Sinergia – interdisciplinary, collaborative and breakthrough
Sinergia promotes the interdisciplinary collaboration of two to four research groups that propose breakthrough research.
The Sinergia regulations provide the legal basis for Sinergia proposals and grants, and describe the conditions for awarding a Sinergia grant.
The Sinergia regulations are based on the Funding Regulations and the Implementation Regulations of the SNSF.
One more Sinergia Call
Researchers can still apply for Sinergia grants in spring 2023. The submission deadline is:
- 17 April 2023
After this, the SNSF will integrate the Sinergia programme into project funding along with its budget.
Researchers will then be able to submit all types of collaborative projects by 1 October and 1 April every year.
Overview of the grant conditions
- Duration: 1 to 4 years
- Budget: max. CHF 3.2 million
- No less than 2 and no more than 4 applicants may apply together for a Sinergia grant.
- The consortium as a whole must have adequate experience in managing research projects.
- One applicant must be designated as the legal representative of all applicants vis-à-vis the SNSF. If the grant is approved, this applicant becomes the corresponding grantee. This person may not be outside Switzerland. The grants are paid to the institution at which the corresponding grantee is employed. The corresponding grantee is responsible for forwarding the funds.
- They contribute to the research project through cooperation with the consortium, without being responsible for the project.
- Their role must be clearly described in the grant application.
- They can benefit from the grant, but their contributions must be budgeted in the application.
- Only one Sinergia grant per person and period for all applicants.
- Only one Sinergia application per applicant and deadline.
- SNSF professors may submit a Sinergia application 2 years after starting their SNSF professorship at the earliest. Ambizione grantees are excluded for the duration of their grant.
Before drafting a Sinergia proposal, applicants need to ensure that the project also complies with the following definitions and rules:
Interdisciplinary research is defined as research across disciplinary boundaries. In order to achieve the research objectives, it is necessary to integrate elements (theories, methods, concepts, etc.) from two or more disciplines. A similar degree of importance is attached to all the disciplines involved. Collaborative proposals that involve only one discipline or one main discipline supported by auxiliary disciplines should be submitted in SNSF project funding:
A proposal should be related to research fields from at least two different areas of research. The SNSF uses the Fields of Research (FoR) system covering all areas of research according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC).
Collaborative research means that the expertise and knowledge of the applicants is complementary and their collaboration of the different applicants is essential for achieving the research goals. It also creates added value. Collaboration between research groups from different types of institutions (UASs, UTEs, universities, ETHZ/EPFL, etc.) is also welcome.
Breakthrough research addresses important challenges and presents a novel approach, it questions or goes beyond existing models, theories, doctrines, research approaches, methods, etc. It opens up new lines of research and has a high potential for impact in or beyond academia.
Eligibility of applicants
- All applicants must have obtained a doctorate at least four years before submitting the application or must have equivalent research experience.
- All applicants must be employed with a work-time percentage of at least 50% for the duration of the project at a research institution that is eligible to receive research funding from the SNSF, or they must have been given written assurance of such employment.
- All applicants must be in a position to carry out research projects under their own responsibility and to lead project staff.
- All applicants must make a substantial contribution to the proposed research. The research infrastructure needed to carry out the proposed research must be at their disposal.
- If there are three or more applicants, one applicant may be based at a research institution abroad, provided their expertise is essential for the project and cannot be sourced in Switzerland (2+1, 3+1).
Preparation and submission of the proposal
The SNSF recommends that applicants start entering information in the SNSF Portal as soon as possible after the launch of the call. On the SNSF Portal, help texts offer detailed advice on how to write and submit a grant proposal. The language of the proposal must be English.
The research plan must be submitted as a PDF document via the SNSF Portal. Applicants must ad-here to the following guidelines:
Evaluation procedure and decision
The following specific aspects of the general assessment criteria of the SNSF (scientific quality of the proposed research project, scientific qualifications of the researchers) assume greater importance in the evaluation of Sinergia proposals:
- Whether the interdisciplinary collaboration is of high quality and adequately organised in view of the joint research objectives
- Whether the expertise and knowledge of the applicants is complementary and whether the collaboration of the different applicants is essential to achieve the research goals and creates an added value
- The proposal’s breakthrough character: the research addresses important challenges, presents a novel approach, questions or goes beyond existing models, theories, doctrines, methods, etc., it opens up new lines of research and has a high potential for impact in or beyond academia
Communication of the decision
The final decision is generally taken five-and-a-half to six months after the submission deadline. The Administrative Offices of the SNSF communicates the final decision to the applicants as soon as possible in the form of a ruling (in accordance with the Federal Act on Administrative Procedure).
Sinergia evaluation panel
The list contains the names of the members of the Sinergia evaluation panel. In accordance with academic best practices, the SNSF does not allow any interaction between applicants and panel members over proposals.