Funding options for regular students aiming to pursue their studies abroad


There are various funding sources external to UNIL for students who want to study abroad outside a university exchange programme, but whose financial situation is an obstacle to their plans.

Zdenek and Michaela Bakala Foundation (FZMB)


The Zdenek and Michaela Bakala Foundation offers grants to students or researchers to give them the opportunity to study in leading universities in the United States or the United Kingdom, such as Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, Yale, etc. (and other universities not listed here).

Grants are available to students and PhD students at the following universities:


  • University of Lausanne
  • University of Geneva
  • EPFL
  • Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)
  • University of Zurich
  • EPFZ
  • St-Gallen University


Grants are aimed at students or researchers of high academic merit but who lack the necessary financial resources to allow them to study in institutions of this kind abroad.

They are intended to cover enrolment costs at the foreign university and/or maintenance costs in the host country. The annual budget is around CHF 200,000, split between five and 10 grants of variable amounts, depending on needs and the type of studies.


Studies abroad, in any field, can consist of:

  • a full Master’s qualification
  • one or more semesters as part of a Swiss Master’s programme
  • a PhD
  • one or more semesters as part of a Swiss PhD programme




  • academic excellence
  • financial need
  • admission or pre-admission to the foreign university (to be obtained by time of the interview at the latest)
  • enrolment at the Swiss university (for at least the last three years)
  • residence in Switzerland for tax purposes for the last five years




UNIL students who are interested should submit their application to the Social Affairs and Student Mobility Office (SASME). An initial short-list is produced at UNIL, by the heads of the faculties responsible for the students concerned. After this, the successful applications are sent to the Foundation, which will make its decision during April; the final applicants will be invited to an interview in Geneva in early May. The final decision is made at the end of May.


Application procedure and deadline


The application must include:

  • The FZMB application for a Master’s plus appendices, or:
  • The FZMB application for a PhD plus appendices


The (electronically) completed application form, dated and signed, and all the appendices, must be sent to SASME by post or handed over in person (no applications should be sent directly to the Foundation) by 31 January 2021 at the latest.


FZMB Master’s form




Social Affairs and Student Mobility Office (SASME)
Unicentre building
CH-1015 Lausanne

Mr Cédric Rychen
tel. 021 692 21 14


Grants for Swiss students from other countries

A number of countries offer grants to Swiss students so that they can complete some of their studies in one of their universities. Please check the following link for further information: Grants from foreign universities listed by Swissuniversities


Other foundations and funding options


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