EMPA Postdoc-II is a postdoctoral fellowship programme. It allows experienced researchers from all over the world to work on their own research idea at one of the 30 research laboratories of EMPA.

EMPAPOSTDOCS-II is an individual-driven research and career advancing fellowship which follows a bottom-up approach and offers incoming and re-integrating international mobile researchers a 2-year full employment contract at Tampa.

Level/Field of Study

Fellowships are available for pursuing postdoctoral programme in the following research areas:

  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Sustainable Built Environment
  • Health and Performance
  • Natural Resources and Pollutants
  • Energy

Projects can be carried out in the three sites of EMPA at Zurich, St. Gallen or Thun depending on the location of the lab. The fellows can choose their topic and destination within this frame.

Host Institution/Country

EMPA, Switzerland

Value/Duration of Award

EMPAPOSTDOCS-II offers a highly competitive living allowance, research cost contribution and mobility package. Salary at Empa is defined based on function, experience and performance according to the ETH-domain salary system. According to 2017 figures, the living allowances of postdoctoral fellows are CHF 85’000 during the first fellowship year and CHF 88’000 during the second fellowship year.

Target Group

Researchers from all over the world are eligible to apply.


There are two mobility schemes in the EMPAPOSTDOCS-II programme, the incoming mobility scheme and the re-integration scheme. Regardless of the mobility scheme, the main eligibility criteria for the EMPA Postdocs programme are the following:

The applicant must

  • Be an experienced researcher: at the time of the application deadline be in possession of a doctoral degree, irrespective of the time taken to acquire it.
  • Not have finished her/his PhD more than six years before.

The point of time of reference for these dates is the call closure (August 31st, 2017).

For the incoming mobility scheme, a specific eligibility criterion is that the applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the application deadline. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

For the reintegration scheme, the specific eligibility criteria are:

  • The researcher originates from the EU-27 or Associated Countries;
  • The researcher has been active in research in a third country for at least three years and in the last 12 months immediately prior to the application deadline.

Entrance Requirement: Applicants must have previous degree.

English Language Requirement: Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.

How to Apply

For a potential fellow, the first step of the application process is to develop an idea for a research project and to find a mentor, a senior scientist at Empa who will support and supervise the fellow and his or her research project.

On the programme portal, a list of potential mentors with their fields of expertise and their research interests is displayed to help the applicants find a suitable mentor. The applicant must establish contact with a potential mentor and convince her/him to participate in the project prior to the application. It is also possible to request help to find a mentor if this is needed (via the programme manager).

Once an applicant and a mentor have agreed to work together on a project idea, the mentor registers online on the project application tool of the programme portal. The online application forms have to be filled out and signed by the mentor, the laboratory and the department leader, Then they can be uploaded (after scanning) and submitted, together with the “EMPAPOSTDOCSII proposal form”. For more information about the application process, see the “Short instruction for EMPAPOSTDOCS-II applications”.

Application Form

Application Deadline: The application deadline is August 31, 2017.

 Scholarship Website