CYD Proof of Concept Fellowships

The EPFL and the Cyber-Defence (CYD) Campus have jointly launched the brand-new CYD Proof of Concept Fellowships as part of the wider CYD Fellowships programme.

A rolling call for applications under this scheme is currently open and talented future entrepreneurs with an innovative vision in cyber-defence are strongly encouraged to apply.

@CYD Campus

A Talent Program for Cyber-Defence Research: Proof of Concept

CYD Fellowships are designed to promote new solutions to major challenges in the fields of security and data science. Cyber-threats have been accelerating in recent years due to the exponential growth of network connectivity.

More in particular, CYD Proof of Concept Fellowships aim to support applied research leading towards an innovative product or service with the intention of making a real impact on Swiss cyber-defence and evaluating the potential for commercialization of such products or services.

Fellowships are awarded through a competitive process to ensure that the best applications with the highest potential and the most entrepreneurial applicants are chosen. 

CYD Proof of Concept fellows should be hosted by a Swiss higher education research center, their own startup based in Switzerland or at EPFL Innovation Park. They must conduct their project at the CYD Campus located on the premises of EPFL and ETHZ and at the CYD head office in Thun.

CYD Proof of Concept Fellowships are awarded for a duration of 12 months and proposed projects should deliver a proof of concept at the conclusion of the award period.


CYD Proof of Concept Fellowships are open to applicants who want to become entrepreneurs in the field of cyber-defence.

Projects must include an innovation in at least one of the following areas of cyber-defence:

  • Protection of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of cyber and cyber-physical systems.
  • Information sharing, data fusion and crowdsourcing.
  • Data science & AI methods for analysing cyber- and technology-relevant data.
  • Security, privacy and digital trust technologies.
Eligibility requirements
  • Citizens of any nationality may apply for CYD Proof of Concept Fellowships.
  • No age restrictions apply.
  • Applicants must hold or be pursuing a bachelor, master or doctoral degree recognized in Switzerland.
  • CYD Proof of Concept fellows should be hosted by a Swiss higher education research center, their own startup based in Switzerland or at EPFL Innovation Park.

A maximum amount of CHF 130’000 can be requested per application. This can cover personnel and/or development costs directly related to the realisation of the project.

Please refer to the application guidelines to find out what costs are considered eligible.

How to apply

Please read carefully the application guidelines. All required documents must be submitted on the online submission platform.

Explore the Application toolkit.

All documents must be submitted in English.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Research Office to discuss your potential application or for any further assistance.


Rolling call for applications.

Selection process

The selection process includes two stages.

In Stage 1, the submitted applications will be evaluated by a CYD Campus internal committee based on the following criteria: the fit of the candidate with the CYD Campus and the fit of the candidate’s pre-proposal with the aims of the program.

Shortlisted applicants will be assigned a prospective CYD Campus mentor who will interview the applicant. Only applicants who are endorsed by their prospective CYD Campus mentor will be able to proceed to Stage 2.

In Stage 2, endorsed applicants will need to submit a full proposal. 

Final decisions will be made by a committee chaired by the Director of the CYD Campus and composed of members representing the CYD Campus, Swiss higher education institutions and innovation sectors.

The CYD Fellowships are supported by armasuisse Science and Technology


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