Scholarships for European Universities announced

10.09.2019 - Education
SERI awards four grants for the one-year Master’s degree programme at the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium) or Natolin (Poland) as well as four grants for four-year PhD studies at the European University Institute in Florence (EUI).
Exciting study and research findings on the future of Europe: For several decades, young Swiss university graduates have had the opportunity to spend between one and four years in a culturally diverse environment at two university institutes, making contacts and holding debates on Switzerland and Europe. Grants at the university institutes in Bruges, Natolin and Florence are awarded to students in the fields of social sciences, interdisciplinary European studies, political science and administration, international relations and diplomacy, history, law and economics.
Deadline for registration: 15 January 2020 or 31 January 2020
Further information: /
Videos: Bruges / Natolin / Florence

Academic scholarships for foreign students and young researchers

10.09.2019 - Education
The members of the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) have awarded Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for the academic year 2019-2020. New scholarships were given to 206 researchers and arts students, of which 60% went to female applicants and 40% to male applicants. Scholarship recipients come from 69 different countries. For the first time since the scholarship programme was launched, an FCS scholarship was awarded to a student from the Fiji Islands. This applicant - a PhD student at the University of Bern - is thus among the 20 per cent of applicants who were awarded a scholarship. A total of 902 young, ambitious young scholars submitted their applications to ESKAS. All had previously submitted their application files to a Swiss embassy abroad.

Applications for FCS scholarships are evaluated according to geographical regions or countries and consideration is given to the following selection criteria: the quality of the research proposal submitted, the academic profile, the motivation and performance record of applicants. The FCS also takes into account the suitability of the host institution, the level of support given to the application by the supervising professors at the Swiss higher education institution as well as possible multiplier effects arising from future research cooperation between Swiss higher education institutions and those in the countries of origin.

In addition to the newly awarded scholarships for postdoctoral students, doctoral students and art students, the FCS also approves extensions for the second and third years of current FCS scholarship holders who are pursuing their PhD. The FCS considers these extensions if the academic supervisors and scholarship holders are able to document successful academic progress. For the coming academic year, the FCS scholarship extension was approved for 157 PhD students at Swiss universities.

The call for applications for FCS scholarships for the academic year 2020-2021 has been posted on the SERI website since early August 2019.
Further information

Digital Europe Programme – survey results published

07.08.2019 - Research
The EU's Digital Europe Programme (DEP) is intended to promote digitalisation in the area of research and innovation. Like the EU framework programme for research and innovation ‘Horizon Europe’, the DEP will run for seven years (2021-2027). In February 2019, the Federal Council commissioned SERI and other federal agencies to conduct a survey of Swiss research and innovation stakeholders to ascertain their level of interest in possible Swiss partici-pation in the DEP.

Based on the replies received, it appears that there is a great deal of interest and willingness among Swiss stakeholders to effectively take part in the DEP. There is considerable interest, for example, in high-performance computing and cyber security.

A total of 150 institutions and researchers took part in the survey, including all cantonal universities and the institutions within the ETH Domain. There was also strong feedback from the private sector. The survey was conducted for the purpose of assessing the level of interest of potential participants from Switzerland. Discussions are currently taking place at EU level on the design of the DEP and on the conditions for the participation of non-EU states in the DEP. In order for Switzerland to take part in the DEP, the exact modalities of participation (full association, partial association or third country) must first be clarified at a technical level. Swiss participation in the DEP also depends on the overall context of European policy, the outcome of negotiations with the EU as well as Switzerland's financial situation.
Survey results

Professional education institutions: Revision of core syllabuses by 2022

11.07.2019 - Professional Education
The new EAER Ordinance on the Minimum Requirements for the Recognition of Study Programmes and Continuing Education and Training at Professional Education Institutions (MiR-PEI) came into force on 1 November 2017. As a result of the new MiR-PEI provisions, the core syllabuses approved under the earlier ordinance of 2005 now have to be revised.

The core syllabuses approved by SERI under the 2005 MiR-PEI are valid until 31 October 2022 at the latest. The sponsors (professional organisations) must therefore revise their core syllabuses and have the revised versions approved by SERI by this date. Syllabuses which have not been revised by the end of October 2022 will no longer be valid after this date.

Sponsors of approved core syllabuses are requested to contact SERI in September of this year to discuss syllabus revision.

