New bilateral programme with Vietnam
The SNSF will from now on also fund joint projects by Swiss and Vietnamese researchers. It has made available 2.5 million francs for the first call.
The bilateral programmes of the Swiss government are aimed at promoting and strengthening scientific cooperation with non-European countries that show high research potential. Vietnam is the fifth Asian partner country after China, India, Japan and South Korea. The SNSF has signed an agreement to this effect with Vietnam's National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED). "We are looking forward to the new partnership. The Vietnamese government and local universities have been expanding the research sector and international collaboration for many years now," says Marc Zbinden, head of the International Cooperation division of the SNSF. "The bilateral programme gives Swiss and Vietnamese researchers an ideal opportunity to collaborate on joint projects."
Submission deadline in January 2021
The call for proposals, which is open to all disciplines, will be launched on 1 October 2020; the deadline for submissions is 15 January 2021. The projects will last for two to three years, with a maximum of 250,000 francs available per project on the Swiss side. Up to ten applications may be funded under the budget for bilateral programmes of the Swiss government. The Vietnamese funding organisation will fund the work conducted by researchers in Vietnam.
Significant added value
Besides Asian countries, Brazil and Russia are also participating in the bilateral programmes, which generate considerable added value for Swiss researchers and institutions. A study from March 2020 identifies strong networks, more joint publications and more research diversity as the programmes' main benefits. "They thus fit in perfectly with our strategy," says Marc Zbinden. Another positive aspect for the SNSF: in these programmes it can work closely together with the other organisations, which is generally useful for the development of research funding.