Collegium Helveticum

Early-Career Fellowship

With its early-career fellowship program, the Collegium supports outstandingly promising academics and artists at a critical stage of their career. The program is designed to encourage work that cuts across and transgresses disciplinary boundaries in unconventional ways.

Early-career fellows are free to pursue their individual projects as outlined in their application and receive support from the Collegium’s team. Projects carried out at the Collegium shall convince both by their relevance and originality. They may span from applied science to blue-sky research or from fine arts to artistic research. The Collegium also encourages small interdisciplinary teams of up to three people to apply with a joint project.


Early-career fellowships are awarded to candidates who do not have a permanent academic position but have a proven track record. To be eligible, applicants need a doctorate in an academic discipline or a master’s degree from an art school (if the institution does not award doctoral degrees). The degree must have been obtained no longer than five years prior to the start of the fellowship. For this five-year threshold, we consider your “academic age” (for details see last page of the application form). Care work, career breaks, or part-time employment will be considered when calculating the five-year threshold. If you want to make a claim against the five-year threshold, we ask you to provide information about your employment history and supporting documentation.

About the fellowship

Early-career fellows are working in academic or artistic disciplines at postdoctoral or equivalent level for art school graduates. We invite international applications as well as applications from scholars and artists currently affiliated with one of the Collegium’s supporting institutions, ETH Zurich, the University of Zurich (UZH), and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Applicants require a letter of support from a faculty member at one of the three supporting universities who is willing to become an associate fellow and who will serve as their academic partner during the fellowship. Please initiate contact and obtain a letter of support in due time.

Please find more information here about what type of projects and individuals we are looking out for.

Duration and start date

Early-career fellows spend ten months at Collegium Helveticum, starting in September 1 until June 30 of the following year.


Early-career fellows receive a grant in the form of a full-time postdoctoral position at ETH Zurich for the duration of the fellowship, paid in monthly installments. The amount is based on ETH salary rates for postdoctoral researchers, currently ranging from approximately CHF 75,000 to CHF 85,000 for ten months. As ETH Zurich employees, early-career fellows who take care of children of minor age or children in education may apply for a family allowance.


Early-career fellows are provided with a desk, access to IT and library infrastructure, as well as a laptop computer if required. They also have access to the universities’ sports and activities programs. Since the Collegium cannot provide laboratory infrastructure or studio space, early-career fellows can arrange to use up to forty percent of their weekly work time to do work outside of the Semper Observatory if this is essential for the proposed project or furthers their skills in important ways. Usually, such arrangements are made in close cooperation with the associate fellow and require approval by the Collegium’s director or their deputy.

Attendance and participation

Early-career fellows are required to be present at the Collegium on weekdays. They participate in the regular seminars, workshop discussions, and Jours Fixes with other fellows, and present and discuss their ongoing work. Early-career fellows contribute to the Collegium’s academic and artistic program by organizing an event related to their fellowship project for which they will receive financial and organizational support. Typical formats for events are workshops, lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions, or performances but there are no specific limitations set by the Collegium.

Associate fellows

Before applying, applicants for an early-career fellowship are required to contact a faculty member at ETH Zurich, the University of Zurich, or the Zurich University of the Arts, whose work is relevant to the proposed fellowship project and who agrees to act as an associate fellow. Please consult the websites of the Collegium’s three supporting universities, ETH Zurich, UZH, and ZHdK, to identify and contact potential associate fellows.

Associate fellows are established researchers or artists affiliated with one of the three supporting universities. Usually, associate fellows are tenured or tenure-track faculty. If this is not the case, two associate fellows may jointly support an early-career fellow with a co-signed letter of support. In these cases, one of the co-signers must be a professor or department chair. In justified cases, individuals from the cultural sector, business, or civil society may be appointed as associate fellows by the director.

Associate fellows may agree to integrate early-career fellows into their group part time and provide infrastructure for their project. The letter of support details why and how the associate fellow will support the early-career fellow’s project and how they can help to build links with Zurich’s academic and/or arts communities.

Questions & contact

As we receive large numbers of applications, we ask for your understanding that we are limited in our ability to respond to questions. Hence, prior to contacting us at, please make sure to have read all available materials carefully. The clearer your question or needs, the easier and faster we can assist you.

We will not be able to answer questions about exceptions from eligibility criteria. If you have strong reasons why exemptions from the eligibility criteria should be made, please justify these reasons in a supplementary document and upload it with your application.

Don’t miss the next application window for fellowships!