Kick-off of the Scholarship Fund Programme in the Partner Countries

Article, 15.06.2009

With the launch of a pilot phase in Poland and the Czech Republic, the implementation of the scholarship programme within the scope of the Swiss enlargement contribution has gotten underway. The beneficiaries of this CHF 30 million-endowed programme are young and promising research scientists from the Central and Eastern European EU-Member States.

A researcher at work in a laboratory.
The programme of scholarships enables some 460 doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers from the new EU member states to complete a fixed-term research residency in Switzerland. © DEZA

The aim of the eight scholarship programmes destined for Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the three Baltic Republics is to strengthen the competencies of the individual scholars, to foster academic exchange, and to jointly lay the foundation for future paths of research cooperation. Researchers from Central and Eastern Europe will be enabled to spend from 6 to a maximum of two years in Switzerland to engage in scientific research. Switzerland will be able to share its experience and strength in the domains of education and research, while simultaneously consolidating its contacts with academic networks in Central and Eastern Europe.

The project is being conducted through the intermediary of the Rectors Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) in close cooperation with the research institutes. The CRUS has been commissioned by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to act as one of the two Federal offices responsible for implementation of the Swiss enlargement contribution.

The eight scholarship programmes, endowed with some CHF 30 million, are scheduled to run for seven years. There exists the possibility that should need arise, the funding provided to any, or even all, of the given scholarship programmes can be increased. The official, overall title of the scholarship programme is: “Scientific Exchange Programme between the New Member States and Switzerland,”.

Switzerland is actively participating in the reduction of the economic and social disparities within the enlarged EU. One of the thematic priorities in this effort is the strengthening of the education and research domain in Central and Eastern Europe and the concomitant fostering of scientific exchange between Switzerland and the individual partner countries.

Further information on the scholarship programmes: