Switzerland
Excellence in education

Collaboration agreement between
the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of the Swiss Confederation (SERI) and COLFUTURO

On May 1st, 2019, SERI and COLFUTURO signed an agreement to promote cooperation through the provision of scholarships from the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships scheme for talented Colombian students admitted to Research projects, Postdoctoral or Ph.D. studies in a Swiss Public University, Federal Institute of Technology or University of Applied Sciences.

At least two candidates nominated by COLFUTURO will receive full scholarships, which include, but are not limited to, living allowance, health insurance, and allowance for returning tickets from Switzerland to Colombia.


In order to apply for the scholarships, students need to have found a professor at a Swiss academic institution willing to act as their supervisor for a reseach project, Postdoctoral or Ph.D. studies, to start their programs after September 2023.

Only applicants, who have lived less than twelve months in Switzerland before the start of the grant in September 2023, will be eligible to participate and compete for the scholarships.

We invite you to read the agreement and explore this website, which contains 2023 call (Academic Year 2023-2024) conditions. Contact becasuiza@colfuturo.org and we will send you the documents that you need to submit your application.

Relevant dates Start of the call:
August 2nd 2022
Deadline of the call:
October 14th 11:59, 2022
Colombian time


Scholarships of the Government of Switzerland for Colombians

Requirements

  • Scholarships are for: Research fellowships, Doctorate and Post-Doctorate. There are no scholarships for Masters' degrees nor for artistic programs.

  • The candidate must have the acceptance of a supervisor for his research project and the admission letter from the doctoral school.

  • The files of the candidates residing in Switzerland for more than one year and who have already started a research, a Doctorate or Post-Doctorate in Switzerland are not considered, nor can the individuals who have been beneficiaries of a scholarship of the Government of Switzerland submit an application.

  • The candidate has to submit an application to one university only (if the candidate has applied to two or more, he or she will be disqualified), having the knowledge of the language necessary to complete his or her studies or investigation. The English level shall be excellent, as it is an indispensable requirement.

  • The candidate will be required to send the application file on paper to the Embassy of Switzerland in Colombia if the digital application file that he or she sent to becasuiza@colfuturo.org is complete. It is not accepted to deliver the files in another country other than Colombia, nor even if the candidate lives in another country.

Conditions for the scholarships

  • The trip to Switzerland will not be paid, but the return after completing the term of the scholarship will be. If the candidate stays longer (more than 6 months), works to continue his research, or goes to another country, he or she will lose the option of having the FCS cover the return ticket.

  • The candidate has to live in the canton where he or she will be studying. The candidate will receive one disbursement at the beginning of the scholarship for housing (CHF 300 or approx. COP 1 million).

  • The scholarship does not include costs related to family expenses.

  • In case the Universities and the Universities of Applied Sciences should not waive the fees, it is up to the grantee to pay for the fees.

  • If you are awarded another additional scholarship or you receive other forms of financial support (such as income from teaching and research assistance, etc.) you are asked to notify the Federal Commission for Scholarships.

  • Candidates can only apply to one type of scholarship.

  • The scholarships are for full-time research in Switzerland and not for part-time or correspondence education or mixed programs (half the time in Switzerland and half the time in another country).

  • During the scholarships, fieldwork outside of Switzerland is not accepted.

  • Each candidate will be entitled to compulsory health insurance in Switzerland (it does not cover dental care).

  • The scholarship does not cover expenses for international conferences.

  • The application fees for the university, in most cases, will not be charged, but if they are, the candidate will have to pay them.

  • Each candidate will receive a one-time grant of 300 CHF with the first payment for accommodation.

  • The scholarship stipends per month are:
    ● Research Fellowships: 1.920 CHF
    ● Doctorate: 1.920 CHF
    ● Postdoctoral: 3.500 CHF

Application process

  • Publication of the call for the scholarships: each year in August, at www.colfuturo.org.

  • Call for proposals: from August to October

  • The evaluation will be jointly made by COLFUTURO and the Embassy. During the evaluation process, a personal interview may be conducted by the Embassy.

  • Announcement of students selected: In May of the following year, CFBE directly contacts the candidates to inform them whether they were or not awarded the scholarship.

  • Start of Scholarships: September 2023.

Research Fellowships (12 months)

Are addressed to highly qualified investigators from all academic fields.

