Ambizione: 64 million francs for young researchers

© Nicolas Hansen

The SNSF has awarded grants for its Ambizione funding scheme in 2021. The highest rated of 480 submitted projects will be funded. 84 young researchers can now take a big step forward in their career.

Since 2008, the SNSF has launched Ambizione calls to promote promising young researchers from Switzerland and abroad. Scientific staff at higher education institutions can also apply for Ambizione grants.

Record number of proposals

In November 2020, a record number of 480 young researchers submitted an Ambizione application. 144 applicants reached the second phase of the evaluation process. Following this two-step evaluation, the SNSF awarded 84 new grants. With 24 grants going to women (28.4%), unfortunately the targeted share of 35% female awardees was not achieved.

Thanks to their Ambizione grant, the 84 researchers will be able to conduct and manage their first independent project at a higher education institution or other institution in Switzerland. On average, they will receive 766,000 francs. The SNSF is giving them the opportunity to take a big step forward in their career. In so doing, it is making a significant contribution to the promotion of young researchers.

Wide range of topics

Of the approved projects, 43% are in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering, 38% in the humanities and social sciences, and 19% in biology and medicine. This distribution is reflected in the wide range of topics. For instance, Basil C. Preisig (University of Zürich) will explore the potential of neural attentional control to overcome hearing impairment. Manuela Brunner (University of Bern) aims at enhancing our process understanding and modeling capability of regional hydrologic extremes in the context of global climate change. And Christina Ernst (EPF Lausanne) will profile RNA-protein interactions at the host-viral interface of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Most of the projects will start in autumn 2021 and run for four years.