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Future Food – A Swiss Research Initiative (Funding Available)

Deadline for applications: 31 March 2021, 23:59 CET


EPFL and ETH Zurich have launched the Future Food Initiative together with Swiss food industry leaders Bühler, Givaudan and Nestlé. Future Food provides opportunities to educate and train new talent around the food value chain by leveraging the complementary strengths of the Swiss academic and industrial research communities.


Call for proposals:

The Future Food Fellowship is a postdoc programme for exceptionally qualified young researchers who propose projects targeting future food issues, such as nutrition, production, packaging and health. The fellowship provides research funds for three years, enabling fellows to work on their projects and collaborate with Swiss industry partners.


Future Food provides opportunities to educate and train new talent around the food value chain by leveraging the complementary strengths of the Swiss academic and industrial research communities.


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

  • Plant-based nutrition – protein and beyond

  • Microbiome

  • Climate change mitigation

  • Healthful nutrition for low-income populations

  • Sustainable processes and food design


Eligibility

To submit a proposal within the framework of the Future Food Initiative, 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 a 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. an 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.

Duration

The Future Food 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.


Funding

Available funds will only be exhausted if the quality standards of the programme are fulfilled. The maximum duration of funding for each postdoctoral fellowship is three years. The funding will be granted to cover the fellow’s salary in accordance with the host institution’s standard conditions plus annual funds for project costs directly related to the approved project. Upon project approval, funds will be allocated at the start of the project for the entire duration of the project to the hosting laboratory, which will manage its usage in conformity with the rules of the hosting institution. The total funds per fellowship may not exceed CHF 390’000 for the entire three-year grant, including social security contributions.


Application Material

Full proposals must be submitted electronically using the online submission tool provided at a link during open calls. Please make sure to adhere to the page limits assigned to each section of the proposal. The proposal should consist of:


  1. A letter of motivation including a statement explaining why the planned research is original and a justification for why the candidate is qualified for the fellowship and the proposed research, including a brief description of the candidate’s research achievements (max. 2 pages, please use this template for the letter of motivation)

  2. An abstract of the research proposal (max. 200 words)

  3. A detailed research proposal, including the state of research to date, the research plan and expected milestones. The research plan should include sufficient scientific and technical details to enable the evaluation of the proposal as a whole for originality, depth, impact potential and organisation. The scientific proposal should not exceed four pages (A4, single line spacing, 11-point Arial font or equivalent), excluding references (please use this template for the research proposal).

  4. A letter signed by at least one host ETH Zurich or EPFL professor, stating her/his support of the project and detailing the level of independence and the scientific autonomy that will be granted to the fellow in the event of acceptance. Additionally, the letter must confirm that the host professor is willing to:

  5. integrate the fellow in her/his laboratory at the research institution

  6. provide the fellow with a workplace and access to the infrastructure required to successfully complete the proposed research work during the approved funding period

  7. share potential additional research expenses of the applicant (e.g. for material, equipment, personnel, travel, etc.)


  1. The applicant’s curriculum vitae including a list of publications (max. 2 pages excluding publication list), diplomas (including a copy of the doctoral degree) and grade transcripts from all higher education institutions attended by the applicant

  2. A list of five names of potential external reviewers (name, affiliation, and email address). Suggested reviewers should be free of conflict of interest, (i.e. they should have no personal or professional relation with the applicant and should receive no funding or other benefit as a result of the project, please use this template for the list of external reviewers)

  3. A list of three names of potential authors of recommendation letters for the candidate with a signed and dated statement from the candidate that she/he waives the right to read or receive copies of recommendation letters collected for the application. Recommendation letters should not be requested or submitted upon application. They will only be requested once the applicant has been short-listed (please use this template for the authors of recommendation letters)

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