GRC Grant

Funding for PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers

What are Graduate Campus Grants?

Graduate Campus (GRC) Grants are funds for junior researchers' activities which aim to:

  • Strengthen the capability of PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers of UZH.
  • Support PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers of UZH in their academic career and research activities.
  • Promote networking and academic interaction within the University of Zurich and with the scientific community at large.

What can be funded?

  • Various forms of activities such as workshops, seminars or lecture series, summer or winter schools, conferences, colloquia, networking days, panel discussions or other suitable activities (please see  overview of funded projects).
  • Single events or series of events can be funded. However the financing of events or series of events through the Graduate Campus is limited to 12 months. Follow-up applications and applications for recurring events are generally possible, but new applications will be given priority.

The format of fundable activities is left purposefully open so as not to limit the creativity and diversity of ideas of applicants. However, the activities have to be self-initiated and organized by PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers of UZH and they have to be geared to junior researchers. Further, the applicants as well as other junior researchers have to be actively involved in the activity. GRC Grants can also be used as matching funds. 

What can funds be applied for?

  • Activity costs
  • Expenses (e.g. travel and accommodation expenses) of external experts (according to UZH regulations on expenses (PDF, 163 KB))
  • In special circumstances, travel expenses for UZH participants can be applied for if the planned activities take place outside of UZH. In general though, the events should take place in Zurich so that a maximum number of junior researchers at UZH can participate.

The funding request should take into account the scope and the specific format of the activity. The scope of funding which can be applied for is from CHF 4'000 to maximum CHF 10'000. For financial support for projects with a smaller funding volume please see GRC Short Grants.

What cannot be funded?

  • Activities that are part of the regular curricula within a doctoral program or a graduate school
  • Established activities for example by doctoral programs or institutes 
  • Salaries, teaching assignments and as a general rule, no speaker fees*
  • Writing retreats
  • Research or conference travel
  • As a general rule, travel or accommodation expenses for participants
  • Additional funding for conference papers or other similar publications**

* Should speaker fees be absolutely necessary, then the fees must be justified in detail in the application. Fees are limited to a maximum of CHF 600 per person and activity. Budget items for fees without detailed rationales will be cut automatically.

** Exceptional cases are conference papers or other similar publications arising from activities funded by GRC. An application for financial support for such cases has to be submitted separately after a successful accomplishment of the initial activity.

Application requirements

Basics: A counseling interview with the GRC Coordination Office is recommended before submitting your application. Contact: Marco Toscano

  • Activity is initiated and self-organized by junior researchers for junior researchers.
  • At least three junior researchers of UZH apply together for the grant.
  • Activity is relevant for the applicants’ research and career.
  • Participants are actively included in the activity (e.g. presentations, poster sessions or other suitable forms).
  • The program is planned in such a way that a direct and vigorous discussion between invited experts and junior researchers is enabled.
  • Plus factor: Groups, where UZH PhDs and postdocs are in the majority.
  • Plus factor: Inter- and transdisciplinary projects.
  • One professorial faculty member of UZH needs to sign off the application for budgetary reasons.

Assessment criteria

  • Quality of the application, especially in terms of motivation, aims, program description
  • Self-organized aspect of the activity (the activity is initiated, formulated and organized by UZH junior researchers)
  • Active involvement of applicants and participating junior researchers in the activity
  • Relevance of the activity for the research projects resp. academic career of the applicants
  • Added value for the participating junior researchers by the activity
  • Originality and viability of the activity
  • Qualifications of the applicants
  • Sustainability (The activity is designed in consideration of environmental sustainability.)
  • Budget (the funds requested are targeted, sufficiently reasoned and appropriate)

Financing and reporting

  • Accounting of bills goes through the cost unit of a UZH professor (see above).
  • Accountability report including expenses and a list of participants is to be submitted to the Graduate Campus after completion of the activity (a template will be made available).
  • The support of the Graduate Campus must be made known on all event announcements (website, flyer, program, etc.).

How can I apply?

The call for GRC Grants takes place twice per year. Application periods:

  • 1 February - 15 March, 23:59
  • 1 September - 15 October, 23:59

In order to apply for a GRC Grant please go to GRC Tool

The following leaflets help you prepare your application:

Information you will be required to enter in the application (PDF, 309 KB) 

Bulletin on Budgetplaning for GRC Grants (PDF, 78 KB)

Vademecum for sustainable event planning (PDF, 26 KB)


Award process

The Awards Committee of the Graduate Campus decides which proposals are approved. The decision will be communicated circa 8 weeks after the submission deadline.