma is not yet available. A statement must be made on this in the letter of recommendation.
A prerequisite for the review of an application is an outstanding MA degree, the formulation of an innovative research project, and a letter of recommendation from a PhF professor; this must include a promise of supportive supervision.
The complete application documents in German or English include:
- Cover sheet (template (DOCX, 52 KB))
- Project Outline*:
- Research question, scientific relevance, originality
- State of research
- Method/procedure, (hypo)theses
- CV (max. 1 page)
- Final documents BA and MA
- Excerpt from MA thesis: introduction and one chapter
- Letter of recommendation from the person who supports the application (template (DOCX, 52 KB))
* The project outline consists of a maximum of five pages and a maximum of 20,000 characters (including spaces; bibliography not included). Minimum font size 10 and line spacing 1.5. The project outline must not contain any attachments.
The application must be submitted in an integral PDF via email to email@example.com by May 2, 2022.
The Executive Committee of the Graduate School decides on the awarding of the scholarships. 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.
Applicants are obliged to inform the Graduate School about applications already in progress as well as approvals for Doc.CH and/or the UZH Candoc Grant. If they receive an approval for Doc.CH or a UZH Candoc Grant before the start of the Start-up Grant period, no payment of the Start-up Grant will be made. In this case, the Executive Committee has the option to continue awarding the Start-up Grant. If Doc.CH or UZH Candoc Grant is accepted during the term of the Start-up Grant, it will be paid out in full.
The Graduate School will inform applicants of the decision in early June 2022. The term of the grant begins in August 2022.
Doctoral students may 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 and interlibrary loan fees.
- Travel and accommodation costs for short research trips
Doctoral students enrolled at PhF (incl. leave of absence in publication phase) are eligible to apply. In 2022, a total grant of 600 CHF per person can be applied for. Multiple applications may be submitted up to the maximum amount. The combination of several items in one application is possible.
There is no entitlement to full reimbursement of the requested costs. Amounts below 50 Swiss francs will not be paid out. The budget proviso applies.
As a general rule, please also check the possibility of obtaining financial support for your research from the chair, the institute/seminar or the Graduate Campus.
Please submit your application only after travel, service or purchase has been completed. The application must be received in writing by the Dean's Office no later than two months after completion of the travel or service. Applications may be submitted through December 1, 2022. Please send your application by post or internal mail (preferably in reusable envelopes) to the following address
The complete application consists of the following documents:
- Letter of justification from the applicant as to why the requested item is important for the dissertation project (max. ½ page). The letter must be signed by the primary supervisor.
- Application research support (DOCX, 50 KB)
- To be filled in only in case of UZH employment: Expense claim form (XLSX, 104 KB)(Details instructions (PDF, 298 KB)(German only))
- 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 submissions will be returned unprocessed. Please enter the exact amount you wish to claim in the expense form. This must not exceed the budget limit of 600 Swiss francs. The Dean's Office does not keep correspondence about the disbursement. As a rule, payment is made within two months of receipt of the request on your account.
Copy Editing and Translation
Doctoral students may apply for grants towards the cost of copy editing (proofreading) and translation of texts that are not written in their native language and are central to the dissertation project.
PhD students enrolled at PhF (including leave of absence in publication phase) are eligible to apply. In 2022, a total grant of 2000 CHF per person can be applied for. Multiple applications may be submitted up to the maximum amount. The combination of several items in one application is possible. There is no entitlement to full reimbursement of the requested costs. Amounts below 50 Swiss francs will not be paid out. The budget proviso applies.
Please submit your application only after the service has been provided. The application must be received in writing by the Dean's Office no later than two months after receipt of the invoice. Applications may be submitted until December 1, 2022.
Please send your request by mail or interoffice mail (preferably in reusable envelopes) to the following address:
The complete application consists of the following documents:
- Letter of justification from the applicant why copy editing or translation is important for the dissertation project (max. 1/2 page). The letter must be signed by the main supervisor.
- Application copy editing and translation (DOCX, 51 KB)
- To be filled in only in case of UZH employment: Expense Claim form (XLSX, 104 KB) (details in instructions (PDF, 297 KB)(German only)
- Original invoice or original expense vouchers (the expense vouchers must be scannable, without staples, attached to a separate A4 sheet with a transparent adhesive strip extending over the entire top edge of the voucher).
- The receipts must show that the provider of the subsidized service is able to pay the legally required taxes and duties (e.g. indication of a UID for Switzerland and the EU or a TIN for the USA).
Incomplete or late submissions will be returned unprocessed. Please enter the exact amount you wish to claim in the expense form. This must not exceed the budget limit of 2000 Swiss francs. The Dean's Office does not keep correspondence about the disbursement. As a rule, payment is made within two months of receipt of the request to your account.
Self-Organised Working Groups
The Graduate School will again provide funding for doctoral students who, in the course of 2022, 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 proviso 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 doctoral students enrolled at PhF are eligible to apply. Prior approval by supervisors or the Subject Board is not required. 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 2022, 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 by email in an integral PDF to the Graduate School (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 1 March 2022.
The Executive Committee of the Graduate School will decide on the applications by the beginning of April 2022.
Once the funding has been granted by the management committee, the funding amount will be made available to the working 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).
Guests in Doctoral Colloquia
The Graduate School subsidizes the invitation of guests in doctoral colloquia. Lecturers of doctoral colloquia can apply for travel and accommodation expenses for a maximum of two guests. Guests are especially co-supervisors who attend project presentations. An invitation should therefore be made in consultation with the doctoral students.
The application must be submitted by the lecturer of the colloquium. The colloquium is a pure doctoral course or a course cross-listed from the MA (with an additionally applied doctoral module) of at least one "SWS" and complies with the requirements of the "Finanzmerkblatt" of the Graduate School regarding course work and bookability. Guests may be invited to a maximum of two sessions of the colloquium.
Covered by funding
- Travel expenses excluding optional add-ons (rail travel usually 2nd class, 1st class only with reduced special fare, low-cost flights usually at economy fare, low-cost overnight train travel) and cab fares.
- Accommodation costs for one night with breakfast in hotels of medium price range.
- A total of max. 1000 CHF is available for two guests.
- The budget proviso applies.
The application must be submitted by February 10, 2022 (for guests in FS22) or September 10, 2022 (for guests in HS22) via email to email@example.com. This must include the title of the event, estimated costs, and a brief justification for the invitation.
The invited guests send a scan of the original receipts (train ticket, boarding pass, hotel bill, etc.) to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, they will share the following information:
- name of the account holder
- complete home address of the account holder
- Name and address of the bank
- Bank code
- Account number
- SWIFT (BIC) code
- IBAN or ABA number
As a rule, the amount will be transferred to the mentioned account 30 days after the receipt of the documents.
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. 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:
- Application Childcare (DOCX, 52 KB)
- 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.