New SNSF Foundation Council from 2024

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The new SNSF Foundation Council has been elected. Smaller in size, it brings together leading figures from science, business and government, and will take up its duties at the beginning of 2024.

The SNSF is a foundation under private law with a funding mandate under public law. As the senior governing body, the Foundation Council is responsible for ensuring that the foundation stays on mission and for supervising the activities of its bodies. The four-year term of office of the current Foundation Council expires at the end of December 2023. Its Committee has now elected the new Foundation Council, which will take up its duties on 1 January 2024.

The Committee made its choice from a shortlist of some 200 applicants. On the basis of the SNSF's new Statutes and as part of its new organisation, it drew up an overall profile for the forthcoming Foundation Council and tasked a nomination committee with organising the election procedure. This committee made its recommendations after interviewing 24 candidates.

Majority from science

The elected members, who are mainly from the scientific community, are as follows:

  • Nikola Biller-Andorno
  • Astrid Epiney
  • Matthias Essenpreis
  • Urs Frey
  • Agnès Petit
  • Didier Queloz

The representative of the Confederation, Laetitia Philippe, was also appointed ex officio. Before the end of the year, the Federal Council will elect the Chair of the Foundation Council for the 2024-2027 period.

Hence, the new Foundation Council will have a total of 8 members, significantly fewer than at present. This reduction in size should enable it to operate in an even more agile and flexible way with regard to the numerous activities it engages in. The chosen members cover the overall profile defined for the Council, form a diverse and balanced team, and bring together the skills, perspectives and experience needed to fulfil their supervisory, management and strategic tasks.

The SNSF's partner institutions will be represented in a new body, the Delegates Assembly. They will have the opportunity to express their views and make an official contribution to the discussions and development of the SNSF. Finally, in addition to its scientific evaluation work, the envisaged new organisation will strengthen the Research Council's strategic expertise.

The SNSF would like to thank the members of the current Foundation Council for their work over the past years. In addition to leading the current project to reorganise the SNSF, they have ensured that the institution runs smoothly and have defended the interests of thousands of researchers during a difficult period, marked in particular by the consequences of Switzerland's non-association with Horizon Europe and budgetary pressures.

The SNSF is Switzerland's foremost research funding organisation. It invests around 1 billion francs a year in research projects and in the careers of young researchers.