Lead Agency process

The Lead Agency process allows researchers in Switzerland and a partner country to submit a joint research proposal to either of the two national funding organisations.

Project funding is the SNSF scheme that supports Lead Agency applications. SNSF rules apply to the subprojects in Switzerland. The participation requirements of the partner organisation apply to the subproject abroad.

A Lead Agency application can be submitted provided there are no thematic overlaps with project funding grants that are already under way.

Because of coordination activities with the partner organisation, the evaluation usually takes longer than for regular projects.

The Lead Agency process does not support trilateral applications. But you can collaborate with researchers from further countries by designating them "project partners", regardless of whether the SNSF has signed an agreement with the countries in question. No more than 20% of the Swiss budget can be allocated for project partners. The salaries of personnel employed by the partners are not covered.

Costs are calculated on the basis of the relevant national guidelines.

In most partner countries, the success rates are lower than the SNSF rates. These lower rates are applied to Lead Agency applications submitted to the SNSF.

Who the Lead Agency will be, and the corresponding application requirements, will depend on the agreement in place with the country in question.

Participating countries

The SNSF has signed a Lead Agency agreement with four countries or regions. 

Detailed country information:

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 inst@snf.ch