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Doctoral Scholarships for Developing Countries in Switzerland 2009 by Sawiris Scholarship

The Sawiris Scholarships promote doctoral research for the benefit of developing countries. The projects have to be innovative and develop a method or product, which is directly relevant for improving the livelihoods of poor people in developing countries.


The application procedure varies depending on the relationship that the doctoral candidate has with the ETH Zurich.

Criteria for candidates without link to the ETH Zurich:

To be admitted to the selection process, the application has to fulfil the following requirements:

The candidate
1.Preference will be given to citizens of least developed countries and other low-income countries according to the OECD classification.
2.The entrance requirements for doctoral studies at the ETH Zurich have to be fulfilled.
3.Experience in the selected research area is required.

The research project
1.The proposal is of high scientific quality.
2.The research topic is innovative and relevant for development.
3.The ecological, socio-economic and cultural context has been taken into account.
4.Reasonable results can be expected in the given timeframe.
5.The expected impact of the research is high for the intended target group.

The partnership
1. Projects involving a research partner from a developing country have to be based on the KFPE principles.
2. All partners have been involved in project formulation and development.
3. All partners make a substantial in-kind or cash commitment.
4. The project is integrated into the general activities of the involved institutions.
5. Preference will be given to projects with partners in least developed countries and other low-income countries according to the OECD classification.

Application procedure
For candidates who do not yet have a supervisor at the ETH Zurich the application procedure consists of two steps.

First step ā€“ The candidate has to submit a concept note (details see below) to the North-South Centre. The deadline for submitting concept notes is June 30. In case that a suitable supervisor at the ETH Zurich can be identified and that he/she is ready to accept the candidate as a doctoral student, the supervisor can submit the full proposal.

Second step ā€“ Full proposals can be submitted to the North-South Centre by the supervising ETH professor once a year. The deadline is February 15 of the subsequent year.

Concept note
1.The proposed research has to be concerned with the development of a method or product, which is directly relevant to poor people in developing countries.
2.The research topic has to be within the thematic scope of ETH Zurich.
3.A potential research group at the ETH Zurich, where the proposed research could be embedded, has to be identified.
4.The CV of the candidate and three references have to be provided.
5.The research outline should not exceed 3000 characters (with spaces).
6.Relevant own publications or relevant earlier activities by the candidate should be indicated.

Full proposal
A scholarship of CHF 150,000 can be granted per proposal for a period of three years. The application in electronic form has to be submitted by the professor of the ETH Zurich who has accepted to supervise the candidate. The proposal of maximum 15 pages has to include the following information:

Cover page including executive summary
Clearly defined and justified objectives
Problem definition, state of research (own and others) and references (to be included into appendix)
Project description, hypotheses, innovativeness of the research, research methodology, and corresponding logical framework matrix.
Description of the institutional framework and partnership, explaining the contribution of all involved partners (if applicable)
Supervision and backstopping
Work plan with milestones
Critical assessment of chances and risks
Expected results and strategy for their implementation (method or product to be developed and its relevance to end users)
Detailed budget for each year of the scholarship, differentiating all funding sources including those of the ETH chair and partner contributions (financial or in-kind)

1.Letters of support from all involved partner institutions
2.Motivation letter with career intentions of the candidate
3.CV of the candidate with references
4.List of 5 independent reviewers
5.Personal references

Selection procedure and reporting
1.The proposals will first be reviewed by independent scientists of the relevant field and then evaluated by the expanded subcommittee grants of the North-South Centre as specified in the contract with the Sawiris Foundation.
2.The candidates of all accepted projects will be informed about the contractual requirements and reporting procedures (technical and financial).

Further Scholarship Infomation and Information


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