Applications for research grants under the prestigious funding schemes of the European Research Council (ERC Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grants) are evaluated by panels of international experts and compared with proposals from all over Europe. A study commissioned by the SNSF (published in July 2014) shows low participation in ERC calls for researchers in the humanities and social sciences in Switzerland. Participation is particularly low among women.
Measures to improve participation
In coordination with EURESEARCH, the SNSF has approved several measures to improve the participation of researchers in the humanities and social sciences in European calls:
- The SNSF encourages all Ambizione grantees and SNSF professors in the second or third year of their grant to submit an ERC proposal.
- The SNSF contacts researchers whose proposals were considered outstanding by the Humanities and Social Science division and encourages them to submit an ERC proposal.
- Women researchers in the humanities and social sciences who were rejected in the second evaluation stage by the ERC will benefit from simplified submission conditions in SNSF project funding and career funding in 2016. The proposal has to be submitted one year after the ERC rejection at the latest.
Support by EURESEARCH
As an additional measure, EURESEARCH will offer a tailored "Applicant Training" for Starting and Consolidator Grants to researchers in the humanities and social sciences; there will be an option for 1 to 1 coaching. EURESEARCH will present more details at the information event "ERC Grants for the Humanities and Social Sciences". This event will take place on 21 January 2016 from 2 to 5 pm in Bern.