Are you an excellent Master’s Graduate, PhD Student or Artist?

The Swiss Government awards Excellence Scholarships to foreign graduates, post-graduates and artists holding a recognised university degree. Each year the Swiss Confederation awards Government Excellence Scholarships to promote international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and over 180 other countries.
Interested scholars may visit the FCS homepage for more information on the scholarships and its application process.


Dr David Schoor
Dr David Schoor © FDFA

“Receiving the Swiss Excellence PhD Scholarship in 2013 opened the gates to many, very happy opportunities for me, personally professionally and intellectually. Since the 19th Century, at least, Switzerland has enjoyed a long tradition of outstanding, rigorous and original scholarship of Antiquity. The University of Zurich has an excellent, globally prominent department of classics. The chance to study there with the esteemed and highly engaged Prof Christoph Riedweg, on my chosen topic of Greek Drama, the god Dionysus and the conceptions of agency and personhood expressed in the plays of the Greek poets was a piece of good fortune from which I benefitted in many ways, simply too numerous to recount. The positive consequences of that experience have ever since brought only more and more rewards. It has provided an impetus of thought that does not diminish, but only increases.

The generosity of the Swiss federal government in initiating and running a programme such as this was matched by the warmth, friendliness and professionalism of the Swiss people.
I was warmly welcomed into the community of scholars in the Zurich Philology Seminar (Classics Department) and made many friends for life. The enriching human relationships, most notably with my unfailingly generous supervisor, Prof Riedweg, is testament to the richness of the whole experience in all senses. It was possible to travel to and participate in colloquia, excursions and tours within Switzerland, Europe and around the world all the while taking part in the vibrant life of a university department, which I shall always consider a home.

Switzerland and this scholarship offered the peace and security necessary for intense, uninterrupted reading, study and writing. Scholarship holders were well taken care of, with an international office at the university devoted to their needs and administration. The multilingualism, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, pragmatism and prosperousness of Switzerland is a light and example to all countries and peoples. I cannot imagine a more ideal environment for the pursuit of knowledge and ideas. I shall always remain deeply grateful for this transformative experience and thankful to Prof Riedweg, my friends at the University of Zurich, the Swiss Government and the people of Switzerland.”

PROJECT: “Binding Dionysus – Agent & Person in Euripides’ Bacchae”

UNIVERSITY: PhD Scholarship 2013-2016, University of Zurich
Doctoral Studies with Prof Christoph Riedweg in Ancient Greek

Dr Itani Given Madiba
Dr Itani Given Madiba © FDFA

“Receiving the Swiss Excellence Research Scholarship strengthened my R&D portfolio, expertise and know-how. It also exposed me to world-class science facilities and helped me to manage various projects in the science and technology framework. In this regard I was able to accelerate my PhD studies through a wide range of platforms such as the use of and access to advanced world-class techniques at Empa, and participation in various science conferences hosted at Empa and other institutions in Switzerland. Through the collaborative measures of Dr Braun we were able to successfully run a series of experiments at The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Germany. We were also able to publish highly cited peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Applied Surface Science and MRS Advances in addition to completing my PhD in November 2017. I wish to thank Dr Braun and Prof Maaza for giving me the opportunity to work with them, recommending my Swiss Excellence application and for their excellent supervision.”

PROJECT: Synthesis and thermochromic properties of Vanadium dioxide thin films as a thermal regulator in small satellites

iThema Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences
Prof Malik Maaza

Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
Dr Artur Braun