The Student Summer Research Fellowship (ETH SSRF) program offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to gain their first research experience in an area of their choice. The fellowship provided by the Computer Science Department of ETH takes place during two summer months and is open to all students worldwide. The department is committed to increasing diversity in the computer science area.
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The main part of the Student Summer Research Fellowship programme at ETH Zurich is devoted to doing research in one of the available areas.
- Time frame: 1 July – 31 August. Please note that the time and duration of the fellowship is fixed to cover the full two months of July and August.
- Eligibility. Bachelor’s and master’s students worldwide with an
expected graduation date earliest during the spring semester the year after the 2-month fellowship.
- Research experience. Fellows will pursue a research project that aligns with a chosen area of their interest as part of a research group in our department. This includes interacting and collaborating with group members.
- Networking and socialising. A number of on-site socialising events will help fellows to get to know people outside their respective research groups, including current ETH students at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Stipend. Fellows at ETH Zurich will receive a monthly allowance of about CHF 1.750 to cover housing and living expenses. Travel and visa expenses will be covered as well. Students can claim the travel costs against receipts at the beginning of the program.
- Accommodation. Affordable housing during the research stay will be organised, once a candidate is accepted into the program. We will also provide information regarding visa applications (where required).
- Switzerland. Fellows have the opportunity to explore the vibrant culture of Zurich in the summer as well as the beautiful mountainous landscape of Switzerland in their free time.
Research Areas in Computer Science
Data Management & Machine Learning chevron_right
Computers have changed the way the world produces, manages, processes and analyzes data. As the volume of data grows, what we do with the data and how we extract value from it has become a dominant theme in our society.
ETH computer science covers all aspects of the data value chain: production and acquisition of data (e.g., sensors, web crawling, Internet of Things); data organization and storage (databases, storage engines, file systems, models and formats); data processing (data warehousing, data integration, image processing); learning from data (machine learning, data mining, natural language understanding); making predictions and decisions (e.g., information retrieval, intelligent systems, medical data analytics).
Our expertise ranges from the design and analysis of algorithms and models for machine learning and their use in intelligent systems to complete system design in software and hardware, encompassing small embedded systems as well as large-scale data centers and cloud-based platforms.
Areas of research
artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, data analytics, databases, data mining, data science, enterprise computing, machine learning, medical informatics, natural language understanding
Information & System Security chevron_right
Information and System Security is both a problem of fundamental importance for modern society and a scientific discipline with its own foundations and methods. The faculty carries out research across this spectrum, ranging from mathematical foundations of cryptography to building solutions to pressing problems in securing networks, cyber-physical systems, and applications.
Security is highly interdisciplinary and work is collaborative, with strong links to industrial partners and other faculty areas.
The security faculty at ETH Zurich has a track record of impact through publications at top venues, open source software releases, products, and spin-off companies.
Areas of research
cryptography, formal methods, network security, system security, privacy
Networked Systems & Parallel Computing chevron_right
ETH Zurich has a long tradition of tackling fundamental, long-term research problems in computer science by building and learning from complete computer systems. Today, the faculty works across systems fields including operating systems, networking, system security, databases, high-performance computing, and distributed systems. Work is collaborative, with strong links to industrial partners and other faculty in areas like machine learning. The systems faculty at ETH Zurich has a track record of impact through not only publications at top venues, but also open source software releases, products, and spin-off companies.
Areas of research
cloud computing, computer architecture, data centers, distributed systems, enterprise computing, FPGAs, high-performance computing, networks, internet architecture, operating systems
Pervasive Computing & Cyberphysical Systems chevron_right
Computing pervades more sectors of the physical world as computer science impacts all of society. What have traditionally been called “application areas” are now transforming into new fields where computer science methods and technology intermingle with scientific principles, methodologies, and techniques from the application domain. Disciplines such as computational biology, computational engineering, or digital humanities are witnessing this development. Further progress in science and technology will make computing, sensing, and wireless communication ubiquitous. As a consequence, the cyber space will permeate our physical world, and people will be seamlessly connected to smart objects and entire smart environments.
Several groups at the Department of Computer Science develop methods, engineering principles, and tools that support and safeguard this evolution.
Areas of research
digital design, embedded systems and security, human-computer interaction, Internet of Things, medical informatics, robotics, sensor networks, smart energy, systems biology, ubiquitous computing, wireless systems
Programming Languages & Software Engineering chevron_right
Current and former members of ETH’s Computer Science Department have developed Pascal, Modula-2, Oberon and Eiffel – programming languages that have achieved worldwide recognition and impact. Topics of particular attention include: programming methodology for high-quality software development, especially in the difficult case of concurrent programs; improving software reliability and security by developing techniques and tools for program analysis, synthesis, verification and testing; and understanding and improving software performance through novel optimization, synthesis and parallelization techniques.
Research in this area ranges from theoretical underpinnings to practical tools supporting today’s ambitious software projects.
Areas of research
compilers, domain-specific languages, concurrency, formal methods, performance optimization, program analysis, program generation, program synthesis, testing, tools, verification
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Theory & Algorithms chevron_right
Computer science has the dual nature of being an engineering science as well as a basic science (like physics), concerned with fundamental concepts including processes, computation, information, and communication. Computer science theory is concerned with understanding, defining and analyzing these concepts. Theoretical insights are for practice often highly relevant (for instance from algorithm theory) or even intrinsically necessary (for instance from cryptography). Focal areas of theory research at ETH computer science include cryptography and complexity, as well as algorithms, discrete mathematics, and optimization, in part jointly with the mathematics department.
