Frequently asked questions

Social Engagement

  • Engagement in the Policy Kitchen: what does that mean?
    Once the grant has been accepted, you are required to participate in a digital vote. This is how you and the other grant holders determine the socio-political topic area which your cohort wishes to address. As a next step, the grant holders are expected to attend the physical kick-off workshop (2-3 hrs) at the beginning of the grant period. No limit is set on further cooperation, but a minimal degree of collaboration is expected: the kick-off workshop needs to be followed by further development of the ideas through discussion on the online forum. The proposed solutions then need to be refined and documented (1-2 pages), a process that can be done by one person or a team. We deliberately do not specify a minimum number of hours, but social engagement is important to us as a foundation and our aim is to support students who share our vision.

    To learn more about Policy Kitchen of the grant holders click on this link.
  • What happens if I cannot attend the Policy Kitchen kick-off workshop?
    It means you will have less say in the way your cohort develops proposed solutions to the questions it has posed. You will then be expected to redouble your efforts to take an active part in the online discussion after the workshop and contribute to a proposed solution. Each grant holder is appraised as to his or her degree of engagement.

Application and award

  • Can I apply for a grant even though I am not a Swiss national?
    Yes. The grant is conditional on your pursuing a master's degree at a Swiss university of applied sciences.
  • Can I apply for a grant even though I already have a master's degree?
    Yes. This is often the case with arts degrees. Please enclose in this case a copy of your master's degree documents. You might also ask the professors of your master's degree programme for a recommendation.

  • I was admitted to the master's program "sur dossier" without a previous bachelor's degree. Can I still apply?
    Yes, this is possible, the decisive factor is admission to the master's program. Please then submit two letters of recommendation from your Master's program.

  • What is meant by “social engagement”?
    We are keen that grant holders demonstrate social responsibility during their studies. Socio-political activity is voluntary and takes place in the student’s spare time. We do not specify the form of the engagement, but we encourage active and regular participation in the areas of sport, politics, environmental protection and art in schools, student organisations at university, clubs and youth organisations, charities, social projects and so forth.

  • Can letters of recommendation be submitted by professors teaching on master’s degree programmes?
    Yes, if the bachelor’s degree programme lies a few years back or the master’s programme has already been started.

  • What should the letter of recommendation contain?
    It should make reference to the Hirschmann grant. It should describe the student’s achievements and his or her character from the point of view of the signatory – and thus substantiate the recommendation. The length of the letter is down to the writer.  

  • Can students attending schools/universities of teacher education also apply for a Hirschmann grant?
    The Hirschmann grant is available to students pursuing master's degrees at a Swiss university of applied sciences. The foundation is unable to consider applications from students pursuing other forms of tertiary education such as at research universities or universities of teacher education.

  • Are my results a determining factor in the Foundation's considerations?
    The Foundation considers all the criteria outlined.

  • Who decides on the awarding of grants?
    The Grants Committee of the Foundation Board makes its deliberations twice a year.


  • What size are the grants?
    The grants come in the form of one-off disbursements; they are usually CHF 5'000, very occasionally CHF 10'000.

  • Does the grant have to be paid back?
    Only if the conditions are not met and/or the studies discontinued.

  • Which degree programmes are eligible for grants?
    Any consecutive master that can be pursued at a Swiss university of applied sciences.

  • Which languages are accepted for an application?
    We accept applications for a grant in German, French, English and Italian.

  • In quale lingua posso inviare la mia applicazione?
    Accettiamo le applicazioni in tedesco, inglese, francese e italiano.