Doc.CH: SNSF supports 22 doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences

149 researchers applied for a grant under the Doc.CH funding scheme this spring, the highest number ever. The SNSF will now finance 22 doctoral theses.

The Doc.CH scheme was created in 2013 to strengthen SNSF support for doctoral students. It enables promising researchers from the humanities and social sciences to write their doctoral thesis with the aid of SNSF funding.

By the deadline of the 17th call for proposals on 15 March 2021, the SNSF had received 149 applications, 88 of which were in the humanities and 61 in the social sciences. This represents a significant increase in applications over previous calls, where the average was in the nineties. "The relaxation of the conditions for participation in this competition, such as the widening of the eligibility window, has made Doc.CH even more appealing," explains Marcel Kullin, Head of the Careers division.

41 candidates invited for an interview

For the first time, the pre-selection of applications was carried out directly by the SNSF at the national level. The evaluation commissions recommended 41 applications for the second phase. Candidates were invited to present their thesis project in a personal interview.

In July 2021, the SNSF awarded 22 Doc.CH grants (13 in the humanities, 9 in social sciences). The grantees will start working at eight Swiss higher education institutions. 50% of grantees are women and 50% men. The grantees were awarded an average amount of 214,000 francs to cover project costs and their salaries as doctoral students. The average duration of a grant is 42 months, but some may be extended to two to four years.

Rich and varied research topics

The range of supported projects shows great diversity. For example, the project of Zoe Zobrist (University of Zurich) aims to renew the approach to the legend as a genre in 19th century German literature. In a project in the field of psychology, Joshua Jäger (University of Bern) will examine the issue of follow-up care for patients with an alcohol problem. Nicoletta Brazzola (ETH Zurich) is working on an interdisciplinary project on strategies for eliminating carbon dioxide, particularly from a political science and economics perspective.