Project funding after innovations: fewer proposals, but requested funds are up


By 1 October 2016, researchers had submitted a total of 842 project proposals to the SNSF, in which they requested overall funding of CHF 512 million.

In the first call for proposals since the innovations in project funding, the number of submitted proposals is down by 22% compared to last year. But the requested overall funding is up by over 6%.

Compared to October 2015, the figures for the different research areas are as follows:

  • Humanities and social sciences: 25% fewer applications, but overall requested funding is up by 3%
  • Mathematics, natural and engineering sciences: 27% fewer applications, but overall requested funding is up by 7%
  • Biology and medicine: 13% fewer applications, but overall requested funding is up by 7%

The amount requested per project has increased considerably. This is mainly due to the fact that the maximum project duration has been extended from three to four years: researchers requested a project duration of more than three years in around 60% of all submitted proposals. But a higher average amount per year has been requested even for shorter projects.

It is possible that the newly introduced limit on the number of projects to no more than two per person has prompted researchers to concentrate their research activity and submit fewer applications. In addition to a longer maximum project duration, the innovations included new eligible costs - this may also have contributed to the higher amount of funding requested in the proposals.

To draw more precise conclusions, the SNSF will analyse data related to this first submission deadline in greater detail until early 2017.