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Research at IFF

HSF offers comprehensive scholarships for the research visits of promising doctoral students, post-doctoral scholars and professors from Pakistan and Afghanistan at the Institute of Federalism (IFF), University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

About the research visit


As per its profile, IFF is a politically independent centre of expertise in questions of state organisation at the University of Fribourg. As such, it develops the academic foundations concerning the tasks of a state and the conflicts of interests the latter is exposed to: to fulfil state functions in line with the demands and in an economically sound manner; to act with democratic legitimacy; to cope with a pluralistic society and to respect the rights of individuals and minorities.

The University of Fribourg (portrait) encompasses five faculties where people study, teach and research, including numerous interdisciplinary institutes and centres of excellence. According to the latest ranking of Times Higher Education, the university features as one of the best 100 universities in the world in the category International Outlook.

Visiting IFF

The objective of the research visit at IFF should be to contribute to the academic discussion in the fields of democratic devolution, state organization, democracy, rule of law or human rights and generate new insights in one of these fields.

Through the program, the researchers are enabled to make use of their acquired knowledge in their home country (e.g. lectures, publications, further education, etc.) and support further international academic exchange and cooperation.

Scholarship details

Scholarship benefits

HSF covers the travel, boarding, lodging, insurance, visa and all other eligible costs related to the visit of the scholars to IFF.

For the Institute’s support and program elements during the research visit, please see IFF's information page on Guest Researchers.

Eligibility scholarship criteria

  • Pakistani or Afghan doctoral students, post-doctoral scholars and professors (no age limit)
  • of outstanding qualification and expertise
  • who have been officially accepted as guest researchers at IFF
  • for the duration of one week up to six months
  • and are willing to support the project work of HSF with their expertise after the completion of the research visit

How to apply for the scholarship?

Interested participants should e-mail, as one single PDF file to islamabad(at)

  • A letter of motivation on the HSF scholarship (one page maximum)
  • CV including relevant academic experience (three pages maximum)
  • Letter of acceptance from IFF

Please note that the research visit needs to be applied for first and independently at IFF. For more information on this, please see the university's specific application page. Once the research visit is officially confirmed by IFF, the scholar can apply for the HSF support with the documents mentioned above.

Good to know:

  • Following all formal requirements mentioned above (such as document lengths or type) is a prerequisite for applying. Incomplete or incorrect applications cannot be considered.
  • There is no age limit. The IFF program is aimed at all promising doctoral students, post-doctoral scholars and professors from all over the world researching on key areas of competence of the Institute.
  • There is no deadline, neither for the IFF program nor for the respective HSF scholarship. All-year-long applications are possible.
  • The application for the HSF scholarship requires the acceptance for the IFF program, but the latter does not necessarily guarantee the former since HSF and IFF are independent from another.


For answers to the most frequently asked questions please visit HSF Pakistan's FAQ page and see On scholarships. Kindly make sure to study this page carefully before contacting us or applying for the scholarship since it contains important background information.

If your questions are not being answered there, feel free to seek help from Mr. Ahsen Masood at islamabad(at) and +92 51 843 8085.