E4D Doctoral Scholarships for Candidates from Low-Income Countries in Switzerland

Highly talented candidates are invited to apply for the Engineering for Development (E4D) Doctoral Scholarship Programme funded by the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

ETH Zurich will award two doctoral scholarships per year and promotes innovative projects that are directly relevant for improving the livelihoods of underprivileged people in low-income countries.

ETH Zurich stands on the basis of true Swiss values. Located in the heart of Europe, ETH Zurich is leading an effective solution to the global challenges of today and tomorrow, to build worldwide connections.

Why study at In ETH Zurich, By choosing to study here, you can have both, the opportunity to live in this city and the possibility of good employment afterward. It provides a supportive environment allows their students to communicate easily with academic staff and other students.

Application Deadline: Applicants must submit all required application materials until  April 30, 2022

Brief Description

  • Organization: ETH Zurich
  • Department: NA
  • Course Level: Doctoral
  • Award: 175’000 CHF
  • Access Mode: Online
  • Number of Awards: Two
  • Nationality: Students from low-income countries
  • The award can be taken in Switzerland


  • Eligible Countries: Students from low-income countries are eligible to apply: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde* (Capo Verde), Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Dem. Rep., Congo, Rep., Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Arab Rep., El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, The Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Islamic Rep., Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea, Dem Rep., Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, FYR, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Fed. Sts., Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, RB, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen, Rep., Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • Acceptable Course or Subjects: The scholarship will be awarded for Engineering for Development (E4D) Doctoral Programme.
  • Admissible Criteria: To be eligible, the applicants must meet all the following criteria:
  • The general entrance requirements for doctoral studies at the ETH Zurich and at the respective department must be fulfilled.
  • Experience in the selected research area is required.
  • Preference will be given to citizens of Least Developed Countries and other Low-Income Countries according to the OECD DAC-list classification1 (soft factor).

How to Apply

  • How to Apply: The candidate submits the application to the E4D program office by e-mail to Ms. Patricia Heuberger (patricia.heuberger@sl.ethz.ch).
  • Supporting Documents: The CV of the candidate, including transcripts with grades and three references must be provided
  • The outline of the research project must not exceed 3000 characters (including spaces).
  • Relevant own publications or documentation of relevant activities relating to the project.
  • The subject of the proposed research is the development of methods, technologies, tools or products, which generate a direct impact on underprivileged people in low-income countries.
  • The research topic is within the thematic scope of ETH Zurich.
  • The candidate identifies a professor of ETH Zurich who agrees to give him or her support in elaborating the full proposal, if the concept note should be selected, and to supervise the candidate if the full proposal is selected for funding.
  • Admission Requirements: Candidate must hold a completed and recognized Master’s degree from a university.
  • Language Requirement: Students need to demonstrate that they have a good level of written and spoken English.


The funding program will provide the award amount CHF 175’000 for a period of three years. The scholarship period can be extended on a no-cost extension. Out of the scholarship grant, CHF 166’800 is reserved to cover the salary of the E4D Fellow for three years (level of employment: 100%, incl. social security), CHF 8’200 for material costs and/or travels. Employment after the granted time period must be financed by other sources.

The doctoral salary must be on the level of the ETH standard doctoral salary4. Adjustments of the salary scale might be made in adherence to the general ETH Domain remuneration policy as defined by the ETH Board. Any extra costs associated with salary scale increases affected during the funding period must be borne by the host professorship.

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