Innovations in career funding

The SNSF is continuing to develop its career funding schemes with the aim of guaranteeing the competitiveness of the Swiss research environment – even if some of the measures envisaged in the 2017-2020 multi-year plan cannot yet be implemented due to financial constraints.

The new career funding schemes will be more closely aligned with the framework of project funding. The innovations are primarily aimed at promoting earlier scientific independence for promising young researchers. The SNSF is convinced that the choice of an academic career must become more attractive to young scientists if Switzerland is to maintain its leading position in international research.

The SNSF wants to provide promising young researchers who show a high potential for an academic career, or even for a future full professorship, with an opportunity to distinguish themselves at an early stage with a project of their own. The deliberate promotion of early mobility in young researchers aims to boost their degree of networking and to encourage a decoupling from their home institutions. In addition, the SNSF promotes gender equality through a wide range of measures.

With these innovations, the SNSF aims to support the transformation of academic career structures as envisaged by the Federal Council's report "Massnahmen zur Förderung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses in der Schweiz" (Measures to promote young researchers in Switzerland). In this context, maximum coordination with the higher education institutions will be key to create realistic career prospects for young researchers.

Important strategic decisions

Against the backdrop of the specific financial conditions in place since summer 2016, the SNSF has now introduced important measures that will define career funding in the future, and has taken some key decisions regarding individual schemes for the 2017-2020 funding period. Detailed information about these innovations can be found below. Additional decisions will follow.