PhD/Postdoc Exchange Programmes

Every year, NCCR Robotics offers financial assistance to PhD students and Postdocs from both inside and outside our organisation to take part in a 3-6 months collaborative project in a field related to the NCCR.


1. Candidates

The scholarship is open to:

  • PhD/Postdoc students from the NCCR who would like to go abroad
  • PhD/Postdoc students external to NCCR Robotics who would like to complete a project in one of our laboratories. A full list of NCCR Robotics professors can be found here

Women applicants will be given priority.


2. Fellowships

A maximum of 9,000 CHF will be awarded to cover living and travel costs.


3. Application procedure and requested documents

In order to apply for a fellowship, applicants must first contact an NCCR professor (external candidates) or a professor in potential host institution (internal candidates applying to travel externally) to discuss which potential projects may be available. A full list of NCCR Robotics professors can be found here.

Once professorial support has been obtained the student should submit a complete application.

  • Applications must include the application form and all required documents in one PDF file (font size 12):
    • Brief description of the project as agreed between the hosting professor and the student (max 1 page including references). The document should highlight the relevance of this visit for the PhD/Postdoc current research
    • Motivation letter showing how work completed during the programme will contribute to the goals of NCCR Robotics and promote the PhD/Postdoc career
    • CV of the candidate including a list of publications
    • Letter of recommendation
    • Detailed budget showing all costs that will be incurred through participation in the exchange programme, including travel and accommodation. Only accommodation costs that exceed those incurred by the student in his home institution will be taken into account
    • For incoming students only: written confirmation of matching fund from your current PhD/Postdoc advisor to ensure that your salary during the exchange is 2500CHF per month or higher
  • All items must be submitted in English
  • Applications should be sent by email to:

For any questions related to your application, please contact the NCCR Robotics Education Officer (see below).


4. Selection

Selection is made on a competitive basis by members from the NCCR Robotics Education & Society Committee.

Candidates will receive a response regarding their application by email in October. Selected candidates will be asked to confirm their participation within 2 weeks.

The fellowship is granted only to selected applicants who have completed enrolment at their host university. Selected candidates are typically asked to start their PhD/Postdoc’s exchange in the host laboratory between December 1st and March 1st (latest start permitted: May 1st). Payment of the fellowship money is subject to ongoing activity on the PhD/Postdoc’s research project.


5. Calendar

  • Deadline for application: 9 September 2020
  • Announcement of results: 15 October 2020
  • Selected candidates must confirm their participation by: 1 November 2020
  • Exchange programme latest start: 1 May 2021

6. Living in Switzerland

  • Accommodation: The EPFL Housing Office will support successful candidates in finding a flat-sharing solution or a room in Lausanne.
    If in Zürich, you can contact the Housing Office of UZH and ETH Zürich.
  • Language: International students enjoy speaking English on EPFL’s campus and in the laboratories whilst French is the official spoken language in this part of Switzerland. English is also widely spoken in Switzerland.
    Swiss German is spoken in Zurich. At most ETH Zürich institutions, English is the language used in communication and academic life. English is also widely understood in Zürich but, in order to integrate both socially and linguistically, it is recommended that you learn German.
  • Budget: For an idea of a student’s budget in Lausanne, please click here.
    For an idea of a budget to live in Zürich, click here.
    (Please note that these are average budgets).
  • For more information about studying at EPFL and living in Lausanne click here.
    For more information about studying and living in Zürich click here.

Fore more information:

Ana Caldas Admin & Events Officer Management Team, EPFL Funding: - +41 21 693 46 34

More for Students & Academics