Dear fellow colleagues and friends,

My name is Ellen and I am a PhD student conducting research in the group of Prof. Karl Gademann. Last summer, I gave birth to my little son. One can imagine that it is particularly challenging to combine the time one needs to advance one’s own research with the family duties and care-responsibilities associated with a newborn.

Therefore, I would like to encourage other female researchers with care responsibilities to apply for a NCCR Flexibility Grant (formerly known as 120% support grant) funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). This grant allows two choices: First, one can apply for a lab technician that takes over several work duties while one reduces one’s own work amount (e.g. 60 or 80% part-time). The second possibility, which I chose, supports the costs of external child-care with up to 1000 CHF/months. Of course, the external child-care costs must exceed this amount but this is unfortunately a very easy task as five full days in a “kita” costs 2520 CHF/months without state or city subsidies for a child. The NCCR Flexibility Grant is open to PhD Students and post-docs with children up to and including primary school age. The application form and eligibility requirements can be found here.

This grant gives me the possibility to continue my research full-time towards my PhD. It also gives flexibility to choose between part-time work with technician support and child-care supplement. This is of particular importance as everybody might have different opinion and preference how to organize the work-family balance. The NCCR Flexibility Grant by SNF gives us females the support and flexibility we need to advance our academic career.

All the best,


Hala Helmy, Managing Director