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Ernst Hadorn Transitional Fellowships

Facilitating the step from Postdoc to Principal Investigator

The Transitional Fellowships in Molecular Life Sciences offered by the Ernst Hadorn Foundation consist in a three-year scheme in which grantees receive funding for up to two years as Postdoctoral Researchers and the following period as Principal Investigators (PIs). The goal of these fellowships is to help outstanding postdoctoral researchers conclude postdoctoral research and transition to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions.

In the Postdoc phase, the grantee is granted 100,000 CHF/year, and in the PI phase the amount is 200,000 CHF. The funding in the PI phase is eligible for expenses related to starting an independent laboratory (e.g. consumables, equipment and coworkers’ salaries).. However, the grantee’s own salary for the PI phase must be provided through different funding.

The funding for active grantees will be terminated if they fail to obtain an independent position after the two-year postdoc phase. The PI phase does not necessarily need to be carried out at the University of Zurich (UZH). However, grantees pursuing the PI phase in a different institution will have to maintain their affiliation with UZH. It is incumbent upon the grantees to negotiate such adjunct affiliations with UZH.


Eligibility criteria and application requirements

Eligible applicants are employed as a Postdoc by UZH in the field of Molecular Life Sciences on the application deadline. Applicants must have published at least one first-author (or co-first-author) paper, and must have a competitive profile that will realistically qualify them for an assistant professorship within 48 months.

The next application deadline will be communicated in Spring 2024.

Candidates must provide:

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • List of Publications

  • A short research plan (max. 3 pages)

  • Cover letter including career plan (max. 1.5 pages)

  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from the current mentor


All documents must be submitted in PDF format via email to Artemi Bendandi ( There are no specific templates for the documents.

Funding Requirements

The starting date of the fellowship will be negotiated with the Board of Trustees of the Ernst Hadorn Foundation.

After the 2-year, Postdoc phase grantees must submit an updated CV and a report detailing the research they conducted and the produced publications and presenting clear milestones in their research and career development. The page limit for the report is 5 pages.

The grantees must obtain an independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty position before the start of the 3rd year of the Fellowship. A copy of the official offer letter for a faculty position from the Chairperson or Dean of the institution where the grantee has been recruited is required.


Evaluation of Applications

The applications will be evaluated by the Board of Trustees and by an independent Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) composed of reputed experts in molecular biology. In addition, the Board of Trustees may request the opinion of additional peers with specific expertise in the applicants’ fields.

Interviews will be conducted physically if possible, or otherwise remotely.

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