Eccellenza finances 32 assistant professorships

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The SNSF contributes 57 million francs to projects by outstanding researchers who are on their way to a permanent professorship.

The SNSF received 244 Eccellenza proposals in 2021. After a two-stage evaluation process, 32 projects were selected for funding. From a total of 57 million francs, the researchers will receive, on average, approximately 1.8 million each over a five-year period. This amount will cover their own salaries, those of their team and other research costs. While women were proportionally more successful than men in the previous year, success rates were virtually equal in 2021.

Project leaders with their own team

"Eccellenza enables researchers to conduct an independent project at assistant professor level with their own team," says Julia Cahenzli Jenkins, who is responsible for the funding scheme at the SNSF. "This is an essential stepping stone for those seeking a permanent professorship."

Thematically diverse

The 32 projects are in various fields, ranging from the natural sciences to the humanities. For example, Charlotte Laufkötter (University of Bern) will investigate the ocean's biological carbon pump. The results will enhance our understanding of the impacts of climate change. Francesca Siclari (Lausanne University Hospital) observes people’s brain activity during dreams, hoping to help solve the mystery of how and why we dream. How did the ruling elites in the early modern republics in Europe handle political secrets in public? And did those practices influence our modern democracies? – these are the questions that Nadir Weber (University of Lucerne) has set out to answer. While Per Block (University of Zurich) wants to find out to what extent social networks can contribute to a successful career.

The SNSF created the Eccellenza Professorial Fellowships scheme in 2018. Four calls have taken place since then, resulting in awards for 138 researchers.