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EPFL-Stanford Exchange Program

EPFL, Stanford Neurosciences Institute

EPFL-Stanford Exchange Program, funded by Firmenich

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Stanford University seek applicants for short-term international research exchanges funded by Firmenich.

EPFL and Stanford University seek applicants for short-term (~3-month) research exchanges between these two prestigious universities. Faculty and PhD students of all levels are eligible to apply. The program seeks to foster meaningful long-term collaborations between researchers at Stanford and EPFL in a variety of life science fields, with a particular emphasis on chemical biology and neuroscience.

To facilitate the program, EPFL has partnered with two of Stanford University's new interdisciplinary bioscience institutes: Stanford ChEM-H(Chemistry, Engineering and Medicine for Human Health) and Stanford Neurosciences Institute. Stanford ChEM-H brings together chemists, engineers, biologist, and clinicians to foster interdiciplinary research that deeply probes the molecules of life and explores practical solutions to the most complex issues in human health by exploiting the interactions of these molecules. The Stanford Neurosciences Institute aims to understand how the brain gives rise to mental life and behavior, both in health and in disease. Together, these two institutes provide complementary expertise and cross-institute opportunities for innovation and collaboration.

This exchange program is generously funded by Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned company in the fragrance and flavor business. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895, it has created many of the world’s best-known perfumes and flavors. The company is renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its thought leadership in sustainability.


Applicants selected by the program will receive funding to cover the costs of travel, accommodation, and university visiting student/scholar fees up to $11,000 USD or 11,000 CHF for a three month exchange.


Faculty and PhD students of all levels who are in good standing at either EPFL or Stanford University are eligible to apply. Applicants will be required to provide a brief proposal, CV, and letters of support from their PI and intended exchange host. Proposals from all areas of life science research will be considered, with some preference for projects in the areas of chemical biology and neuroscience (especially related to sensory neuroscience).

To Apply

All applicant must apply through the Stanford ChEM-H application portal. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all slots are filled. Review of applications will begin Monday, February 15, 2016.

Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne

EPFL is one of two Federal Institutes of Technology in Switzerland. Its main campus on the shores of Lake Geneva and its various research facilities in Switzerland and abroad bring together almost 10,000 students and 5,500 researchers and staff from 120 countries. EPFL provides a comprehensive range of courses in engineering, the sciences, architecture, life sciences and management. Research covers both fundamental scientific subjects as well as topics related to society in the fields of the environment, construction, energy and mobility. With its state-of-the-art technological facilities, its commitment to distance learning (MOOCs) and its flagship projects, EPFL has become one of the most prestigious scientific institutions in Europe and in the top 15 worldwide. The institution set up in 1853 and made federal in 1969 has focused heavily on the culture of innovation and technology transfer from the outset. The Swiss Innovation Park hosts over 120 start-ups and research centers of companies conducting cutting-edge research at the EPFL site.

Stanford University

Stanford University, located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, is one of the world's leading teaching and research universities. Since its opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world. Within Stanford, there are 18 independent laboratories, centers and institutes that provide a physical and intellectual intersection between schools and disciplines, including Stanford ChEM-H and Stanford Neurosciences Institute. These institutes are in line with Stanford's longstanding tradition of crossing boundaries to tackle large problems, engaging faculty and their students in collaborations that range from international and economic studies to challenges facing the environment, energy and health.