Study on spillover effect of scientific activities abroad

20.12.2018 - Research and innovation
Do companies that are only active in Switzerland benefit if other companies are active abroad? A new study by the KOF Swiss Economic Institute at the ETH Zurich indicates that ‘home companies’ in Switzerland benefit from the knowledge activity of other Swiss companies abroad, both in terms of their innovation performance and their productivity.
The KOF study (german) was commissioned by SERI and is published in the SERI publication series.

Swiss research and innovation in international comparison - 2018 update of indicators published

19.12.2018 - Research and Innovation
The Research and Innovation in Switzerland report was first published by SERI in 2016. A new full edition of the report is due to be published in 2020. In the meantime, in order to have as up-to-date figures as possible, the indicators section of the report (Part B – Swiss research and innovation in international comparison) was updated in 2018.

Life changing scholarships – positive effects of Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships

14.08.2018 - International Scholarships for Higher Education
Researchers from around 100 countries who received Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists in the past 20 years were asked to take part in a survey to determine their career trajectories, geographical mobility and ties to Switzerland. The study comes to a positive conclusion: the ‘Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships’ promote scientific exchange and contribute to long-term relationships. The survey was conducted on behalf of SERI by the Bern research office w hoch 2 GmbH.
Study (german, summary in english) / Story published in SERI News, July / August 2018

Research and innovation: Switzerland in comparison with other innovation regions (german)

30.07.2018 - Research & innovation
A study conducted by Christian Rammer and Markus Trunschke from the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, Germany, commissioned by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI, shows that unlike in direct country comparisons, Switzerland does not always top the rankings when it comes to a comparison of innovation-oriented regions of similar size that form part of geographically larger states from Europe, North America and East Asia. Under the indicator of Expenditure on Research and Development in Relation to GDP, for example, ten innovation regions come out ahead of Switzerland.

swissnex Network: 2017 Annual Report published

15.06.2018 - swissnex Network
Digitalization is the overriding topic of the moment, and that is also reflected in the swissnex Network annual report which has just been published online. Under the motto of ‘Broadening Horizons – digitalization and beyond’, the report presents various contributions on the highlights from 2017. Whether at the World Intelligence Congress in Beijing, at HUBweek in Boston or during a delegation visit to Vienna, digital progress and the associated opportunities and challenges are always at the forefront.

New edition: ‘Higher Education and Research in Switzerland’

17.05.2018 - Higher Education
The revised edition of the 60-page publication ‘Higher Education and Research in Switzerland’ has just been published. It contains facts and figures on the Swiss higher education and research landscape and uses portraits to introduce Swiss cantonal universities, federal institutes of technology and universities of applied sciences. The publication is available in German, French and English. Printed copies can be obtained from SERI free of charge at

Updated timeline of education, research and innovation in Switzerland

27.04.2018 - Education, research and innovation
When was the first cantonal university founded in Switzerland? How long has the Confederation been regulating vocational and professional education and training? How did the first Higher Education Act come into being? How long have National Research Programmes existed? What does membership in CERN mean for Switzerland? Who was responsible for education, research and innovation at federal level before SERI was established?

A timeline of research and innovation in Switzerland was first compiled for the 2016 Research and Innovation Report. This timeline has now been updated and supplemented with information on the development of education in Switzerland. The Swiss Historical Dictionary was an important source of information. The timeline shows the main milestones in the ERI sector from the Confederation’s perspective. It can be downloaded as a .pdf file. In addition, an interactive timeline illustrates events with pictures and includes links to additional information.

Report on scientific publications in Switzerland now published

21.02.2018 - Research and Innovation    
A new edition of the report ‘Bibliometric analysis of scientific research in Switzerland’, published by SERI every two years, has been published. An analysis of Switzerland’s scientific publications from 2006 to 2015 shows that Swiss research activities remain very efficient and closely networked by international standards. For the first time, in the new edition, studies were also conducted by region.

Studies commissioned to determine the feasibility of NRPs on digitalisation

20.12.2017 - Research and Innovation
National research programmes (NRPs) are a federal instrument used to support the development of knowledge for policymaking and action aimed at solving current social and economic problem. In November 2017, SERI commissioned the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to conduct a feasibility study on three NRP proposals: impact of digital transformation on education, digital trust and ethics and the digital economy and working life.

Switzerland in space – Publication

19.12.2016 - Space
Cutting-edge research and high-tech solutions – for everyday life

SERI at a glance – Publication

03.11.2016 - SERI
SERI, along with its partners, contributes to ensuring that Switzerland maintains a leading place in education, research and innovation. An updated publication gives an overview of SERI’s role, its activities, fields of action, structure and partners.