The oikos PhD Fellowship Programme was initiated in 2006 at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, to support outstanding international PhD students writing their thesis on sustainability in economics or management and to provide them with an opportunity to engage in oikos programs. In 2014, it was expanded to also include fellowships at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Promoting young scholars

oikos PhD Fellows receive a 3-year grant to complete their PhD courses, conduct their research, finalize their doctoral thesis and take the lead for specific oikos initiatives. The fellowship covers a monthly stipend of 3’000 CHF as well as a travel and research budget of 3’600 CHF per year. Fellows conduct their research on topics related to sustainability in the fields of management or economics and engage in oikos programs. 70% of their time is devoted to their studies and research, 30% is allocated to oikos initiatives.

The oikos PhD Fellowship Programme is supported by the Mercator Foundation Switzerland, the University of St. Gallen and the University of Zurich.

If you are interested in receiving information about future calls, please let us know by writing an e-mail to

Become a fellow

Fellows need to demonstrate high analytical skills, solid knowledge in their field of management, finance, or economics, a commitment to sustainability, as well as strong leadership and personal competences. Fulfilling the formal requirements for doctoral studies at the university where the fellowship is awarded is a must. Fluent English is essential. Additional language skills are an advantage.

There are currently no calls for applications for oikos PhD Fellowship. If you are interested in receiving information about future calls, please let us know by writing an e-mail to


Formal Requirements
  What are the formal requirements for doctoral studies that oikos PhD Fellows need to fulfill?
A Fellows have to meet the requirements for doctoral studies at the university for which the fellowship is awarded. The applicable requirements are referenced in each call for applications.

Research Proposal
Q I have a research idea about the proposal that I am going to submit for the oikos PhD Fellowship Programme and would highly appreciate your feedback. Can I send it in?
A We do not review or comment on draft research proposals prior to an application to assure a fair and transparent application process for all applicants.

Q In the application form there’s a section for a proposed research topic. Does this have to be the final topic of one’s thesis or is it tentative?
A The topic is tentative. You will receive additional input and inspiration from your supervisor and the course phase of your doctoral studies. The proposal draft is requested to evaluate your academic capabilities, but is not binding for your thesis. However, whichever shape it takes, it should always be related to the focus of your fellowship, e.g. “Finance and Sustainability” for the next round of fellowships that will be awarded.

Doctoral Supervisor
Q Within the proposed PhD project I would like to work on topic X with Prof. Y from the University of Z. Will this be possible within the oikos PhD Fellowship Program?
A oikos is strongly encouraging international academic networking. Your first supervisor must be a faculty member of the university where the fellowship is awarded. We will assist accepted candidates to identify the best option. A second supervisor can be part of the faculty of another international academic institution.

oikos Programs
What oikos programs do the Fellows engage in?
Fellows take the lead for specific oikos initiatives that are related to their topic, e.g. the organization of an oikos Young Scholars Academy on finance, and support oikos chapters in running their own projects on the topic.

Q Are courses taught in English?
A Yes, the doctoral programmes for which oikos PhD fellowships are awarded are in English.

Q What language do you speak at oikos?
A The language in oikos is English. Other languages are an asset.

Q Do you encourage native English speaker without German language knowledge to apply?
A Yes! Absolutely.