Project SIMPLE - Erasamus+ EU programme for education

Postdoctoral fellowships for food systems of the future

Announcing the Future Food Initiative: Postdoctoral fellowships for food systems of the future


 The World Food System Center are proud to announce the start of the Future Food Initiative. The goal of this new initiative is to invest in Swiss food and nutrition research and increase the transfer of knowledge from universities to industry. ETH Zurich and EPFL have launched this initiative in cooperation with Swiss industry partners Bühler, Givaudan and Nestlé, who jointly donated 4.1 million Swiss Francs.

The core of the initiative is a new fellowship program at ETH Zurich and EPFL designed to attract talented individuals from Switzerland and abroad to conduct innovative and industry-relevant research and innovation in Switzerland. The World Food System Center together with the Integrative Food Science and Nutrition Center at EPFL will manage the fellowship program.

The Future Food Initiative is dedicated to tackling major challenges to creating sustainable food systems. The main focus is on developing high-quality, healthy and affordable food products that, for example, keep pace with consumer trends or help to solve malnutrition and starvation. “By global standards, Switzerland is very well positioned in the food sciences,” says Alexander Mathys, member of the World Food System Center and one of the ETH Zurich professors involved in the initiative. “In addition to ETH and EPFL, the country also has a very strong, research-oriented industrial sector and innovative start-up scene. This is a unique ecosystem.”

Young researchers who are aiming to become highly qualified experts in basic research or industry, or who want to start companies, play an important role in the transfer of knowledge. For this reason, the Future Food Initiative’s fellowship program is aimed at researchers who have already completed their doctoral studies but have not yet received a professorship. The fellowships are primarily for talented individuals from abroad who can bring new ideas to Switzerland and combine scientific excellence with industrial relevance. “This initiative will offer several talented young scientists a unique opportunity for their professional and intellectual growth," says Andreas Mortensen, EPFL Vice President for Research.

The close cooperation between universities and companies makes it possible to take insights and approaches from research and utilize them for society and consumers: “By working together with industry, we can connect new research directions with consumer-relevant aspects at an early stage and enable rapid implementation,” says Mathys, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food Processing.

Individuals whose projects are selected will receive financial support for a period of three years. This includes their integration into an existing research group at ETH Zurich or EPFL, as well as funds for materials and travel. Each scholarship has been allocated around CHF 390,000. Freedom in teaching, research and the publication of scientific results is guaranteed as part of the agreement. The fellows are free to use the infrastructure of ETH Zurich, EPFL and their industry partners.

The first call for fellowship applications has just started and will run until 30 April 2019.

For further information and to apply: