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

This autumn, 121 researchers applied for a Doc.CH grant. The SNSF will fund 27 new doctoral theses.

Created in 2013 to strengthen SNSF support for PhD students, the Doc.CH funding scheme offers promising researchers in the humanities and social sciences a grant to write their doctoral thesis.

By the deadline of the 18th call for proposals on 15 September 2021, the SNSF had received 121 applications, 72 of which were in the humanities and 49 in the social sciences. These numbers confirm the trend observed in the preceding call (March 2021), namely a significant increase in the number of applications compared to previous years (between 2013 and 2020, the number of applications submitted in September averaged 77). This increase is due in particular to a relaxation of the participation requirements as of 2021, which has further increased the appeal of Doc.CH.

44 applicants invited to an interview

After an initial evaluation of the submitted projects, the Evaluation Commissions recommended 44 applications for the second phase. The applicants were invited to present their thesis project in a personal interview.

In January 2022, the SNSF awarded 27 Doc.CH grants (17 in the humanities, 10 in social sciences). The recipients will start their thesis projects at 12 Swiss higher education institutions. 44% of grantees are women and 56% men. Projects were awarded an average of 212,000 francs to cover project costs and the doctoral student's salary. Grants can last two to four years, with 40 months being the average duration.

Rich and diverse research topics

Grants were awarded for a wide range of projects. For example, the project of Joschka Meier (University of Bern) aims to study how Alpine populations adapted to the environment by examining strategies for the use of resources between 1400 and 1550 in a historical and archaeological study. Tobias Kindler (University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland) will examine the involvement of social workers in public policymaking. And in her law project, Ludivine Delaloye (University of Geneva) looks at how judges use their discretionary powers in the context of criminal convictions.

The next submission deadline for Doc.CH applications is 15 March 2022.