2020 Engineering for Development (E4D) Doctoral Scholarship Programme

Deadline: April 30, 2020.

The Engineering for Development (E4D) doctoral scholarships promote doctoral research for the benefit of underprivileged people in low-​income countries. It awards two doctoral scholarships per year and promotes innovative projects that are directly relevant for improving the livelihoods of underprivileged people in low-​income countries.


The candidate

• 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).

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.

• The supervisor confirms his/her commitment to the project by a letter of support, indicating his/her contribution to the project in cash or kind.

The research project

• The proposal is a new doctoral project, not complementary funding to on-going research.

• The research topic is relevant for improving the livelihoods of underprivileged people.

• 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.

• Preference will be given to projects with partners in Least Developed Countries and other Low-Income Countries according to the OECD DAC-list classification


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


The full proposal must be submitted by the ETH professor to the E4D programme office by e-mail to Ms. Patricia Heuberger (patricia.heuberger@sl.ethz.ch).

The proposal must not exceed 15 pages and has to include the following elements: Proposal

• Cover page including executive summary.

• Clearly defined and justified objectives.

• Problem definition, state of research (own and others) and references (to be included into appendix)

• Project description, hypotheses, novelty of the research, research approach and methodology (including logical framework matrix).

• Description of the institutional framework and partnership, explaining the contribution of all involved partners.

• Supervision/supervising team. • Work plan with milestones.

• Critical assessment of chances and risks.

• Expected results and strategy for their implementation (method or product to be developed and its relevance to end users).

• Detailed budget for each year of the scholarship, differentiating all funding sources including those of the ETH chair and partner contributions (financial or in-kind).



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