Areas of research
algorithms, bioinformatics, combinatorics, complexity theory, computational science, cryptography, geometry, optimization, randomization & probabilistic methods.
Visual Computing chevron_right
The area of visual computing at ETH Zurich groups research activities in computer graphics, computer vision, geometry processing, human-computer interaction and visualization. Some of the key applications are in robotics, mobile communication, medical imaging, driver assistance, physical simulation as well as the film, game, and consumer electronics industries. In this area ETH Zurich particularly benefits from the close interaction with Disney Research Zurich.
Areas of research
animation, computer graphics, computer vision, game development, digital geometry processing, fabrication, human-computer interaction, imaging, video processing, visualization
- ACM – Association of Computing Machinerycall_made
- IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineerscall_made
- SIRA – Swiss Association for Research in Information Technologycall_made
- ICTswitzerland – Swiss Federation of ICT Societies (German)call_made
- Swiss HPC Service Provider Community – Swiss Hight Performance Computing Service Provider Communitycall_made
Frequently asked questions
How flexible is the programme when it comes to the start date?
The programme begins on July 1st and ends on August 31st. This means the duration of the fellowship covers the full two months of July and August. Unfortunately, there is no flexibility for logistical reasons.
I am currently in the middle of my 3rd out of 4 years of a Bachelor degree. At the moment of applying I will be 1.5 years from the end of the degree, am I eligible to apply?
Yes, since you graduate only in the year after the fellowship.
I am currently a student in the final year of the Bachelor’s and will finish by the time the fellowship starts (or right after). Am I eligible to apply?
No, unfortunately not. The programme is designed to offer research experience to students during their studies. If you finish only the year after the summer of the fellowship you are eligible to apply.
Do I need to be a citizen of a specific country to be eligible for application?
No, this programme is open to students of all nationalities.
Is the research project given by the professors or are students expected to come up with their own research topic?
Professors will usually suggest one or several projects to you. However, if you are really passionate about a certain problem or a topic, you can bring this up upon arrival and also mention it in your motivation letter.
Will the selection process be biased towards students with more experience?
No, we evaluate every application individually.
What kind of experience should students have prior to applying to the programme? Does only research experience count?
No, we welcome students with a diverse set of experiences and are looking forward to getting to know more about them.
If applicable, am I required to obtain the appropriate visa to participate in the programme?
Yes, it is your responsibility to acquire the necessary visa. The ETH Student Exchange office will help fellows with the process. Visa expenses will be covered.
Do I need to organize housing by myself?
No, accommodation will be organized. We intend to find accomodation for all fellows in the same student house. Housing expenses will be deducted from the scholarship.
Does the fellowship allowance cover living expenses in Zurich?
Yes, the allowance is enough to live comfortably in Zurich and can even cover some travel expenses if you wish to travel during the weekends.
I worry about living in Zurich since I do not speak any German. What is life in Zurich like?
Not speaking German is fine. Zurich is very international (more than 30% are foreigners) and the majority of people speak and understand English. Furthermore, English is the common language at ETH.
How long are the commute times in Zurich?
The accommodations are quite close with a commute time of about half an hour. Public transportation is reliable, clean, safe, and easy to use.
How to apply
You are eligible for the ETH Student Summer Research Fellowship program if you satisfy the following conditions:
- You are enrolled in a study programme (bachelor or master) in computer science or a closely related field (e.g., electrical engineering, mathematics, physics)
- Your expected graduation date in your current study programme (bachelor or master) is in the year following the fellowship or later
- You will have completed two years of study by start of the programme (master students naturally satisfy this condition)
- The duration of the fellowship is the full two months of July and August, during which time you must be present
- Due to the current COVID-19 safety measures, travel restrictions and quarantine rules, participants must provide a valid certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 with an approved vaccinecall_made or proof of recovery at the beginning of the programme
The programme is conducted exclusively in English. Although formal evidence of language proficiency is not required, the fellowship requires a good working knowledge of English and it may be assessed at an interview.
Your application will be evaluated on the basis of the documents provided. The last step of the application process may include an interview conducted with the shortlisted candidates.
Please submit your application via siropcall_made.
You will be asked to fill in personal data and upload several documents:
- Your CV. Please use the Europass formatcall_made.
- Official academic transcript from your home university. Use the grading system that your university provides – the grading system on the GPA scale that you have been graded on.
- Letter of motivation/personal statement (max 1 page). Describe in your own words why you have chosen your proposed scientific area of research. Explain what you hope to accomplish by coming to ETH and how it will support your academic or professional goals and prepare you for a career in research. A good personal statement can be written in half a page and you should aim not to write more than a full A4 page. Lay it out carefully to make it easy to read.
Only complete applications with all the required documents submitted through the application tool sirop can be considered for admission.
Beginning of November – 15 December 2021 at 12 noon (Central European Time).
Communication of the admission decision:
Applicants will be notified by e-mail by February 2022.
Duration of the programme:
The program will take place from 1 July – 31 August 2022.
The amount provided covers housing- and living costs. Travel and visa expenses will be covered as well. Students can claim the travel costs against receipts at the beginning of the programme.