From Togo to Thailand: eight new projects with researchers from the global South


The SPIRIT programme promotes collaboration with countries that receive development aid. The SNSF has selected another eight projects for funding. 21 research groups from Africa, Asia and Switzerland are taking part.

The approved projects will last three to four years and receive up to 500,000 francs. The overall funding amount is 3.5 million francs. Between two and four research groups will collaborate on each project.

Wide range of topics

Responses to stress are the subject of a project at EPF Lausanne and Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology in Thailand. The researchers intend to find out how cells respond to stress signals in order to, in turn, control protein production in the cell. In another project, research groups at EMPA Dübendorf, the Kwame-Nkrumah-University of Science and Technology and the University of Energy and Natural Resources (both in Ghana) explore sustainable urban development. They want to adapt energy models in a way that also addresses the real problems of developing countries. In a third project, researchers at the University of Zurich, the International University of Rabat in Morocco and the Birzeit University in the Palestinian territories are together investigating the history of feminism in the Arab world since the 1970s.

The other projects involve teams at the University of Lomé in Togo, the Teheran University of Medical Sciences and Sharif University of Technology in Iran, the University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka and Mahidol University in Thailand. Their Swiss partners work at the universities of Bern, Geneva and Zurich as well as at ETH Zurich.

Knowledge exchange and teaching

In SPIRIT, researchers can combine their knowledge and their specific experience. This opens the door to exciting new projects. At the same time, the SNSF can contribute to the education of young researchers in Switzerland and the other countries involved. The programme was launched by the SNSF in 2019.


Division InterCo
Stephanie Hoppeler