The SNSF launched Spark in 2019 as a scheme for projects using unconventional methods. The second call for Spark proposals is now open.
The second call for Spark proposals is open from 15 February to 11 March 2020. The first call in 2019 was a resounding success. 757 applications were submitted all in all, out of which the SNSF was able to fund 284 projects.
The aim of Spark is to provide a funding opportunity for projects that are more daring in nature. The researchers are encouraged to take risks. Even if the results are negative or inconclusive, they are still considered a knowledge gain.
The SNSF published a more elaborate version of the existing Spark Regulations for the Spark call, deadline 11 March 2020. According to the new regulations, projects can only be submitted by a single applicant. In addition, the new Regulations specifiy that doctoral students are not eligible to submit applications. Finally, applicants who are not employed for the entire project duration must submit a confirmation letter from the research institution where they intend to carry out their project. The same condition applies to applicants requesting their own salary.
For researchers from all disciplines
Spark is open to researchers from all disciplines. As the focus is on the project idea, researchers who think outside the box also get a chance to have their innovative ideas funded. The double blind process ensures that evaluators assess only the project and not the applicants.
Applicants may request between 50,000 and 100,000 francs for a project duration of 6 to 12 months. Projects must start within 4 months of a positive funding decision.
Pilot phase until 2020
Spark has been designed as a pilot project. The second call for projects is open from mid-February to 11 March 2020. The pilot phase ends this year. In addition, please note the links below.