Changes to the Implementation Regulations: employment of staff

Since 2 October 2019, new provisions have been in force on the employment of staff in SNSF-funded research projects. The changes concern Chapter 7 and Annex 12 of the Implementation Regulations.

The new provisions are simpler and clearer, allowing more flexibility for researchers and institutions. What is more, the obligations of grantees and the institutions towards employees are now explicitly stated in the Implementation Regulations.

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    1. What changes has the SNSF made to its Implementation Regulations?

    The changes are in Chapter 7 "Employment of staff" and in Annex 12 "Salary ranges, guidelines for employees in SNSF-funded projects and blanket amounts for social security contributions". The respective provisions have been made simpler and clearer, allowing more flexibility for researchers and institutions. In addition, the obligations of grantees and institutions vis-à-vis their employees are now explicitly set out in the Implementation Regulations.

    2. I have an ongoing project that is funded by the SNSF. Are the new provisions also applicable to my employees?

    Yes, the new provisions also apply to ongoing projects approved by the SNSF prior to 2 October 2019. You must, however, adhere to the approved budget.

    3. Does the SNSF still specify a minimum work-time percentage of 60% for doctoral students?

    No, the SNSF has removed this requirement. However, it expects that doctoral students devote 80-100% of a full-time equivalent to their doctorate and do not spend more than four years on their dissertation.

    4. Until now, postdocs were only allowed to spend 20% of their work-time working for the institution. Is this upper limit still in place?

    No, the SNSF has abolished this rule to allow more flexibility. Of course, postdocs must spend most of their time pursuing higher academic qualifications. They should use their postdoctoral studies to advance their careers and to become independent researchers as quickly as possible. The SNSF finances their work for a maximum of five years. ​

    5. For how long does the SNSF finance other employees in a project?

    There is now no longer any maximum funding duration for other employees. However, the maximum employment period for doctoral students (four years) and postdocs (five years) remains unchanged.

    6. Has the SNSF set an upper limit for other employees' salaries?

    No, the SNSF has removed the upper limit for other employees. Now you can pay them according to the pay system in force at your institution. The SNSF may cut unreasonable salaries, however.

    7. Can I apply for career grants on behalf of employees, for example Gender Equality Grants?

    You can apply for grants on behalf of doctoral students and postdocs, but not on behalf of other employees.