Fully Funded ETH Pioneer Fellowship in Switzerland 2023-24

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The Fully Funded ETH Pioneer Fellowship in Switzerland is open for international studemts  from all over the world. The duration of the program is 10-18 months. ETH Pioneer Fellowship Program is opened for Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral Students. The Fully Funded Fellowship award is available for academic year of 2024-25.

Fellowships are awarded in a competitive process to ensure that the best applications with the highest potential and the most entrepreneurial applicants are selected. Re-application is not allowed in case of rejection.

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The Fully Funded ETH Pioneer Fellowship in Switzerland will cover all the expenses of selected candidates. Successful applicants will be awarded a lump sum of 150’000 CHF to cover the applicant’s salary costs and other costs to support the project. The appropriate salary level depends on the applicant’s level of education and other costs expected in the project. As scientific employees at ETH (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeitende), Pioneer Fellows will be employed on a grant.

The fellowship grant is always 150’000 CHF, regardless of the number of applicants and the level of education, and cannot be subsidized by other research funds or professorships. Combinations with most additional external funds, such as prize money or Innosuisse funds, are permitted. It is not possible to combine the Pioneer Fellowship grant with other personal grants linked to an employment contract, such as the BRIDGE Proof of Concept grant.

Other expenses covered:

Apart from salaries, the fellowship should finance most aspects of your project. It includes


General Expenses:

1. Equipment and project-specific consumables/materials

2. Measurement costs at facilities like FIRST, ScopeM, EPIC…

3. Software licenses for specialized software not yet covered by Research Group.

4. Costs of pre-clinical trials

5. Outsourcing of activities, such as writing websites, software, market reports, external consultants, etc.

Travel/Field Expenses and Industry Fairs:

1. Industry engagement or partnership events (eg BioEurope, Hannover Messe) Customer visits, presentations to investors…

2. All expenses are expressly dedicated to the project and not for private purposes.

3. All expense receipts will need to be submitted to the Finance Department to justify your expenses.

Tuition Fees for Certificate of Advanced Studies:

1. A tuition fee of CHF 9’200 can be paid by a direct grant from CAS ETH for a single candidate in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Technology Ventures (CAS ELTV) as enrollment is mandatory.

2. Enrollment of second candidate is optional if a team of 2 persons applies. If they choose to apply, ieLab will contribute 50% of the tuition fee.



The eligibility criteria for the Fully Funded ETH Pioneer Fellowship in Switzerland are stated below:
1. Candidates must have a master’s or doctoral degree from ETH Zurich.

2. A team of 1-2 entrepreneurs who want to commercialize the results of their research (master’s or doctoral thesis or postdoctoral research) at ETH.

3. A promising business case

4. A project where the company is not yet involved.

5. The project and the team are fully supported by the host professor at ETH. 


Required Documents:

The application must be written by the candidate and must be accompanied by a letter of support from his or her host professor. The host professor must hold an ETH position for the entire duration of the proposed Pioneer Fellowship and must provide the support and infrastructure provided within the professorship free of charge.

The application shall include the following:

1. A brief project summary that should review the planned activities, market situation and innovation potential. This summary should not contain confidential information.

2. A detailed description of the idea based on the research results of a master’s or doctoral thesis at ETH Zurich. Special emphasis is placed on innovative aspects of efficiency and customer benefits, product or service. This includes some evidence of market relevance, a basic business model with initial details on a commercialization strategy, and technical and market analysis. patent applications and software (IP) are made available for licensing to pioneer fellowships as well as future spin-offs, etc. Milestones and more in detail Explanation of expenses. Expected results are clearly defined.

3. A detailed list of financial requirements.

4. Candidate’s full CV including a list of relevant publications and a brief outline of their career goals.

5. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest (if any) to both candidates and the host professor.

6. A signed letter of support from the host professor, explaining why and how s/he wishes to support the candidate and how s/he evaluates the proposed project idea. Describing infrastructure made accessible.

7. 2 minute long presentation video of project and motivation. Must be submitted via Polybox in MP4 format.

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