Promotion of young researchers
The promotion of young researchers is a core concern of the SNSF. Not only is it embodied in the Mission Statement and the Statutes. It is also strongly reflected in the funding figures and the consistent orientation of funding schemes towards the needs of young researchers.
Every year, the SNSF supports over 4,000 doctoral students and around 2,500 postdocs through projects and programmes. In its Action Plan 2013-2016, the SNSF prioritises measures to ensure the emergence of the next generation of researchers by offering career-friendly funding schemes.
Careers in academia are full of uncertainties which, particularly for Swiss researchers, reduce their appeal as compared to other career opportunities. Encouraging young talents to consider a career in research is therefore the uppermost priority of the SNSF. New measures such as redesigned mobility fellowships, supporting measures for project collaborators and a doctoral programme in the humanities and social sciences are expected to create opportunities for young researchers at key stages in their careers.
The SNSF is convinced that academic careers must be made more attractive for young researchers if Switzerland is to maintain its leading position as a research location in the global arena. That said, the SNSF is aware that the measures for promoting young talents envisaged in its Action Plan 2013-2016 will not be sufficient to improve the situation in the long run. The higher education institutions and the SNSF must collaborate more closely to create the right incentives for optimising the promotion of young researchers.