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Branco Weiss Fellowship - Society in Science Grant

Fellowships to USA, Canada, and International Postdoctoral
Researchers for Original Research Projects in Any Discipline

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Branco Weiss Fellowship

Deadline Date:

01/15/21 11:59 PM CET


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Fellowships to USA, Canada, and International PhD researchers to pursue long-term research projects in any discipline. Funding is intended to give exceptional researchers a platform to engage in dialogue on cultural, social, economic, or political issues relevant to their discipline.

The Branco Weiss Fellowship is a worldwide fellowship program, founded in 2002 and coordinated by ETH Zurich. It provides a platform for exceptionally qualified researchers from all disciplines demonstrating a willingness to engage in a dialogue on relevant social, cultural, political, or economic issues across the frontiers of their particular discipline. The fellowship is international and transdisciplinary in nature.

The Branco Weiss Fellowship – Society in Science is a unique postdoc program. It awards outstanding young researchers around the world with a generous personal research grant, giving them the freedom to work on whatever topic they choose anywhere in the world, for up to five years.

Branco Weiss Fellows are expected to present novel approaches in their research, departing from the mainstream. The selection of the institute or research unit best suited to conduct the research rests with the fellows. Fellows may undertake their research anywhere in the world at any institution, even at multiple locations.

Funding may be used to cover all legitimate costs of research (i.e. salary and/or equipment, travel expenses, consumables, personnel, etc.).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 139465

Number of Grants:

The program aims to award up to ten fellowships each year.

Estimated Size of Grant:

A Branco Weiss Fellowship consists of CHF 100,000 per year.

Term of Contract:

Research projects should be conceived to last five years.

The first two years of a project are called the Pioneer Phase. At the end of the Pioneer Phase, a review and a site visit will be conducted. At this point, the project, its continued originality, and the productivity of the fellow will be evaluated. If the results of the evaluation and site visit are satisfactory, the fellow enters the Exploitation Phase for the remaining three years of the fellowship.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Researchers who pursue unconventional projects in new areas of science, engineering and social sciences may apply. The research fellowship is designed to support postdoctoral researchers after their PhD and before their first faculty appointment. Those in current postdoctoral positions are also eligible.

The ideal applicant to a Branco Weiss Fellowship 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 2021 intake if:
- You officially hold a PhD on January 15, 2021
- You have obtained your PhD a maximum of five years prior to January 15, 2021
- 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

Please note that the fellowship typically does not fund mainstream research projects that could also be funded by other scientific organizations.

Pre-Application Information:

The following timeline applies for the 2021 fellowship intake:
- January 15, 2021, 11.59 p.m. CET: Final deadline for applications via the online form. To avoid server-overload, please submit your application at least one or two days before the deadline.
- May 2021: Notification and invitation for a personal interview sent to final selection of candidates; notification sent to candidates whose application has been rejected
- June 2021: Candidates interviewed by a panel in Zurich, Switzerland; final selection of fellows
- September 1 to December 31, 2021: Fellows commence research projects

Financial support is given to fellows in the form of a personal grant. This is administered by the host institution via a three-way contractual agreement between the fellow, their chosen institution(s), and ETH Zurich. Overheads must be covered by the host institution(s).

Who Should Apply:
Eligibility, Duration, and Funding:
Application Information:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:


ETH Zurich
Rämistrasse 101
CH-8092 Zurich Switzerland

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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