Future Food – A Swiss Research Initiative 2021

Deadline: 31 May 2021
Open to: citizens of any nationality who hold a doctorate or will complete their doctorate until 30 September succeeding the interview date
Benefits: fully-funded


Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and The École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have launched a postdoctoral program; Future Food – A Swiss Research Initiative (“Future Food Initiative”) together with Swiss food industry leaders Bühler, Givaudan and Nestlé as founding partners.

The purpose of the initiative is to expand research and education in the area of food and nutrition sciences. The overarching goal is to develop solutions that address the grand challenges of food and nutrition globally. Through the fellowship program, the initiative aims at bringing together competences from academic and industrial research in this field. A successful fellow must demonstrate the willingness to engage with scientific or economic issues across the frontiers of food and nutrition sciences.

The fellowship provides research funds for three years, enabling fellows to work on their projects and collaborate with Swiss industry partners. They are looking for exceptionally qualified young researchers who propose projects targeting future food issues, such as nutrition, production, packaging and health. Available funds will only be exhausted if the quality standards of the program are fulfilled.

The prioritized topics in 2021:

Although the call is open to any outstanding proposal, the following topics are prioritized in 2021:

  • Plant-based nutrition – protein and beyond
  • Microbiome
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Healthful nutrition for low-income populations
  • Sustainable processes and food design


The fellowship is awarded in the form of a three-year research contract. At the end of the second year, a review is conducted to evaluate the project, its continued originality and the productivity of the fellow. During the three years, fellows are encouraged to seek faculty or industry positions. Success in doing so will not necessarily result in termination of the fellowship – the decision will be made by the Decision Board on the recommendation of the Evaluation Board.


The following eligibility criteria must be fulfilled:

  • Citizens of any nationality may apply; there are no restrictions concerning age.
  • Applicants must hold a doctorate or will complete their doctorate until 30 September succeeding the interview date. Applicants with completed doctorate must have obtained it a maximum of three years prior to the submission deadline.
  • Applicants must not have been affiliated for studies, research, employment or other activities (with or without payment) at either ETH Zurich or EPFL during the 12 months that immediately precede the submission deadline.
  • Applications will not be forwarded for evaluation if applicants already hold or have held a faculty-equivalent position (e.g. assistant professor) in a higher education institution in Switzerland or abroad.
  • Applications and supporting documentation must be written in English.
  • The prospective research project must also comply with the applicable ethics regulations and adhere to the principles of research integrity valid at the host institution (ETH Zurich or EPFL). Relevant ethical, legal and social considerations should be included in the proposal.


  • The funding will be granted to cover the fellow’s salary in accordance with the host institution’s standard conditions plus a yearly contribution for project costs.
  • The total funds per fellowship may not exceed CHF 390’000 for the entire three-year grant, including social security contributions.
  • Fellows are also encouraged to seek faculty or industry positions.

How to apply?

For more information and to apply, please visit the official website.