The candidate must have a Master’s Degree or equivalent degree and must have graduated before July 31st, 2023. As proof, the Diploma must be sent to the FCS before starting the scholarship. The candidate must have been born after December 31st, 1987, and must submit a letter or email from a professor (and his/her CV) who is willing to supervise his or her research. Failure to submit this document will result in the rejection of the file.

The person applying to the scholarship shall also have a research project with a schedule and a maximum date for completion thereof. This signed document is the most important and decisive requisite.

The scholarship covers maximum 12 months starting in September (with no possible extension thereof). The allowances amount to CHF 1.920 (approx. COP 8 million) per month.

Grant applications for a stay lasting less than 6 months will be rejected and applications for scholarships of less than 9 months will not be analyzed as a priority.

The scholarship is valid only for full-time research in Switzerland. It is not valid for mixed research (part-time in Switzerland and part-time in another country). This scholarship is not compatible with fieldtrips outside Switzerland. Therefore no possibility and no funding for fieldwork. This scholarship type is not available for scholars holding a Ph.D. degree.

Ph.D. Scholarships (12 months up to 36 months)

Aimed towards highly qualified post-graduate students. The person applying for the scholarship must have a Master's Degree or equivalent degree and must have graduated before July 31st, 2023. As proof, the Diploma must be sent to the FCS before starting the scholarship. The candidate must have been born after December 31st, 1987. The candidate must submit a letter (or email) from a professor who is willing to supervise his or her Doctorate. Failure to submit this document will result in the rejection of the file. If an assistant professor supports the candidacy, an associate professor, who has the right to supervise the Ph.D. during the entire period, has to jointly sign the letter of supervision agreement.

The person applying to the scholarship shall also have a research project with a schedule and a maximum date for completion thereof. This signed document is the most important and decisive requisite. Ph.D. students with an ongoing or planned doctoral project that is carried out within the framework of a formalized agreement between two universities («cotutelle de thèse» cooperation between a Swiss and a foreign university) and under the joint direction of two supervisors, will only be able to receive a research grant and not a Doctorate grant.

The scholarship covers maximum 3 years (the years are not automatically awarded. Each request of extension shall be evaluated pursuant to the criteria established by the FCS and the academic results obtained). The allowances amount to CHF 1.920 (approx. COP 8 million) per month.

If the chosen doctoral school does not allow you to contact a supervisor before being admitted to the doctoral school, the application for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship is not possible.

This scholarship type is not available for scholars holding a Ph.D. degree.

Bear in mind:

  • Applying for the FCS scholarship is a different process than applying for admission to a Swiss university.

  • There are two different ways to get a Ph.D.:

    1. Doctoral studies under the supervision of an academic mentor. In this case, admission to the Ph.D. can be after starting the scholarship.

    2. If the Doctorate is part of a structured program with theoretical courses, the candidate must present the admission letter from the university. Without this document, the file will be rejected.

  • If the chosen doctoral school does not allow you to contact a supervisor before being admitted to the doctoral school, the application for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship is not possible.

Postdoctoral Scholarships (12 months)

Aimed towards highly qualified postdoctorate investigators. The candidate must have a Ph.D. Degree. The Doctorate Diploma must have been obtained after December 31, 2019 and before July 31, 2023 and be recognized by the Swiss university. As proof, the Diploma must be sent to the CFBE before starting the scholarship

The person applying for the scholarship must submit a letter (or email) from a professor who is willing to supervise his or her Postdoctorate. Failure to submit this document will result in the rejection of the file. Not accepted as academic supervisors for Postdoctoral scholarship applicants are their former Ph.D. mentors and their co-directors for the cotutelle Ph.D.

Also, the candidate must have a research project with a schedule and a maximum date for completion thereof. This signed document is the most important and decisive requisite. Grant applications for a stay lasting less than 6 months or for funding sabbaticals will be rejected.

The scholarship covers maximum 12 months (with no possible extension thereof). The allowances amount to CHF 3.500 (approx. COP 15 million) per month. No funding for sabbaticals.

Grant applications for a stay lasting less than 6 months will be rejected and applications for scholarships of less than 9 months will not be analyzed as a priority.

This scholarship is valid only for full-time postdoctoral research in Switzerland. It is not compatible with field trips outside Switzerland. Therefore no possibility and no funding for fieldwork.