Doc.Mobility

The last submission deadline for Doc.Mobility took place on 1 september 2020. The Doc.Mobility instrument will not be continued after 2020. ​As of 2021, the SNSF will fund the mobility of doctoral students under "mobility grants in projects". Doctoral students who are not employed in an SNSF project should contact their university if they wish to conduct a research stay abroad.

Details under "News" -> 06.02.2020.

As of 1. January 2021, persons with an ongoing Doc. Mobility grant can submit a follow-up application. The total duration of the scholarship including extension may not exceed 18 months (more information available under "How To").

  • How To

    Dropdown Icon

    Submission of follow-up applications

    Applications must only be submitted via the mySNF platform. Only applications for a follow-up of an ongoing Doc.Mobility fellowship can be submitted. To submit an application, the SNSF fellowship holders must contact the SNSF in advance, approximately 2 to 3 months before the end of the fellowship ( fellowships@snf.ch External Link Icon). In the case of an award, the follow-up must start immediately after the end of the initial fellowship.

  • Documents

    Dropdown Icon
  • Supplementary measures

    Dropdown Icon
  • FAQ

    Dropdown Icon

    a1) COVID-19. General information about staying abroad

    ​​​(Situation on 1.1.2022; first version: 11 March 2020)

    Researchers planning or conducting a stay abroad must follow the advice issued by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), as well as by the competent authorities in the countries in question.

    Fellowship holders who are already abroad must respect the directives issued by the local authorities. If they return to Switzerland, they must follow the instructions of the responsible cantonal authorities in Switzerland.

    The SNSF does not cover any costs for tests and quarantine measures or other costs related to the preventive measures against Covid-19. It is the fellowship holders’ responsibility to inform themselves about the applicable measures and the steps to be taken before their departure.

    a2) I am already abroad but I have no access to my host institute due to its closure. How should I proceed?

    It is the responsibility of the grantees to find a suitable solution so that they can continue their research.

    Please note that all changes must be communicated to the SNSF as soon as possible and that any change must be approved by the SNSF. Send your request to the following address: fellowships@snf.ch External Link Icon.

    • They can – if the host institute agrees – work from their home office in the host country for a period of 4 to maximum 6 months, in case the research can be done in these conditions. In any case and as soon as the situation permits, they should resume working at the host institute. The SNSF must be informed in advance if the situation at the host institute does not improve within a reasonable period of time and it becomes evident that conducting the research from the home office will exceed the authorized duration of 6 months. In this case, grantees are asked to consider the following two options:
    • They can find another research location, while respecting the travel guidelines issued by the authorities in Switzerland and in the country in question. A corresponding request for a change of host institute must be submitted to the SNSF (with a letter of invitation from the new host institute as well as a document describing the most important changes compared to the original research plan, if applicable).
    • They can ask for an (unpaid) interruption of their fellowship for a maximum period of 6 months.

    a3) I am not able to start or continue my fellowship because I cannot go to the originally intended host institute(s). How should I proceed?

    In the event that the fellowship holders are not able to travel to the intended research location, they are asked to consider the options described below. It is the responsibility of the grantees to find a suitable solution so that they can start or continue their research.

    Please note that all changes must be communicated to the SNSF as soon as possible and that any change must be approved by the SNSF. Send your request to the following address: fellowships@snf.ch External Link Icon.

    • They have the possibility to postpone the start date of their fellowship by one year from the date of the decision, if this is possible for them. Due to the current pandemic situation, the SNSF also offers the possibility to postpone the start by 6 additional months; this gives them up to 18 months (from the date of the official decision) to submit the request for the release of funds and to start the project. Fellowship holders are requested to inform the SNSF about the postponement by e-mail or, at the latest, via mySNF through the form "Request for release of funds". If the start of the fellowship is postponed by 3 months or more, a new letter of invitation from the host institution must be attached to the "Request for release of funds" form. The release of funds must be requested via mySNF as soon as the start date is known and not earlier than 2 months before the start.
    • They can find another research location, while respecting the travel guidelines issued by the authorities in Switzerland and in the country in question. A corresponding request for a change of host institute must be submitted to the SNSF (with a letter of invitation from the new host institute as well as a document describing the most important changes compared to the original research plan, if applicable).
    • They can start the fellowship in their home office in Switzerland for a maximum of 4 to 6 months, provided that their host institute agrees and that their research can be started or continued under these conditions. As soon as the situation permits, they must continue the fellowship at the research location. In the event that access to their host institute or university is not possible or only partially possible due to closure or access restrictions, they may - with the consent of their host institute - start / work from their home office in the host country. If it is foreseeable that the maximum duration in the home office will be exceeded, they should check the other options mentioned in this FAQ (point a2) as soon as possible. In any case, the SNSF must be informed in advance if the time spent in the home office in Switzerland or abroad is likely to exceed the maximum duration of 6 months.

