An academic career means that researchers move to higher education institutions abroad.
- enhances experience of methods and knowledge,
- is important to conduct research via a network,
- strengthens a person's profile together with scientific independence.
During an academic career, there are a number of fellowships that specifically support mobility:
With Postdoc.Mobility, the Swiss National Science Fund offers mobility grants, which last up to two years (plus one year return phase). This is complemented by the mobility contributions within the framework of SNF project funding for doctoral students funded by the SNSF as well as Scientific Exchanges. The SNF Ambizione grant and the SNF professorship require a certain experience of mobility.
Doctoral students of the University of Bern, who are not funded by the SNSF, can make since 2021 an application for UniBE Doc.Mobility to fund a research stay at a foreign research institution (duration usually 12 month). For research stays abroad up to 8 weeks, there are since Summer 2022 Short Travel Grants for doctoral students and postdocs available (next application deadline: March 1, 2023).
There are numerous other funding agencies which offer mobility grants, e.g. Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual grants from the European Commission or the grants from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Doctoral students also have access to Erasmus program. The International Office gives advice to questions of mobility.
The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) aim to promote international exchange and cooperation with grants for researchers (doctoral students as well as postdocs) for up to one year. Many countries offer foreign scholarships for Swiss students and researchers, these scholarships are managed by Swissuniversities. Swissuniversities offers in addition an overview of many fellowships which lead abroad. In the context of bilateral research cooperations, the SERI has appointed several Swiss universities and universities of applied sciences as leading houses for specific regions of the world.
Even short visits contribute to developing a cross-border network. There are a variety of different funding sources to help cover the necessary travel and accommodation costs. An enquiry in the database of foundations and funds is recommended, as well as a query at the faculty.
The need for mobility can generate certain compatibility issues for researchers with regard to their private life (civil union, family, circle for friends). The purpose and the right time of mobility experiences should be planned (if possible) in good time.