SNSF professorships for 39 outstanding young researchers

In February 2018, the SNSF awarded 39 new SNSF professorships to outstanding young researchers. They will take up their posts at six Swiss universities and both federal institutes of technology. In future, the SNSF will provide support to assistant professors under the new career funding scheme SNSF Eccellenza.

The awarded SNSF professorships will enable excellent young researchers to set up their own team and conduct an independent research project at a higher education institution in Switzerland. On average, the funding amounts to CHF 14.5 million per year over a period of four years. 31% of the new grantees are women. The overall share of women researchers since the inception of the scheme also lies at 31%.

The 39 SNSF professorships are distributed across the higher education institutions as follows: University of Basel 5, University of Bern 5, University of Fribourg 2, University of Geneva 9, University of Lausanne 6, University of Zurich 9, EPF Lausanne 2, ETH Zurich 1.

In accordance with regulations introduced in 2009, the SNSF also awarded four professorships in fields with a clinical orientation. SNSF professors in these fields (30 awards since 2010) benefit from optimum working conditions that are tailored to their needs.

The SNSF has awarded a total of 730 SNSF professorships since 1999, the year the scheme was launched. Around 80% of grantees were appointed as professors after expiry of the grant, in most cases with tenure.

The new funding scheme SNSF Eccellenza represents an extension of SNSF funding for excellent young researchers. The SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowships support researchers who aspire to a professorship, by funding their salary at the local rates for assistant professors and covering the project costs. The fellowships will replace the SNSF professorships. In addition, the SNSF will also award Eccellenza Grants aimed at researchers who already have an assistant professorship with tenure track at a higher education institution.