PSI Career Return Program

The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is the largest research centre for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. We perform cutting-edge research in the fields of matter and materials, energy and environment and human health. By performing fundamental and applied research, we work on sustainable solutions for major challenges facing society, science and economy. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether PSI employs 2100 people.

PSI takes the responsibility to promote talented young scientists and engineers after a career break by providing fellowships for returning to science. This program was launched in 2009 for women. In 2015 it was also awarded to the first male fellow and is now open for female and male candidates.


You have been on a career break due to family commitments or mobility of your Partner for at least 9 months. You hold a master or PhD degree in natural science or engineering and have gained relevant experience. Additionally you are proficient in English and willing to learn German.
Fellowship duration

This program offers the possibility to work full- or part-time. The duration of the fellowship is limited to two years at the most, with a minimum work rate of 50%.

Application instruction

  • Contact a research group at PSI related to your research interest
  • Establish a research and career plan (max. 4 pages) together with this research group
  • Apply using our online portal with the following documents:
  1. motivation letter explaining the reasons for returning to work
  2. research and career plan
  3. updated CV incl. list of publications
  4. reference letters and
  5. copy of diplomas

Selection Process

The selection process is conducted in two steps. First the selection committee will choose suitable applicants until the end of May 2018. In a second step the selected applicants will be invited to present their research and career plan to the evaluation committee members at PSI in the beginning of July 2018. The first possible start of the fellowship will be August 2018.

We offer

Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure.

For further information please contact Nicole Fricker, phone +41 56 310 47 58.

Please submit your application online for the PSI Career Return Program until the end of April 2018.

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Miriam Zehnder, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland


06. März 2018


30. April 2018




Paul Scherrer Institute PSI