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Opportunity Grants for ASEAN China Japan South Korea Switzerland

Fully Funded Scholarships

Applications are invited for Fully Funded Opportunity Grants for ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea (formerly ASEAN Grants).


In 2017 the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) renewed the Leading House (LH) mandate to ETH Zurich for bilateral collaboration with partner institutions in Asia. In the current phase 2017 – 2020, one single bilateral program covers the entire region: China (incl. Hong Kong and Taiwan), Japan, South Korea and the ASEAN member states. All activities and instruments in this phase build strongly on the activities, outcomes and experiences from the previous phases. Additional important elements for this phase of the bilateral programme are fostering innovation and the application of research results to economy and society, as well as increasing the visibility of Swiss science and technology abroad.

Goals and objectives

The current open call for opportunity grants (Opportunity Grants for ASEAN China Japan South Korea Switzerland) will support activities of Swiss researchers from universities, universities of applied sciences or public research institutes linked to specific events or incidents in China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), Japan, South Korea and member states of ASEAN (hereafter called partner countries). Examples of such events are on the one hand large public happenings, such as the Olympic Games, international or national Expos, etc., or on the other hand major environmental or economic developments in the region. The goal of the opportunity grants is to provide non-bureaucratic support to bottom-up initiatives. These initiatives aim at increasing the visibility of Swiss science and technology abroad or applying its results to a concrete development or challenge. 

Specifically, opportunity grants can support initiatives such as:

  • Participation in exhibitions or activities at the Swiss House of Olympic games or similar events
  • Organization of thematic events for a broader audience, putting Swiss research into focus, with or without local partners, e.g. public symposia or discussion fora
  • Application of a Swiss technology or research results for the mitigation of a natural disaster or similar incident in the above mentioned countries

The applicants have to explain how the project is linked to a specific event, how it can generate visibility for Swiss science and technology and lead to a mutually beneficial relation with the partner country or partner institutions in the long run. Projects must go beyond the promotion of a single institution and can also include groups of several Swiss scientists.

Opportunity grants are usually given for the duration of the specific event up to a maximum of one year. The grants do not cover full research projects, salaries of doctoral students, or exchange of young researchers. For these activities, please refer to the bridging grants or mobility instruments of the same bilateral program. The proposed initiatives must also be distinct from scientific symposia or workshops between individual researchers.

Opportunity Grants for ASEAN China Japan South Korea Switzerland


  • The call is open to all scientific disciplines and fields of research
  • All senior scientists of Swiss federal and cantonal universities, universities of applied sciences and universities of teachers’ education, as well as public research institutions, are eligible to apply
  • A single Swiss scientist or a consortium of Swiss scientists can act as the main applicant

Funding and Budgeting

The maximum amount for an opportunity grant is 50 kCHF. Budgets will depend on availability, location and size of the individual proposed initiative. The grant will be disbursed in two instalments: 80% after signing the grant contract and 20% after approval of the final report.
A detailed budget must be provided in the project proposal. Budgeted expenses must be justified and related to the proposed activities. For projects including co-applicants from partner countries financial contributions of these partners are expected and must be made explicit in cash and in-kind. 


The main applicant must be employed at one of the above-mentioned Swiss institutions. The application shall be submitted in electronic format as one single pdf document to Elise Nardin, ETH Zurich ( (Opportunity Grants for ASEAN China Japan South Korea Switzerland.)

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