Building networks in Europe: 22 COST projects approved

Positive energy neighbourhoods, ecosystem services of forests and post-traumatic stress disorder after childbirth: three of the new COST projects funded by the SNSF.

The COST programme supports cooperation between scientists on a European scale. To this end, it creates Actions, which are networks of researchers from at least seven different countries. COST supports international conferences, meetings, workshops, exchanges, training and publications. At the national level, the SNSF funds research projects associated with Actions.

Up to 320,000 francs

In the 2021 COST call, the SNSF evaluated 52 projects proposed by researchers from Switzerland, approving 22 of them. This corresponds to a success rate of 42%. The SNSF awards up to 320,000 francs for these projects.

Wide variety of themes

The funded projects will be conducted over the next four years. They come from a wide range of disciplines, from management sciences to environmental sciences to psychology. Here are three examples:

Ricardo J. Da Silva Lima (HES-SO), Silvia Ulli-Beer (ZHAW) and Martin K. Patel (University of Geneva) study positive energy neighborhoods. Are they an appropriate instrument to guide the Swiss energy transition? Using a participatory and interdisciplinary approach, this project will identify the impact of these neighborhoods and the crucial actions needed next to develop them in Switzerland.

Olalla Díaz Yáñez and Harald Bugmann (ETH Zurich) look at the capacity of forests to provide services to society. The project will focus on the analysis of dynamic models of forest landscapes with their internal uncertainties that remain little explored. The results will help improve the models with a view to supporting landscape management decisions.

Antje Horsch (CHUV Lausanne) and Ulrike Rimmele (University of Geneva) focus on post-traumatic disorders related to childbirth that can mark the relationship between mother and child and negatively affect the infant, incurring high health costs. The researchers will test new treatments for these disorders.

Ideas cross borders

Through its Actions, COST contributes to a better response to scientific, technical and societal challenges in Europe. On average, researchers from 28 countries take part in an Action. All scientific and technical fields can participate. COST has opened a new call for Actions until 20 October 2022.

By participating, generally young scientists based in Switzerland can cooperate and build an international network. The SNSF supports their research projects with grants.