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Branco Weiss Fellowship in Science

Through scientific advancements an array of economic, social, political and cultural changes are provoked and facilitated. Likewise, social processes and values impact the evolution of science and technology.

The fellowship is designed for postdocs at home in sciences, engineering and social sciences who are willing to engage in a dialogue on relevant social, cultural, political or economic issues across the frontiers of their particular discipline.

The program aims to award up to ten fellowships each year. The number of recipients depends on the number of applications satisfying the stringent requirements of the directorate not only taking into account the scientific abilities of the candidates but also personal qualities and the relevance of their projects.

Eligibility

The ideal applicant has the competencies to design a surprisingly novel and scientifically rigorous research project which blazes new trails, profiting from the freedom uniquely offered by the fellowship.

You are eligible for the 2020 campaign if:

  • You officially hold a PhD on January 15, 2020
  • You have obtained your PhD a maximum of five years prior to January 15, 2020
  • You do not hold or have held a faculty-equivalent position (e.g. assistant professor or lecturer)
  • Your project departs from the mainstream of research in your discipline
  • You have a record of outstanding scientific achievement
  • You demonstrate in the proposal a willingness to engage in a dialogue on relevant social, cultural, political or economic issues across the frontiers of your particular discipline

If you have applied before and were not selected, you are welcome to apply again.

The following reasons for delays after attaining your PhD are acceptable:

  • parental leave (max. 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.

Duration

The fellowship is awarded in two installments:

  1. The pioneer phase: the first two years of research
  2. The exploitation phase: the remaining three years

At the end of the pioneer phase, a review is conducted. This evaluates the project, its continued originality, and the productivity of the fellow. Branco Weiss Fellows are encouraged to seek faculty positions during their exploitation phase; success hereby will not terminate the fellowship.

Funding

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.).

How to apply 

Applications for the 2020 fellowship intake are now open. Apply here.

Please have the following documents (pdf files) ready for uploading:

  • Letter of motivation including a statement explaining why your research differs from the mainstream (max. 1 page)
  • Your proposed research project (max. 4 pages, including abstract, references extra)
  • Your CV (max. 4 pages)
  • Copies of your three best publications (no doctoral theses, no books, only individual book chapters)
  • Application overview (download template here), including a reasoning of why you believe that you are a perfect candidate for a Branco Weiss Fellowship (max. 1000 characters)

Please note that letters of support do not have to be submitted upon application. Timelines and budgets are not necessary.

In preparing the description of your intended research, you may wish to give emphasis to the idea or concept forming the heart of the work, the methods you are planning to use, and the potential impact of the outcome both for your own subject and for other disciplines. You should also seek to present links between society and science that you wish to explore and promote.

All documents must be submitted as PDF files (max. 5 MB each).

Before applying, please read the Fast Facts for Applicants carefully.

 

Application date
Duration
2+3 years
Country
Europe : Switzerland
Discipline
Social sciences
Other
Required post-doc experience
Between 0 and 5 years
Grants available
10
Award granted
CHF 100,000/year
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