Twice a year, the Doctoral Program in Literary Studies offers one-year start-up grants.
Start-up Grant: Call for Applications (deadline: Nov. 18, 2023)
The Doctoral Program in Literary Studies of the University of Basel calls for applications for two one-year start-up grants of CHF 30,000 (beginning April 1, 2024). These grants are designed to support promising junior researchers in developing a PhD project to apply for follow-up funding.
- Two Start-up Grants of the Doctoral Program in Literary Studies
- Zwei Anschubstipendien des Doktoratsprogramms Literaturwissenschaft
- Deux bourses de début de thèse en littérature à l'Université de Bâle
The commitment of a first supervisor from the University of Basel is only required at the time of the interview round. However, we strongly recommend that you study the research profiles of the professors in question in advance to see if they would be willing to act as your supervisor (see section "Admission" of the FAQ below). If it is already clear that you will not be able to secure a supervisor from the University of Basel, we recommend refraining from applying.
Before applying, please read the Frequently Asked Questions below.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. We welcome applications from all over the world.
Provided that the degree certificate is available about 1–2 months after the interview date, you can apply. Please refer to the Call for the exact date.
Yes, if you are still in the early stages of your doctoral studies.
However, when you enter your start-up grant period you are required to switch to the University of Basel. Furthermore, you are not allowed to have other funding for your dissertation or be employed at the university with a contract that requires working on a dissertation (e.g. as an assistant).
No, there is no age limit.
However, the start-up grants are intended to support you in preparing a competitive application for follow-up funding and submitting it to suitable bodies, and here is the catch. Many funding bodies have an age limit or tend to support younger researchers. If you are already older, we recommend that you first find out where you have a chance of obtaining follow-up funding.
In the Swiss grading system, you need a 5.0 average; in the German one 2.5. For other grading systems please refer to the general conversion formula.
If your MA grade is not high enough, we ask you to refrain from applying.
No. Please collect all your documents in one single PDF file. Exceptions are letters of recommendation if the author prefers to send them directly to the coordinator and MA diplomas/certificates if they need to be submitted later.
In principle, yes. However, to apply for a start-up grant, the initial supervision must be at the University of Basel. More information on cotutelles de thèse can be found here.
We can only communicate acceptances and rejections after the entire process has been completed. It can take up to four months to complete the process through all decision-making bodies. Acceptances and rejections are usually communicated in early March for the grant starting in April; in June for the grant starting in October.
German, English, or French.
As a general rule, the calls for applications are scheduled as follows (+/- 2 weeks):
Call for applications in mid-October, application deadline early December, first selection mid-December, interviews (final selection) mid-January, final decision early March, start April 1st.
Call for applications in mid-January, application deadline in early March, first selection in mid-March, interviews (final selection) in early May, final decision in mid-June, start date October 1st.
Compared to the university semester, the start date for our start-up grants is slightly delayed in order to ensure the best possible concordance with the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) grants.
In principle, you are free in how you want to draft a convincing dissertation outline. However, experience shows that the following points are helpful for the Steering Committee to get a good overall picture:
- Scientific relevance/situation of the project
- Brief description of the state of research
- Questions, methods, goals
- Texts treated, material basis
- Research plan
- Time schedule
- Possible cooperation partners
- Further perspectives
The confirmation of supervision by a person authorized to conduct examinations at the University of Basel is only required at the time of the interview. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that you study the profiles of the professors in your field before applying and write to them with your dissertation outline and CV to clarify whether they would be willing to supervise you.
Ibero-Romance Literary Studies: Prof. Dr. Harm den Boer
Italian Literary Studies: Dr. Vincenzo Vitale (ad interim)
Nordic Studies: Prof. Dr. Lena Rohrbach
For related subjects, please contact the respective departments directly.
Please note that the coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Literary Studies cannot make inquiries regarding supervision for you.
If you are not successful, then your project is not mature enough, does not coincide with the research interests of the supervisors in question, or they do not have the capacity to supervise other doctoral students. If you already know that no one supports your application, we ask that your refrain from applying.
There may be no more than 40% total secondary employment during the term of the start-up grant.
The Doctoral Program in Literary Studies has a limited number of office spaces with computers and access to printers. These are primarily reserved for our start-up grant recipients. If more places are available, the other members of the doctoral program can apply for them as well.
If funding is successfully obtained or a position is taken up during the term of the start-up grant, the scholarship ends. You are obliged to notify the coordinator of the Doctoral Program. The unused months of the grant must be paid back.
In Switzerland, the start-up grant is exempt from income tax. If you reside abroad, other principles may apply. As a start-up grant recipient, you are responsible for paying social security contributions, insurance and your occupational pension plan.
However, if you have a part-time job at the University of Basel at the same time as the start-up grant, the scholarship must be paid out as a salary (i.e. minus social contributions of approx. 25% and applicable taxes). Any changes in such employment must be reported immediately to the coordinator of the doctoral program.
Start-up grant recipients are obliged to prepare or submit an application for follow-up funding for their doctoral project within the first six months of the grant.
By mid-March an mid-September, the start-up fellows must submit an interim and a final report to the coordinator of the Doctoral Program.
The payment of the second tranche depends on the evaluation of the work done in the first six months, especially with regard to the preparation and submission of an application for follow-up funding.