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​Doctoral students employed in SNSF research projects can apply for a mobility grant in order to conduct part of their doctoral thesis abroad by agreement with the principal investigator. The mobility grant is awarded as a supplementary grant within the scope of an ongoing SNSF project. In such a situation, the SNSF would ask you to use this supplementary measure specifically for doctoral students employed in an SNSF project.​

​Doctoral students who are registered under a Cotutelle at a Swiss university and a higher education institution abroad (hereinafter “partner university”) may under certain circumstances apply for a Doc.Mobility fellowship to conduct a research stay at the partner university. Firstly the dissertation project conducted as a “Cotutelle de thèse” must be carried out as part of a formalised cooperation between two universities (Switzerland, abroad). A corresponding confirmation (cooperation agreement) must be enclosed with the application. Secondly the place of research abroad must be different from the place of education. Thirdly Doc.Mobility candidates must not have conducted a research stay of more than three months in total at the partner university in the course of their doctoral studies. It is not possible to apply for a Doc.Mobility fellowship if the planned stay at the partner university abroad is already being funded by a third party.

In the case of a Cotutelle under which the doctoral student has effected parallel registrations with a Swiss and a foreign university, the evaluation commission is chosen according to the university at which the doctoral student is conducting the major part of the dissertation. If this is a Swiss university, the relevant local SNSF Research Commission will be responsible for the evaluation. In all other cases the application will be evaluated by the SNSF Fellowship Commission. Other than that, the formal requirements and other provisions of the Doc.Mobility Regulations apply.

Doctoral students who are doing research at a UAS or UTE in Switzerland but who are formally enrolled at a university abroad (partner university) can, under certain circumstances, submit an application for a Doc.Mobility fellowship for a research stay at the partner university. Firstly, the research location abroad must not correspond to the place of education. Secondly, Doc.Mobility candidates must not have completed a research stay of more than three months in total at the partner university abroad within the framework of their doctorate. If the planned stay abroad at the partner university is already financed by third parties, no application for a Doc.Mobility fellowship may be submitted. Otherwise, the formal requirements and other provisions of the Doc.Mobility regulations apply.

No, this is not possible. Doc.Mobility fellowships can only be used to finance a research stay at a host institution abroad. The place of research must be different from the place of education. Furthermore, the host institution should not lie in the home country of the applicant; an exception may be granted on request, generally for scientific reasons.

​Yes, this is possible – provided you have a letter of invitation from each host institute.

A further stay or return at the institution of education, where the bachelor’s or master’s degree (or equivalent) was obtained, is formally not possible. Doctoral students matriculated abroad must move to a new institution for the fellowship. However, a research stay at the same geographic location (e.g. city) but at a different institution (other than the institution of education or institution of matriculation as a doctoral student) is formally possible. In this context, it should nevertheless be noted that the expected extent of mobility represents an important evaluation criterion. It is a primary aim of the mobility fellowships to promote the mobility and related aspects (promotion of the scientific independence, improvement of the scientific/academic profile).

You should clarify as early as possible whether a stay at the host institution is subject to any conditions. For example, some host institutions ask fellowship holders to contribute a sum of money towards the institution’s overhead. The SNSF does not cover any overhead costs incurred at host institutions abroad, however. The host institution may also ask for funds to cover the research costs. The SNSF can contribute a maximum of CHF 3,000 per year towards research costs if certain requirements are met. Fellowship holders who bring their own financial contribution for covering living costs should generally receive adequate support from their host institution; this support should encompass, among other things, infrastructure as well as any consumables. In this context, please take note of the “Information set SNSF mobility fellowships“. Please also clarify your status at the host institution. Some host institutes, especially in France, demand that fellowship holders be officially employed at the institution and that the SNSF directly transfers the fellowship to the host institution. In such cases, it is possible that a large portion of the fellowship is spent on social security contributions. The amount that ought to be available to the fellowship holders to cover their living costs is therefore reduced. Another solution, which may enable to keep the fellowship’s amount unchanged, would be that the beneficiary of the fellowship considers with the host institution the possibilities of signing a “hosting agreement for volunteer researchers” (“convention d’accueil pour chercheur/chercheuse bénévole”, similar status as for Researchers Emeritus).

Some host institutes, especially in the USA, also require minimum rates for their researchers, which may depend on the academic age after the PhD. Please clarify this with the responsible offices at the host institute as early as possible. The fellowship rates defined by the SNSF are binding for the year of approval. If the host institution increases the financial requirements, the SNSF will not be able to adjust the fellowship accordingly. In such a case, the SNSF expects the host institution to cover any financial gap.

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No, there is no age limit. However, the scientific track record and the prospects of achieving a scientific career are part of the evaluation criteria and the age of the candidate can play a role in this context.

An application for a Doc.Mobility fellowship is evaluated by the SNSF Research Commission of the university where you are registered as a doctoral student. If you are registered as a doctoral student at a foreign university,  the SNSF Fellowship Commission will be responsible. For the electronic submission of applications in mySNF, please select the relevant SNSF Research Commission or the SNSF Fellowship Commission.

​No Data Management Plan needs to be submitted for the mobility fellowships.

The mobility fellowship must be started no later than twelve months after the date of the ruling. Upon request, it may be possible to postpone the beginning for a further twelve months in case of important reasons such as an illness, an accident or family duties. The grantee must submit with her/his justified request a new confirmation letter from the host institute and eventually an updated research plan. Other funds received, for example another fellowship, do not represent a valid reason to postpone the beginning for more than twelve months.

No, the fellowship rates defined by the SNSF are binding for the year of approval. If the host institution increases the financial requirements, the SNSF will not be able to adjust the fellowship accordingly. In such a case, the SNSF expects the host institution to cover any financial gap. ​

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