Doc.CH: SNSF grants for 27 doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences

© Tom Werner

In spring 2023, 146 researchers applied for a Doc.CH grant. The SNSF is now funding 27 new PhD theses. The grantees will begin their work at nine universities in Switzerland.

Since 2013, the Doc.CH scheme has enabled promising researchers from the humanities and social sciences to apply for a grant to conduct their doctoral thesis. By the submission deadline of 15 March 2023, the SNSF received a total of 146 applications, 86 in the humanities and 60 in the social sciences.

Interviews for 63 researchers

After an initial assessment of the projects, the evaluation panels proposed 63 applications for the second phase, 37 in the humanities and 26 in the social sciences. The applicants were invited to present their dissertation project in a personal interview.

In July 2023, the SNSF awarded 27 Doc.CH grants (16 in the humanities and 11 in the social sciences). The grantees will begin their work at nine universities in Switzerland. They receive an average of 217,000 francs for their projects. This covers the project costs and their own salary. Funding periods of two to four years are possible, with the average duration being 41 months.

Wide range of research topics

The funded projects are highly diverse in nature. For example, Giulia Beatrice (University of Zurich, art history) looks at the significance of Futurism in Italian colonialism on the African continent. In particular, she will examine the dynamic between art and politics during the Fascist period and the contribution of avant-garde art movements to colonial propaganda. Xinyi Guan (EPF Lausanne, psychology) will analyse the processes in the brain that enable the recognition and interpretation of repetitive musical patterns in a project that combines music and cognitive science. Listening to music may appear to be a natural and straightforward experience, but the mechanisms underlying it in the brain are extremely complex and still poorly understood. Laurenz Derksen (ETH Zurich, political science) investigates the dynamic that drives toxic discourse in online forums. While studies have already shown that online discussion posts tend to be more aggressive and politically extreme than public opinion, the mechanisms behind such behaviours remain unexplored.

The next submission deadline for Doc.CH is 15 September 2023. The subsequent deadline – 15 March 2024 – will be the final submission deadline for the Doc.CH funding scheme.