Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for PhD candidates

The Swiss government awards various types of scholarships to foreign doctoral students, through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS).

The list of countries in which you can apply for a Swiss government scholarship, along with country-specific application deadlines, as well as details of the application procedure, are available on the web pages of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, under Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.

The Excellence Scholarship application deadlines are generally earlier than the Graduate Institute's application deadlines. We will do our utmost to expedite the evaluation of your application for admission so that you may meet the Swiss Government's deadline in your country. Therefore, your complete application file must reach us as early as possible and you must let us know that you are applying for this particular scholarship.

Each programme's evaluation committee may decide to evaluate your application with the regular pool of applications along the usual time line, rather than expedite the evaluation. It may therefore not be possible to make an admission decision in time for you to meet the Swiss Government's deadline for your country.


Application procedure

  1. Note the application deadline for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship in your country.
  2. Apply to one of the Institute’s PhD programmes between 15 September and November 15, 2017.
  3. Be sure to complete the financial aid application page on the Graduate Institute's application for admission.

    This will ensure that, in the event that you are admitted and that your Swiss Government scholarship request is unsuccessful, you can still be considered for financial aid from the Institute.
  4. Inform the Graduate Institute's Admission Office that you are applying for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship. This will allow us to speed up the evaluation of your application for admission so that you may meet the Swiss Government's deadline.
  5. Submit an application for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship by contacting the Swiss embassy in your country of origin.
  6. If you are admitted to the Graduate Institute, we will supply a letter of support from your anticipated research supervisor. You will need to include this letter of support, along with your admission letter, in your Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship application file.

    Your PhD programme will assign you a research supervisor. Please do not contact members of the faculty at this stage; you can direct all your enquiries to the Admission Office.
  7. The Swiss government will only consider Excellence Scholarship applications from students who hold an offer of admission and a support letter. Their evaluation process may take several months.