Concentration of funding portfolio from 2025
From 2025, the SNSF will focus more on supporting research projects and postdoctoral careers. As a result, it will discontinue financing some current funding schemes, including Doc.CH, MD-PhD, Practice-to-Science and R'Equip.
In the context of its multi-year programme 2025-2028, published last year, the SNSF highlighted the priorities it would need to set in order to continue to support research effectively. Faced with an uncertain financial outlook in particular, it plans to focus on its core activity: project funding. This scheme, in which researchers define their own research topics, needs to be allocated more resources in the forthcoming budget period to cope with the strong increase in demand.
As a result of this refocusing, a number of existing schemes will be discontinued. Since all SNSF funding schemes are actively used, this decision was only taken after a careful weighing of interests. In the context of this necessary prioritisation, the SNSF considered its funding portfolio in general.
In career funding, the SNSF will focus its efforts on the postdoctoral stage and higher levels. It has therefore decided to discontinue Doc.CH (humanities and social sciences) as of 2025, as well as to cease its contribution to the MD-PhD scheme (medicine), which should continue under the sole aegis of SAMS, and to abandon plans to introduce a career scheme for female doctoral students in STEM fields. These decisions take into account the fact that the funding of doctoral students is primarily the responsibility of the universities.
In another area of career funding, the SNSF is no longer planning to launch any calls in its Practice-to-Science pilot scheme from 2024. However, it will continue to reflect on the best way of supporting careers at universities of applied sciences and universities of teacher education, taking into account the results obtained during the pilot phase.
The SNSF will also bring the funding of infrastructure more closely into line with its strategic priorities and stop awarding grants exclusively for the acquisition of research equipment. For this reason, the R'Equip scheme, used mainly in the MINT fields and in life sciences, will not be continued in the forthcoming 2025-2028 period.
These measures taken by the SNSF concern all types of research and are in no way targeted at a particular domain. They will generate savings of more than 100 million francs, thus helping to cover the additional financial needs of the coming years.
The freed-up resources will improve the situation of individuals supported by the SNSF and increase the salaries of doctoral students employed in projects. They will thus also be used to support young researchers. The SNSF is particularly committed to supporting early-career scientists and considers it essential to ensure good working conditions for young researchers. What is more, the approximately 100 million francs in savings could help finance excellent projects that would otherwise remain unfunded because of the high demand for resources, which has been rising by 5% each year.