211 Mobility fellowships for postdocs

© Westend61 / Christian Vorhofer

196 early-career researchers will spend a research stay abroad thanks to a Postdoc.Mobility grant. 15 will continue their careers with a return grant in Switzerland.

With a Postdoc.Mobility fellowship, postdoctoral researchers can acquire more in-depth knowledge, become more independent and enhance their research profile. In the call of February 2022, 425 applications were submitted to the SNSF, more than in the last two calls. The SNSF has now approved 211 applications, which corresponds to a success rate of 49.6%. With 89 grants awarded to women, or 42.2%, the targeted share of 40% was exceeded. Of the 211 supported researchers, 196 receive a fellowship for a stay abroad, 15 a return grant.

Individual projects at host institutions abroad

Early-career researchers funded by a mobility fellowship spend an average of 21 months at an institution abroad, where they continue their scientific education and independently conduct a research project. Over these almost two years, they receive 112,000 francs on average. This covers part of their living expenses; the fellowship also includes research funds and travel costs.

More than 40% of researchers in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering as well as in the life sciences conduct their stay in the US, 31% in an EU country. Postdoctoral researchers in the social sciences and humanities conduct their projects in the US in less than 20% of cases; by contrast, 45% of them carry out research in the EU. With a total of 17% of funded researchers, the UK is also a popular destination.

From quantum computers to attention

A wide range of research topics are represented. Benjamin Lienhard (electrical engineering/physics), for example, is devoting his stay in the USA to the idea of self-calibrating quantum computers. Such machines are expected to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than today's computers.

Iva Franic (forest sciences) is working in Sweden to detect fungi in tree seeds. Fungal diseases pose an immense threat to forests and nurseries. Nevertheless, tree seeds are often shipped without controls. A new method should enable more precise controls using biomolecules.

And Anna Bloom-Christen (ethnology) examines attention and its role in intercultural interaction in post-apartheid South Africa. How does personal or collective life experience influence attention habits and what is the impact of the legacy of racial segregation?

The SNSF conducts two calls for applications for Postdoc.Mobility every year. In 2021, 395 researchers received a grant.