For young researchers: support grant and higher salaries

The Action Plan 2013-2016 of the SNSF prioritises measures to ensure that a sufficient number of young scientists come to the fore in Switzerland. True to its words, the SNSF introduced the 120% support grant in June 2013 and will be raising the salaries of doctoral students as of 2014.

In 2012, the SNSF prepared various measures aimed at improving conditions
for young scientists; these measures are now ready for implementation.

Family: support for postdocs

The SNSF introduced the ”120% support grant” for postdoctoral researchers as of 1 June 2013. The purpose of the grant is to help researchers find the right balance between their academic career and family commitments by allowing them to reduce their working hours. Using the freed-up work-time percentage and an additional 20% financed by the SNSF, they can hire a ”support person” to work on their project. Alternatively, grantees can request a contribution towards childcare costs; the two options may also be combined. With this new grant, the SNSF aims to ensure that postdocs do not suffer significant delays to their academic careers despite family commitments.

Salary policy reviewed

The SNSF has decided to modify its salary policy as of 2014. The new features will include a simplified structure with only three employee categories (postdocs/ doctoral students/other employees) and new arrangements for postdocs whose salaries are paid by the SNSF: instead of the institution-related rates, a salary bracket of CHF 80,000 to CHF 105,000 will apply to these researchers, with a transition period of no more than five years with regard to the minimum rate. In addition, the SNSF will be raising the salaries of doctoral students as of 1 January 2014 by approximately 7% and guaranteeing a ”protected time” of at least 60% of a full-time equivalent for work on the doctoral thesis. The new rules will be applied for the first time for the submission deadline of 1 October 2013.