Future Food Postdoctoral Fellowship program, Switzerland


ETH Zurich and EPFL have launched Future Food – A Swiss Research Initiative together with Bühler, Givaudan and Nestlé (the first partners on board) to further expand research and education in the area of food and nutrition sciences. The Future Food Fellowship is a major pillar within this framework. It aims to bring together competences from academic and industrial research in the fields covered by the initiative. The overarching goal is to develop solutions that address grand challenges such as affordable nutrition and sustainable packaging.

The Call 2020 is open to any outstanding proposal that fits the criteria. Special preference will initially be given to projects that address the following areas:

  • Plant-based proteins
    • Eligible examples: Dairy analogues, meat analogues, sustainable proteins, etc.
  • Digital technologies for food design
    • Eligible examples: Development of food structures, modelling of flavour profiles, modelling of stability, formulation of new food products, etc.
    • Not eligible: Consumer apps, dietary recommendations, manufacturing technologies or optimisation
  • Sustainable packaging
    • Eligible examples: New or transformed materials, bio-sources, re-use or recycling, bio-degradation, new packaging formats, etc.
  • Microbiome
    • Eligible examples: Concrete applications
    • Not eligible: Longer-term, fundamental research

For all subsequent calls, the topics for research projects will be announced on a yearly basis.


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 (PhD) and must have obtained their doctoral degree at maximum three years before the submission deadline. The latest possible date for a successful defence of the PhD is 30 September succeeding the interview date.
  • 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.

How to Apply

The overarching goal of the Future Food Initiative is to develop solutions that address grand challenges, including sustainable packaging (for example the elimination of plastics) and affordable nutrition (for example combatting deficiencies and starvation globally). A successful fellow must demonstrate the willingness to engage with scientific or economic issues across the frontiers of food and nutrition sciences.

The programme is structured around annual calls for proposals for research projects at the postdoctoral level. The Fellowship provides personal research funds for three years that enable fellows to work on their projects in a research laboratory with a host professor at ETH Zurich or EPFL and, in certain instances, in industry (under conditions to be agreed upon).

Before applying or contacting us, please read the Fast Facts for Applicants and the Guidelines carefully.

Full proposals must be submitted electronically using the online submission tool. Please make sure to adhere to the page limits assigned to each section of the proposal. Apply here.

Deadline for applications: 31 March 2020, 23:59 CET


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