Pier 17 Science Studio Application

The Pier 17 Science Studio is a fellowship program that supports emerging talents in science communication and public engagement to develop new ideas, practices, and models aimed at building open dialogues around science, society, and the wider issues facing us today.

Fellows traveling from Switzerland spend one to three months working within swissnex San Francisco’s creative hub at Pier 17. The program offers them exposure to the Bay Area’s vibrant science communication community, an extensive network of mentors and partners, visibility, and financial aid.

Who’s eligible?

The Pier 17 Science Studio is open to a wide range of people in the early stage of their career, including:

  • Scientists and researchers, from PhD students to early-stage faculty
  • Journalists
  • Storytellers in any media
  • Professional science communicators
  • Professionals from creative industries
  • Artists and cultural practitioners
  • Entrepreneurs

Candidates must be based in Switzerland and have a body of work, projects, or creative enterprises around science-related matters.

What are we looking for?

We’re looking for people with a bold and compelling vision for public engagement. We are interested in projects that are collaborative, cross-disciplinary, leverage technology, and reach audiences in radically new ways.

We hope to ignite conversations, bring science to unexpected places, and engage people who may not be actively seeking science information. We aim to spark a new generation of science advocates working to drive public dialogue, promote new ways of thinking about science, and empower citizens to make informed decisions for the future.

What we offer

The fellowship extends from one to three months. The support includes:

  • Desk space within swissnex San Francisco
  • Access to meeting rooms and shared resources
  • Access to a workshop space
  • Tailored fellowship program, including introductions to relevant contacts, regular meetings with fellowship staff, and coaching with external mentors
  • Outreach activities online and through events
  • Opportunity to work in close proximity to swissnex’s team, programs, and interdisciplinary community at Pier 17

Fellows also receive limited financial aid for:

  • Travel and housing
  • Supplies and equipment
  • Coaching, training, and conferences

In addition, fellows may attend any swissnex event for free, participate in our community networking events, and enjoy many more benefits at our terrific downtown location.

Why the Bay Area?

The San Francisco Bay Area is well-known for exploring innovation in storytelling and outreach — things like virtual and augmented reality, crowdsourcing, open access, and data-driven storytelling. swissnex San Francisco is located in the immediate vicinity of many relevant organizations, including the Exploratorium and California Academy of Sciences, industry innovators like Autodesk, Google, and IDEO; academic publishers like PLOS; and universities and research labs around the Bay Area, from UC Berkeley to Stanford University to NASA to Lawrence Berkeley National Labs.

How to apply

Applications for 2019 are now closed. Watch this space for details about applying for future programs.

Advisory Board

Kishore Hari, Director, Bay Area Science Festival

Sophie Lamparter, Co-Founder, Dart

Riccardo Sabatini, TED Speaker, Scientist, and Entrepreneur

Claire Pillsbury, Program Manager, Exploratorium

Greg Niemeyer, Professor of New Media, UC Berkeley

Christophe Giovannini, Head of Communications, Swiss National Science Foundation 

Science Studio Program Managers

Project Lead: Benjamin Bollmann
Deputy CEO

Eryk Salvaggio
Research & Content Strategy


This project is made possible by Gebert Rüf Stiftung with additional support from the Swiss National Science Foundation.