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.
  • 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 purposefully left open so as not to limit the creativity and diversity of ideas of applicants. However, the activities must 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 must be actively involved in the activity. GRC Grants can be also used as matching funds. See the following website for inspiring ideas from past projects: overview of funded projects.

What can funds be applied for?

  • Activity costs (see bulletin for budget planning (PDF, 78 KB)).
  • Travel and accommodation costs of external experts and actively contributing junior researchers (according to UZH expense regulations (PDF, 163 KB)).
  • As a rule, events should be held locally in Zurich, if possible on UZH premises, so that as many UZH junior researchers as possible can participate. In particularly justified cases, travel funds for UZH participants may be requested if the planned activities take place outside UZH. A detailed justification must accompany the original application.
  • Compensation for academic or non-academic experts is possible in justified cases. For this purpose, the following provisions must be strictly adhered to:
  1. compensation may only be given to external experts (outside UZH).
  2. compensation for academic staff may only be awarded at peer level, i.e. to doctoral candidates, postdocs and lecturers who do not have an academic appointment.
  3. a relevant presentation of experts and expertise related to the planned activity is mandatory.
  4. a maximum of CHF 600 per person per day (this corresponds to a maximum rate of CHF 75 per hour and includes all preparatory and follow-up work) may be paid.
  5. in case of uncertainty, applicants are required to contact the GRC office in due time before submitting the application.
  • Applying for partial funding and matching funds of events is possible and explicitly encouraged. As a general rule, applicants are required to be transparent about all sources of funding for the proposed activity. A global budget that clearly contextualizes the funds requested from GRC must be included.

 

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 a regular part of the training module of a doctoral program or graduate school.

  • Established activities, for example by doctoral programs or institutes.

  • As a rule, room costs cannot be financed. UZH’s rooms are available to UZH members free of charge. Please note that the offer is limited, and rooms should be reserved, if possible, before submitting the application.

  • 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*

     

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

 

Application requirements

  • 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 factors: Groups, where UZH PhDs and postdocs are in the majority, Inter- and transdisciplinary projects and Ecological and social sustainability.
  • One professorial faculty member of UZH needs to sign off the application for budgetary reasons.

 

Only applications that are complete and received in a regular manner can be accepted for formal review.

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 within 2 weeks 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, 68 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.

What is involved in responsible event planning?

The sustainability of academic activities is a focus of UZH and GRC.

  • Ecological balance of events (see leaflet on sustainable event planning (PDF, 68 KB)):
    • Sustainable catering solutions are mandatory.
    • We ask you to refrain from unnecessary printed materials or giveaways.
    • Flights will only be funded in well-justified cases, for all trips taking less than 10 hours, taking a train is mandatory as a means of travel. If there is no alternative to transatlantic travel for an activity, it must be well justified in the application. The key factor in making a positive funding decision is whether the activity, in itself or in conjunction with other activities, offsets the increased resource use by maximizing academic benefits. Carbon offsetting cannot be used to internally enhance an activity's sustainability record.
  • Social Sustainability: UZH is committed to transparent career and decision paths and enables junior researchers to plan their careers in the best possible way. PhD candidates should receive the best possible support to develop their skills according to their ambitions and to flourish in an intellectually stimulating environment. To provide an inclusive and supportive working environment, UZH takes into account relevant experiences* of social exclusion and discrimination that may shape the academic and non-academic daily life of early-career researchers and other persons affected. UZH promotes a culture of appreciation and recognition of diversity and supports PhD candidates in various possible career paths.

 

* Relevant experiences may include: racialization through socially ascribed stereotyping; the interaction of individual physical or mental impairments and disability through societal frameworks; gender as a socially ascribed gender characteristic and role based on biological sex; socioeconomic status (education, income, wealth) of the junior researcher or their social backgrounds.

Before submission: last things to consider

  • Is your application complete?
  • Have you reserved rooms for your event?
  • Have you indicated all possible sources of funding? Is a global budget in place?
  • Before applying for funding, we recommend that you have a consultation with the GRC office. Please note that consultations are most effective once your project planning is at an advanced stage, and you have already explored the GRC's funding opportunities and application submission tool. Contact: Marco Toscano Email