Frequently asked questions

Who is meant as “external scientists” for reviewing?

These are scientist who are not in our center in Geneva and will evaluate the projects and rank them based on their quality. We have to follow their recommendations to select candidates. They are anonymous and may vary from year to year depending on their availability.

What must be contained in reference letters?

These must be written by people who know about you and your work, can describe it, and comment on your abilities. They should be sent to us directly.

What documents are needed to confirm the research experience?

A full CV and copy of your highest degree (e.g. PhD), for example scanned pdf versions. The CV should clearly describe previous research work, methodological skills, and publications. You can also give additional details on your specific involvement and contribution to previous work in the cover / motivation letter.

Can I submit an application if I have not yet defended my thesis?

Yes – but you should have obtained your PhD degree no later than when the final decision/selection of awardees is made (typically around June), or at least be able to provide an attestation that you will obtain it before the proposed starting date in Geneva.

When can I start if I am awarded a fellowship?

In principle as soon as you get a positive decision for the fellowship, but depending on practical administrative issues and your country of origin, the contract may take from one to six months to be established. Therefore earliest is probably on August 1st. However, the latest you can postpone the fellowship is one year after the initial application and selection.

Is there any restriction for certain nationalities or countries?

No, on the contrary, we encourage mobility and international applications. The only limiting factor might be related to visa issues.

I am not sure of being an eligible candidate because I have already been working as a researcher at the University of Geneva. Can I apply to this program or not?

There is no absolute response. Two main factors are generally considered that can potentially balance each other - international mobility and scientific excellence. If you are currently in Geneva, this will be ranked with low scores on the mobility criteria - but this can be ok if you have not previously been working with researchers at the BBL and there is a good match or strong project with them, such that the scientific score is high. If you have been in Geneva before but went away in the meantime, this might be better, or you may apply to a "returning fellowship". However, successful candidates should generally have high scores on both the mobility and science aspects (plus interdisciplinarity).

Is it possible to obtain financial support when moving house to Geneva?

The successful candidates can benefit from a "mobility allowance" to help them to (partly) cover their cost of moving when they start their postdoc job at the BBL. This allowance is usually attributed only if there is transnational mobility and/or accompanying family, also taking into account the mobility distance (within or beyond Europe). There is no particular support to arrange long-term accomodation, but you can apply to any student housing office like other postdocs at UNIGE.

How will the Swiss tax be applied to my fellowship?

The fellowship is considered as a full salary and thus subjected to all usual taxes by Geneva state. However, you must be careful about how the taxes will be applied since it may change depending on several factors, including your nationality and the timing/arrangement of your contract. An important aspect to keep in mind is that, by definition, the BRIDGE fellowships require cofunding by the host lab and by Marie-Curie EC program (60% vs 40%), but the exact distribution over time may change depending on the sources of the lab’s cofunding and your starting date. As a result, fellows are usually paid on 2 different contracts (in parallel or in sequence). It is important to note that depending on the tax scheme applied to your case (e.g. impôt à la source), the state will not bill the full tax amount corresponding to 100% of your income but initially consider only one of the 2 contracts (the larger portion), and then bill the rest of the tax amount at the end of the year or even at the end of your fellowship (say, you are taxed monthly at 60% of your salary for 12 months, and then get a single additional tax yearly for 40% of your salary). In all cases, however, all BRIDGE fellows are taxed at the same rate as other postdocs (i.e. 100% of income). To avoid bad surprises, we recommend that you carefully check your tax bills! Additional information can be obtained on the state website: http://ge.ch/impots/imposes-la-source .

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