ETH Zurich Engineering for Development (E4D) Doctoral Scholarship Programme 2021

ETH Zurich Engineering for Development (E4D) Doctoral Scholarship Programme 2021

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Applications for the Engineering for Development (E4D) Doctoral Scholarship Programme 2021 are now open. The goal of the Engineering for Development (E4D) Programme is to promote research and education for the benefit of underprivileged people in low-​income countries.

The E4D Programme is generously funded through the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The current programme phase runs from 2019 to 2023.


  • The grant sum is 175,000 CHF to cover the salary costs of the doctoral students for three years.  


The Candidate

  • The general entrance requirements for doctoral studies at the ETH Zurich and 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 Low-Income Countries according to the OECD DAC-2021 list classification (soft factor).

The Supervisor

  • The doctoral supervisor must be an ETH professor and must have a guaranteed ETH position for the entire duration of the proposed project.
  • It is expected that the ETH Zurich professor supports the candidate 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.
  • The supervisor confirms their commitment to the project by a letter of support, indicating their contribution to the project in cash or kind.

The Research Project

  • The research topic is within the thematic scope of ETH Zurich.
  • The proposal is a new doctoral project, not complementary funding to an on-going research.
  • Subject of the proposed research is the development of methods, technologies, tools or products, which generate a direct impact for underprivileged people in low-income countries.
  • The ecological, socio-economic and cultural context is taken into account.
  • The expected impact of the research is high for the intended target group.

The Partnership

  • Projects involving research partners from a low-income country have to be based on the KFPE principles.
  • All partners are involved in project formulation and development.
  • All partners make a substantial in-kind or cash commitment.
  • The project is integrated in the general activities of the involved institutions.
  • Projects must include partners from countries on the OECD DAC-2021 list.


Application documentation comprises of completed Concept Note Application Form along with the following compulsory annexes:

  • CV of the candidate; 
  • Excellent MSc degree from a recognised university and grade transcripts;
  • Support letter of the supervising professor at ETH Zurich;
  • 2 reference letters from your field of research;
  • Relevant own publications or documentation of relevant activities relating to the project;
  •  Bibliography;
  • Names and contacts of 5 independent external reviewers.

Read the Eligibility Criteria and Application Requirements.

Submit your application in one single pdf to [email protected]

For more information, visit E4D Doctoral Scholarship.