Doing Research in Switzerland Where to study

by George Popescu

Many scientists choose to apply for a permanent research position in Switzerland. The country offers a great number of grants for projects that aim at changing people lifestyles, improve individual working conditions, produce autonomous robots or even generate a 3D representation of the brains activities, to name only a few areas.

Scholarships and funds that support research

The main unit for managing the submission of projects and their financing is the Swiss National Science Foundation (//www.snf.ch/E/Pages/default.aspx). SNSF grants the salary for PhD students and Post-Docs based on their research proposals and offers financial aid for additional parties from the industry sector. For more scholarships in Switzerland, visit ScholarshipPortal.com.

View 207 PhD programmes in Switzerland »

Often times, academic institutions collaborate with business companies to provide innovative solutions or products. Research results are very interesting for companies that want to develop a novel technology or release a new design. Switzerland, as a phone is a financial heaven for start-ups. Many ideas emerge from university laboratories and PhD thesis work. With a sustainable growth such start-ups can attract as much as tens of millions of Swiss francs as financial sponsorship from companies and/or SNSF.

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More and more PhD positions are created in Switzerland

As expected, doing research in Switzerland is reserved for some of the best experts in each field. Actually, emerging fields that combine theory with practice or inter-disciplinary work are more and more encouraged to take shape by the administration of the large universities and SNSF. The two main technical universities: EPFL in Lausanne and ETHZ in Zurich are mainly focusing on intense research activities as they employ a larger and larger number of PhD students and enlarge the laboratory work.

Having a comfortable and stable salary allows researchers to concentrate exclusively on their academic-related activities. Research, when compared with other domains of activity such as commercial duties, is both rewarding and demanding. It requires a great motivation and ever-creative mind.

Researchers working in Switzerland do not have to worry about working-permit status, their income or travelling expenses. Secretaries do this administrative work. Also, laboratory scientists do work on a common goal in projects that usually involve many stakeholders. At the PhD level, the thesis work is mostly solitary, but often students have the possibility to connect with other lab-mates research interest, visit a foreign university and be accepted a research stay there.

Switzerland - a centre of absolute excellence

Switzerland is highly connected with the global academic research world, especially with the largest American universities. There are annual conferences that gather most talented scientists. Even local events unite a great amount of people coming from abroad.

The Swiss system is by definition an opener of discussions and a platform for creating connections and bounds. One’s excellent research work gets published in world-renowned journals. Top professors collect their career-wide results and write books that students follow at their courses. Almost all material is constantly updated to keep students and researchers updated with latest developments.

Another key element of the landscape of scientific research in Switzerland is the industry presentations that take place in the academic setting. Companies are invited to demonstrate their new products or to propose job positions to Bachelor, Masters and PhD graduates. Industry presentations are very beneficial for strengthening the knowledge exchange between professors and company management. Quite often, PhD students go to the industry for internships and bring a new perspective to their research at their return.

View a complete list of 4,076 international PhD programmes

Collaboration panels are established by language, region or even ranking. French, German and Italian speaking institutions join their research forces to develop specific projects of local interest. Also, the 2 largest federal institutions, EPFL and ETHZ have common programs that facilitate the exchange of students and continuous discussions for finding solutions to common problems.

Nevertheless, Switzerland has invested a considerable amount of financial resources into computational centres and fast computing providing an infrastructure for ground-breaking results and innovation. Researchers here cannot dream for more.

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