13.04.18 - Doctoral students, Postdocs and other employees are the three categories of personnel that can be funded within the SNSF projects.

On March 5th 2018, SNSF released a publication where the funding body:

  • Clarified the definitions of the categories mentioned above; and
  • Updated the eligibility windows for such personnel.

Doctoral students

Definition: Doctoral students are persons who collaborate on research funded by the SNSF and seek to obtain a doctoral degree in connection with their scientific contribution to said research.

Eligibility window: These persons can be financed up to a maximum of four years from the start of the PhD thesis. Please be aware that this update does not represent any change for EPFL. As before, the grant holders will have to indicate the EPFL “enrolment date/date d’immatriculation” and (new!) confirm that the PhD student has not been carrying out any work related to his/her thesis for more than one year prior to this date. From this date on, PhD students can be funded for max 4 years. PhD students can be still funded through the grant if they have been working on their theses for more than 1 year before the enrolment date/date d’immatriculation,but the maximal funding duration will be shortened accordingly.

Salary range: The existing salary scales with fixed annual increases for doctoral students are replaced by a flat rate. This implies that the SNSF contribution to the salary of the EPFL doctoral students is fixed to the value of 50’040 CHF per year (without fixed annual increases).

  • Salary Y1: 50'040 CHF
  • Salary Y2: 50'040 CHF
  • Salary Y3: 50'040 CHF
  • Salary Y4: 50'040 CHF


Definition: Postdocs are researchers who are striving to become scientifically independent after obtaining their doctorate; they generally hold temporary positions within academia. Their main aim in the postdoc phase is to achieve the qualifications required to independently develop and conduct research projects and to assume scientific leadership positions.

Eligibility window: They can be financed up to 5 years from the date of the PhD defence. Thus, the maximum amount of time they can be financed is 5 years, but this may be less if, for example, they already have postdoctoral experience before coming to EPFL.

Salary range: Existing rules continue to apply, please use the EPFL HR salary wage

Other employees

Other employees make a specific contribution to the research project; this category includes employees with a degree who do not intend to do a doctorate; employees with a doctorate who are not included in the postdoc category due to their period of employment and eligibility window; technicians; auxiliary staff.

Eligibility window: These persons must bring a specific contribution to the research project. Salary costs of other employees may not be charged to the SNSF grants uninterruptedly over a long period.

Salary range: Existing rules continue to apply, exact costs highly depend on the CV of the person hired for the project. Please contact the HR of your faculty.

For further information, please visit the newsroom, the leaflet and the salary range guidelines and contact the Research Office: