National Research Programmes (NRPs)
Research where it is needed most
NRPs embrace research projects that contribute to solving the key problems of today. Federal offices, research institutes, research groups or individual persons propose topics and potential priorities for an NRP to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). The Federal Council makes the final selection of topics, which it then refers on to the SNSF to address within the scope of an NRP.
NRPs are distinguished by the following characteristics:
- they are solution-oriented and close to the practical realm;
- they are interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary;
- the research projects of an NRP jointly pursue an overall goal;
- knowledge transfer and the communication of results are valued highly.
NRPs help to deliver scientifically proven solutions to Switzerland's most pressing problems. Selected by the Federal Council.
The requirements and procedures for participating in an NRP are set out in the relevant call for proposals. In principle, the provisions of the SNSF Funding Regulations apply.
Submission of NRP topics and projects
Periodically (approximately every 2 to 3 years), interested parties can submit topics for research programmes to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). The SERI drafts programme proposals on the basis of these submissions and then commissions the SNSF to conduct feasibility studies. At the given time, the SERI website will provide details of when and how NRP topics can be submitted. In a second phase, the SNSF will prepare calls for proposals for the suggested programmes that received a positive assessment in the feasibility study. At the request of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), the Federal Council judges the merits of these calls for proposals, defines the budgets and commissions the SNSF to implement the NRPs.
After the SNSF has been commissioned to implement an NRP, it will publish a call for proposals for the NRP. Submissions for NRP projects can only be made in response to a public call for proposals. This will be announced in the SNSF Newsletter to coincide with the going live of a dedicated NRP website.
The submission process for NRP projects comprises two stages: first the project outlines, then the research applications. Information on the submission of proposals for NRP projects is based on the NRP-specific call documents. These will include deadlines and evaluation criteria. Submissions for NRP projects may not be made outside of the call for proposals process.
Can researchers submit projects to an ongoing NRP?
Projects can only be submitted via mySNF in response to calls for proposals. This increases the competition between researchers. The project proposals can be compared and peer reviewed. No projects are accepted outside of calls for proposals.
When and to whom can one propose topics for National Research Programmes (NRPs)?
Interested parties, institutes and offices can periodically (approx. every 2-3 years) propose topics for NRPs to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. Once the proposals have been collected and the necessary feasibility studies conducted, the Federal Council mandates the SNSF to run 2-4 NRPs on average.
In what way does an NRP project differ from other SNSF projects?
NRP projects are generally solution-oriented, i.e. they contribute to the search for solutions to current problems. Knowledge transfer is an important factor. In addition, NRP projects are closely coordinated with the other projects of the programme (data exchange, methodology seminars, exchange of preliminary and final results, collaboration on the programme synthesis).