Lead Agency

The Lead Agency process is aimed at researchers in Switzerland who wish to conduct a cross-border research project. The process simplifies the submission and evaluation of transnational applications.

​A Lead Agency application can be submitted by researchers in Switzerland together with researchers in a country that has signed an agreement with the SNSF. The application is submitted to one of the two national research funding organisations. The submission process is governed by the provisions in force at the relevant organisation.

Lead Agency proposals must have a joint research question and a joint research plan. According to the Lead Agency Agreement, the project parts carried out in the individual countries must be interdependent and complementary. The costs are calculated on the basis of the relevant national guidelines.

The Lead Agency process forms part of the SNSF's project funding scheme and is not a fun-ding scheme in its own right. It does not have its own budget and is subject to the same provisions that govern project funding. Hence, applicants may only submit a Lead Agency application if there are no thematic overlaps with applications being evaluated at the SNSF or with ongoing projects.

It is not possible to submit trilateral applications involving Germany and Austria to the SNSF. However, researchers from other countries can be included as project partners, regardless of whether the SNSF has signed an agreement with these countries. A maximum of 20% of the Swiss budget can be located to project partners. The salaries or staff costs of project partners are not covered by the SNSF.

Submission deadlines

1 October and 1 April, if the proposal is submitted to the SNSF, otherwise the submission deadlines of the partner organisations apply.


Lead Agency
E-Mail international@snf.ch