INSPIRE Potentials – MARVEL Master's Fellowships

An initiative to broaden the opportunities for women in science. There are 8 fellowships available every year (typically 4 for each round of applications, but with some flexibility in case of many excellent candidates). Next application deadlines: 15 Oct 2024, 15 Apr 2025, and 15 Oct 2025.

1. Aim

In a field of science where women are still strongly underrepresented, even at the student level, the INSPIRE Potentials – MARVEL Master's Fellowships aim to empower excellent women students to conduct their Master's thesis research in a laboratory belonging to the NCCR MARVEL  on "Computational Design and Discovery of Novel Materials". This initiative seeks to increase the number of women researchers in the field of computational materials science, electronic-structure simulations, machine learning and big-data, as represented by the different laboratories involved. 

2. Candidates

dedicated to women Master's students already enrolled in a Master's programme and about to start their Master's research work, who

In exceptional cases, we may consider applications from excellent candidates, who just obtained their Master's degree (not more than 3 months) or are about to obtain it. Exceptionally, we may also broaden the call to students at the Bachelor level, if they are enrolled in the Bachelor's degree at the time of the internship, and the duration of the internship is still 6 months. In both those cases, you are welcome to contact us before applying.

3. Fellowship

  • CHF 12'000 (split into 6 monthly payments). For travel and other additional expenditures, external awardees (from outside of Switzerland or with a host laboratory other than their home institution) get in addition CHF 500. The NCCR MARVEL covers tuition fees as well as medical insurance for extra-Europeans students, who are not covered by their own country insurance.
  • Supervision in a stimulating research environment.
  • Social and networking events with students and researchers from the NCCR.

Note: Accommodation and other expenses must be paid by the awardee. Combining this fellowship with substantial scholarships isn’t possible. Candidates are required to declare all the scholarships they will receive during their master’s and eligibility will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

4. Application procedure

  • Eight (8) fellowships available in for the next two applications.
  • Applications are to be submitted by email to
  • Yearly application deadlines: 15 April & 15 October.

5. Required documents

All documents and diplomas should preferably be in English.

  • Résumé (Curriculum vitae)
  • Motivation letter, including a list of up to a max of 3 preferred host laboratories
  • One or two recommendation letters, mentioning ranking among peers. These letters should be sent separately by the recommender(s) to
  • Copy of your University degree(s) / transcripts from all grades 

The list of participating laboratories can be found here.

6. Selection

Selection is made on a competitive basis by members from the NCCR’s scientific committee and its equal opportunities team. 

Candidates will receive a response regarding their application by email mid June or mid December. Selected candidates will be asked to confirm their participation within 2 weeks.

The fellowship is granted only to selected applicants who have completed enrollment at their host university. Selected candidates are typically asked to start their Master's thesis research in the host laboratory within 6 months. Payment of the fellowship money is subject to ongoing activity on the Master's research project.

This initiative was initiated in close collaboration with the NCCR QSIT — Quantum Science and Technology, with a parallel offer in their field. Since 2021, the program there is continued by the Quantum Center, ETH Zürich and the NCCR SPIN