Profile 2015-2016: High demand for SNSF funding among researchers


A significantly higher number of project proposals and the trend towards a more open research culture: against this dynamic backdrop, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) funded over 3200 research proposals in 2015 with approximately 878 million Swiss francs, thereby making a substantial contribution to a strong Swiss science scene.

As shown in its new "Profile 2015-2016", the SNSF allocated more than half of its funds or 441 million francs to its main funding scheme, thematically open project funding. In the 1100 funded projects, outstanding researchers in Switzerland are able to implement innovative new research ideas. The projects include 2400 planned cross-border collaborations. This corresponds to more than two per project and underscores the importance of international coordination and integration for excellent research.

More than one billion requested in project funding scheme

In 2015, researchers submitted around eleven per cent more applications to the SNSF's project funding scheme year-on-year. For the first time, the total amount requested exceeded one billion francs, no less than 13 per cent more than in the previous year. 42 per cent thereof (441 million Swiss francs) were approved by the SNSF.

The SNSF's commitment to young researchers...

The SNSF used the 878 million francs allocated for overall research funding primarily to promote young researchers. 75 per cent of the approximately 10,000 employees at higher education and research institutions supported under the SNSF's projects, careers and programmes funding schemes are 35 years old or younger. Last year, a total of 14,800 researchers, i.e. applicants and their staff, were involved in SNSF-funded projects across all funding areas.

... and to a more open science

2015 was an intense year for the SNSF even beyond its core business: highlights included the successful conclusion of the Temporary Backup Schemes, which compensated for the short-term lack of funds from the European Research Council (ERC), and innovative changes to SNSF funding schemes. In addition, the SNSF analysed in detail the requirements that a modern, more open science needs to meet.
Martin Vetterli, the President of the Research Council, is convinced that "future research will have to be more transparent, collaborative and ultimately also more reproducible". Aiming to pave the way for this development, the SNSF has organised an international workshop on open science and strengthened efforts to provide free and open access to scientific publications in electronic form.

More than a million scientific articles are published each year: how can science and research become more open and efficient in such highly prolific times? This is the key question addressed in the "Profile 2015-2016".

The new "Profile" of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

Mandated by the Federal Authorities, the SNSF supports basic science in all academic disciplines. With its yearly publication "Profile", it is presenting its annual report in a new form and with a new focus: the new format is not just retrospective - it also presents outlooks, personalities and opinions. In this first edition, "Profile 2015-2016", the SNSF visualises what a more open and efficient science could look like in the future and addresses topical issues such as big data and trends in medicine. In addition, it looks back on its own activities in 2015 and presents a portrait of its main body, the Research Council, which keeps a watchful eye over basic research in Switzerland.


Swiss National Science Foundation
Communication division
Tel. +41 (0)31 308 23 87

Ordering a copy

You can order the "Profile 2015-2016" in German, French and English as well as other publications of the SNSF free of charge at