Bilateral agreement with Germany

Under the Lead Agency process, a joint application by researchers in Switzerland and Germany can be 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 applications can be submitted to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for the following funding schemes:

  • Individual Grants Programmes
  • Priority Programmes: participation at project level possible, researchers in Switzerland may submit applications under German project leadership
  • Research Groups: up to two Swiss subprojects or participations in German subprojects

For funding schemes involving multi-phase procedures, please contact the relevant SNSF division after making a submission for the first phase.

In both countries the maximum project duration for the Individual Grants Programme and Priority Programme is 3 years, and for research Groups 4 years.

Applications submitted to the SNSF are evaluated separately by the evaluation bodies of the SNSF and the DFG. The evaluation generally lasts for more than 6 months.

The Lead Agency is located in the country in which a higher funding amount is requested. In unclear or borderline cases, the funding organisations involved must be contacted to determine the Lead Agency prior to submission.

If the requested funding amount is higher in Germany, the application is submitted to the DFG. The conditions for DFG individual grants programmes apply and you need to complete the relevant forms. The DFG does not set any specific submission dates, and applications can therefore be submitted all year round.

If an application is submitted to the SNSF, the German partners also need to submit a formal application via the elan portal, in which the applicants' personal data and the budget items are entered.

If an application is submitted in a language other than English (only possible in certain disciplines of the humanities and social sciences), this will need to be discussed with all involved agencies in advance.

If you submit an application under the Lead Agency process to a foreign partner organization which serves as Lead Agency or as part of an ERA-NET call, you have to complete the DMP on mySNF once the project is approved, regardless of whether a DMP is requested by the foreign partner organization/by the consortium. The DMP covers all research data which are generated or used during the project and has to comply with the SNSF Open Research Data Policy.

July 2018