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08.04.2019 - 10.04.2019, Ventura, California, United States

MUST Support

Childcare grants, Career awards and Family Support

You will find information here on Swiss National Science Foundation support in relation studying as a Ph.D., working as a Postdoc, or scientist. There are also weblinks to all offices at your universities dealing with childcare provision, dual careers and family support.

New SNSF Flexibility Grants 2018 (formerly 120% support grant):

(for PhD students and Postdocs with small children)

The SNSF has changed its financial support for PostDocs and PhD student parents with small children and renamed the grant.
  • Eligibility: the Flexibility Grants are not only open for postdocs, but also for PhD students (for the NCCRs, this extension was already implemented a year ago)
  • Age of children: So far it was only possible to get support for day care costs of children at the age before kindergarten. Now this is extended to all children in primary school.
  • Calculation: The salary of the partner does not play a role in the calculation anymore. For day care, the maximum support is 1000 CHF per month and child for everybody. In addition, SNSF adds a maximum of 20%  of the applying person’s salary to the salary of the support person. The entire grant may not exceed CHF 30’000 CHF per year.
  • More flexibility: Postdoc applicants can ask for a support person without having to reduce their own activity rate
  • Leaner application: Applicants don’t have to submit a career plan anymore.
  • PhD students can apply for financial support for childcare, but not for a support person
The general regulations and eligibility for these initiatives are provided by the SNSF, while the decision about the funding is taken by the NCCR management.

More details: Flexibility Grants Regulations NCCR and Flexibility Grants Application Form

Please submit the completed application to the NCCR MUST Office. (A successful grant starts from the month of application)

(General information for SNSF funded scientists: the SNSF will only give funding to postdocs for 5 years after their PhD qualification: Anyone who has been a postdoc for longer is not eligible for this grant see: SNSF general regulations on postdocs. If you are a PRIMA or Ambizione awardee you can apply directly to the SNF for a Flexibility Grant)

SNSF PRIMA Awards for excellent female researchers (launched 2017)

The stepping stone to your professorship!

​PRIMA grants are aimed at excellent female researchers from Switzerland and abroad who aspire to a professorship in Switzerland. PRIMA grantees lead their own research project at a Swiss higher education institution. They work independently and have a team of their own.

A PRIMA grant comprises the grantee's salary and project funds for a duration of up to 5 years, the possibility to plan a stay at another host institution and the offer of a mentoring network. With this generously endowed grant, the promoted researchers should be able to enhance their academic profile. The SNSF intends to award up to 12 grants each year to excellent women researchers.

The application procedure, requirements and documentation can be found on the SNSF website here.

Mobility Grants for PhD students

Mobility grants are aimed at doctoral students who wish to improve their scientific profile by going abroad while being employed in an ongoing SNSF research project. For further details and how to apply see SNSF website here.
Applications should by submittted using the mySNF platform: Guidelines 2017

SNSF Gender Equality Grant

The gender equality grant is aimed at young women researchers funded by the SNSF on career funding schemes (eg.Doctoral and Postdoc Mobility grants) and working under SNSF research funding. See guidelines below . It offers them additional individualised and flexible support for their career development. An eligible person receives CHF 1000 per 12 months' approved project running time. The grant may be used to finance career support measures but does not cover family support measures. N.B It is not available to women scientists whose funding comes from an NCCR.

The application procedure is found on the SNSF website. The guidelines showing eligibility can be downloaded here.

SNSF Marie Heim-Vögtlin (MHV) grants (discontinued)

These grants were aimed at female doctoral students and postdocs in Switzerland who had to interrupt or reduce their research activities due to family commitments. They have been replaced by the new PRIMA award outline above

ETH Zurich

A wide range of services are offered by the Human Resources office and further useful information can be found from the Equal office. The ETH now offers financial support for 10-15 doctoral or post-doctoral researchers per year: Docs and post-docs with children younger than 18 months can be supported financially for up to 3’000 CHF, if they present their research results at an important conference that will cause additional childcare costs (Robert Gnehm Grants for Conference Attendance: Gnehm Regulations).
Broad information on childcare in Zurich and at ETH Zurich is given by the Office of Faculty Affairs. The Uni Zurich and ETH Zurich day care provision is found on the Kihz website.
ETH Zurich also has a Dual Career office.

Uni Bern

The International Office at Uni Bern gives very comprehensive information on family matters. There is also advice in the case of Dual Careers. The Equal Opportunities Office provides another useful source (in German).

Uni Basel

The Portal for International Researchers in Basel provides weblinks to all the important offices at Uni Basel: human resources, international affairs, EU grants, research information, technology transfer, promotion of young academics and equal opportunities.
There is a Kinderkrippe at Uni Basel and Kids & Co provide 8 daycare centers across Basel.


The EPFL Human Resources website provides a comprehensive service to its employees (in French). The Equal Opportunities office has information for young children, as well as students, academics and professors. Detailed information on childcare and daycare centres are found through the Office of Student Affairs and the Equal Opportunities office.
A consortium of 5 French and Italian speaking Universities (including EPFL) have established a Dual Career advice service Carriere 2 .

University of Fribourg

The Human Resources Website provides full information for University of Fribourg employees on possibilities for work and education and training. The Equality Opportunity Office has a range of services to support its young female and male researchers: the dual career service, the mentoring facilites for women students and researchers and for EU Research Proposals. Information on childcare, creches and school services are found on the International Office Website.

Uni Geneva

The weblinks to the International Office, exchange programs, and academic networks are found on Uni Geneva home page. The Geneva Welcome Center also provides practical information  on family Life, including child care centers and schools.
The Equal Opportunities Office gives a broad range of advice for student, Ph.D.s and postdocs (in French).

University of Neuchâtel

The Service de l'égalité des chances (in French) at the University provides information for students, researchers and families on the facilities at Neuchâtel. They have created a brochure for future parents and their managers called Parentalité. A website giving academic advice to PhD students and is also in place - brochures on "Getting Started with your Thesis" and "Beyond the
Doctorate" in English, French, and German.


The Equal Opportunities Office at the PSI is organized by a group of six female and seven male employees working for flexibility in the workplace, women's leadership in science and technical positions and bettering the work-life balance. The website (in German) gives information on the childcare, schooling and important themes in equal opportunity. The PSI offers it staff professional kindergarten services on site.

Uni Zurich

The information on the websites for Human Resources and Equal Opportunities at Uni Zurich is mainly in German, but there is comprehensive information in English given by the International Relations Office for Ph.D.s, postdocs and incoming professors.
Daycare is provided through the joint Uni Zurich and ETH Zurich provision and is found on the Kihz website.
NCCR MUST Office : ETHZ IQE/ULP-HPT H3 | Auguste-Piccard-Hof 1 | 8093 Zurich | E-Mail | +41 44 633 36 02
The National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) are a research instrument of the Swiss National Science Foundation