    In the event that none of the above options can be considered, grantees are kindly requested to contact the SNSF at the following address: fellowships@snf.ch External Link Icon.

    a4) Scientific reports

    Fellowship holder can extend the deadline for scientific reports for up to two months. All they need to do is send a message to fellowships@snf.ch External Link Icon. Any changes to the research plan that are a result of the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic have to be mentioned in the scientific report.

    Extension of mobility fellowships

    As of 1 January 2022, it will no longer be possible to apply for an extension of the mobility fellowship with an additional grant "Covid-19".

    b) Is it possible during the stay abroad of a Doc.Mobility fellowship to return or stay in a research location that is the same as the place where one was educated?

    A further stay or return at the institution of education, where the bachelor's or master's degree (or equivalent) was obtained, is formally not possible. Doctoral students matriculated abroad must move to a new institution for the fellowship. However, a research stay at the same geographic location (e.g. city) but at a different institution (other than the institution of education or institution of matriculation as a doctoral student) is formally possible. In this context, it should nevertheless be noted that the expected extent of mobility represents an important evaluation criterion. It is a primary aim of the mobility fellowships to promote the mobility and related aspects (promotion of the scientific independence, improvement of the scientific/academic profile).

    c) What administrative concerns and possible additional costs must be borne in mind when choosing a host institution for an SNSF mobility fellowship

    You should clarify as early as possible whether a stay at the host institution is subject to any conditions. For example, some host institutions ask fellowship holders to contribute a sum of money towards the institution's overhead. The SNSF does not cover any overhead costs incurred at host institutions abroad, however. The host institution may also ask for funds to cover the research costs. The SNSF can contribute a maximum of CHF 3,000 per year towards research costs if certain requirements are met. Fellowship holders who bring their own financial contribution for covering living costs should generally receive adequate support from their host institution; this support should encompass, among other things, infrastructure as well as any consumables. In this context, please take note of the " Information set SNSF mobility fellowships (PDF)". Please also clarify your status at the host institution. Some host institutes, especially in France, demand that fellowship holders be officially employed at the institution and that the SNSF directly transfers the fellowship to the host institution. In such cases, it is possible that a large portion of the fellowship is spent on social security contributions. The amount that ought to be available to the fellowship holders to cover their living costs is therefore reduced. Another solution, which may enable to keep the fellowship’s amount unchanged, would be that the beneficiary of the fellowship considers with the host institution the possibilities of signing a “hosting agreement for volunteer researchers” (“convention d’accueil pour chercheur/chercheuse bénévole”, similar status as for Researchers Emeritus).

    Some host institutes, especially in the USA, also require minimum rates for their researchers, which may depend on the academic age after the PhD. Please clarify this with the responsible offices at the host institute as early as possible. The fellowship rates defined by the SNSF are binding for the year of approval. If the host institution increases the financial requirements, the SNSF will not be able to adjust the fellowship accordingly. In such a case, the SNSF expects the host institution to cover any financial gap.

    d) Where can I find information on insurance and tax issues?

    ​The " information set "SNSF mobility fellowships (PDF)" gives you detailed information on tax and insurance issues as well as on other administrative matters.

    e) Until when is it possible to postpone the beginning of the fellowship?

    The mobility fellowship must be started no later than twelve months after the date of the ruling. Upon request, it may be possible to postpone the beginning for a further twelve months in case of important reasons such as an illness, an accident or family duties. The grantee must submit with her/his justified request a new confirmation letter from the host institute and eventually an updated research plan. Other funds received, for example another fellowship, do not represent a valid reason to postpone the beginning for more than twelve months.

    f) My host institution has increased its minimum funding requirements. Does the SNSF cover the difference between the granted fellowship and the minimum requirement of the host institution?

    No, the fellowship rates defined by the SNSF are binding for the year of approval. If the host institution increases the financial requirements, the SNSF will not be able to adjust the fellowship accordingly. In such a case, the SNSF expects the host institution to cover any financial gap. ​

  • News

    Dropdown Icon
  • Statistics

    Dropdown Icon
  • Innovations

    Dropdown Icon

    Doc.Mobility will be discontinued at the end of 2020. The last submission deadline will be 1 September 2020.