Create your own EPFL – ETH Zürich summer school

Are you interested in organizing a summer school?

EPFL and ETH Zürich are funding a number of selected summer schools, which will be organized by doctoral candidates from within the ETH Domain. You may apply for up to CHF 20’000.-.

One of the objectives of the summer school is to enhance exchange between EPFL and ETH Zürich students. Its main target group should therefore be doctoral or Master students of EPFL and ETH Zürich. The summer school may be opened for students from other Swiss and international institutions as well. However, the body of participants must consist of at least two thirds of students from within the ETH Domain.

The summer schools should be actively promoted within the ETH-domain by the organizers.

Each participant (participating organizers are excluded) will have to pay a unique participation fee.

The initiators of an EPFL – ETH Zürich summer school are fully responsible for the organization. The administration of the summer school should be managed by them, as the Organizing Committee. We recommend that you enlist the help of a secretary (e.g. from your laboratory or the supporting Professor) for the administrative management of your summer school. 

Each summer school should be equivalent to 1 or 2 credits for doctoral candidates. This does not apply for Master students (who should ask their sections if credits count for their Master studies).
For EPFL: The number of credits must be decided by the organizers’ doctoral program’s committee.
For ETH Zürich: The number of credits must be defined by the organizers’ thesis supervisor or their department. The credits for other doctoral candidates from within ETH Zürich must also be defined by their supervisor or their department.

The best proposals will be approved by an Evaluating Committee composed of representatives from EPFL and ETH Zürich.

The program aims to sponsor new summer schools. Proposals for summer schools that already took place in previous years might still be considered but priority will be given to non-existing summer schools. If an existing summer school is accepted for funding, the latter may only cover expenses of participants from institutions of the ETH Domain.

Steps to follow

1. Form an Organizing Committee of 2-5 doctoral candidates from both, EPFL and ETH Zürich

2. Choose a topic that you find important to explore

3. Prepare a 2-10 days program

4. Discuss the idea with your thesis supervisor or a professor of your institution (1 EPFL + 1 ETH Zürich), as well as (concerns EPFL only) the Director of the doctoral program to which the course will be related, to obtain supporting letters

5. Prepare your proposal including detailed budget and the above mentioned supporting letters

6. Submit your proposal at the institution, where the management and funding should be administrated: For EPFL: Doctoral School administration ([email protected]);
For ETH Zürich: Rector’s staff ([email protected])

Deadline : November 1st, 2019

 Structure of the summer school proposal

 Your proposal should be submitted in PDF format to the institution (EPFL: [email protected] or ETHZ: [email protected]) and follow this structure:

 1. Organising Committee (OC)
 1.a. Main Contact of OC at EPFL
 1.b. Main Contact of OC at ETH Zürich
 1.c. Supporting Prof. at EPFL
 1.d. Supporting Prof. at ETH Zürich
 1.e. Application filed at a) EPFL or b) ETH Zürich

 2. Target Audience
 2.a. Number of participants (approximation)
 2.b. Number of doctoral candidates and Master students thereof
 2.c. Who consists the targeted audience of? [members of which institutes / institutions do you expect to participate]
 2.d. Credits for the participation of doctoral candidates: How many credits are granted at EPFL and at ETH Zürich?
 2.e. Credits for participation of Master students: For EPFL: please contact the relevant section to find out if credits count for EPFL Master studies;
 For ETH Zürich: please contact the study coordinator of the respective study programs as soon as possible, in order to include the summer school in the ETH course catalogue

 3. Venue [where will the summer school take place?]

 4. Date [when will the summer school take place?]

 5. Description of the summer school [contents, day by day program draft, not longer than 2 pages]

 6. Budget [short description of mandatory information]

 7. List of attached supporting letters



Organizing Committee (OC): In order to organize the summer school, you are forming an OC consisting of doctoral candidates of both institutions, EPFL and ETH Zürich. The OC must name one main contact person at each institution. Management of the summer school and funds granted will be handled at either of both institutions (EPFL or ETH Zürich), according to the decision of the Evaluating Committee. The OC is fully responsible for the organization and administration of the summer school, and for the handling of the granted funds. We recommend that you enlist the help of a secretary (e.g. from your laboratory or the supporting Professor) for the administrative management of your summer school. The summer school should be actively promoted within the ETH Domain.

Target audience: 20-30 doctoral or Master students of EPFL, ETH Zürich, and other Swiss or international institutions. At least two thirds of the participants have to be members of the ETH Domain, as much as possible equally distributed over ETH Zürich and EPFL.

Project proposal: It should contain an explanation of the summer school content and tentative program, name of organizers, potential speakers, target group, proposed number of credits and a budget.

Supporting letters: What is expected from the supervising professors is their endorsement of the content of the suggested summer school. Their consent should be written and give an appreciation on both the quality of the summer school proposal and the scientific course program. Their support is not financially binding.

Venue: The summer school will be held on premises of the ETH-Domain or other locations of your choosing in Switzerland.

When: The summer school must take place between March and October 2020.

Credits: 1-2 credits for doctoral candidates: At EPFL, the amount of credits awarded for participation will be decided by the respective doctoral program’s committee. At ETH Zürich, the amount of credits awarded for participation will be defined by the respective thesis supervisor or department. In this regard, it is recommended that the ETH Zürich professors supporting the application declare in their letter of support, how many credits they will award for the participation.

Participation fees: You are required to impose participation fees for doctoral and Master students according to the table below. Members of the Organizing Committee are exempt from these fees.

Participation fees (CHF) Doctoral candidates Master students
Short event (2-4 days) 150 50
Long event (5-10 days) 250 100

R/ EPFL funds for this type of project are subject to VAT (8%)

Detailed budget: Part of your application is a detailed budget (Excel file), which gives an itemized overview of the summer school overall costs. The budget contains your revenues including the funds you are applying for (up to CHF 20’000.-), the participation fees according to the targeted audience, as well as other sources of income. The budget also contains a detailed list of expected costs such as the expenses for the venue, travels, guest-speakers, accommodation and the promotion of the summer school.

Remuneration of invited speakers: The remuneration rate for external speakers may not exceed CHF 300.- per lesson period and CHF 150.- per exercise period/practical work/laboratory work. Speakers from within the ETH-domain may not be remunerated for their teaching.

Reporting: Two months after the summer school, organizers are requested to deliver a full financial report as well as a report on the participation (both Excel files). The financial report must include both income as well as expenses. Substantial deviations from the original budget in the financial report must be justified. The report on the summer school’s participation must include the information of the number of participants and their affiliation.
At EPFL, the financial contribution will be paid by EPFL after review of the reports (to resest the accounts). At ETH Zürich, you have to follow the instructions given by  the Rector’s staff.

Should you have any question concerning the requirements, please get in contact with the Doctoral School ([email protected]).

Last update: 03.02.2020