Collaboration with Japan: AMED and JST “Alignment Calls”

Researchers with projects already funded by the SNSF can connect with their Japanese colleagues to participate in the AMED and JST “Alignment Calls”.

Under the governmental programme ASPIRE, the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) have again launched “Alignment Calls” in 2024. In these calls, Japanese research groups will connect with already funded projects in one of the participating partner countries, and subsequently submit a proposal to AMED or JST. This approach allows the Japanese funding agencies to identify researchers in the partner countries who are considered to be excellent. The SNSF is one of the participating partner funding agencies.

The durations of the Japanese project and the project in the partner country do not necessarily have to correspond. Researchers with projects in partner countries that have a comparatively short remaining duration can be funded.

The collaboration costs for both teams can be covered by the Japanese budget. Please note that researchers in Switzerland do not need to submit any additional information to the SNSF, as their Japanese counterparts are responsible for the submission of project proposals to AMED or JST.

The call will be highly competitive, with multiple partner funding agencies from a number of different countries taking part.

AMED call

At AMED, projects can only be submitted in the grant category “ASPIRE B”. The topics of the AMED alignment call are:

  • cellular structure and function
  • complex systems of living organisms
  • human life stages

The AMED call was launched on 8 March 2024. The submission deadline for proposals is 28 May 2024, 12:00 noon (Japan Standard Time).

Under the AMED “Alignment Call”, projects with a duration of three to five years will be funded with a maximum of 115 million yen per project. AMED will be able to fund approx. three projects of this type.

JST call

At JST, projects can be submitted in the categories “top scientist” or “rising scientist”. Researchers in Japan will be able to select the category they fall into themselves. At JST, scientists can apply in the following research areas:

  • AI and information
  • biotechnology
  • energy
  • materials
  • quantum
  • semiconductors
  • telecommunications

The JST call was launched on 11 March 2024. It is not necessary to submit a pre-proposal, but JST would appreciate being given “prior notice” by 9 April 2024. The submission deadline for the proposal is 9 May 2024 at 12:00 noon (Japan Standard Time).

At JST, “top scientists” can apply for up to 500 million yen per project for a maximum duration of 5 years. JST will be able to fund approx. 15 projects of this type. Under “rising scientists”, a maximum of 90 million yen per project can be requested for a maximum duration of 3 years. JST will be able to fund approx. 20 projects of this type.

For additional information, please see the corresponding websites.