Ambizione: a boost for research careers

© Nicolas Hansen

From avalanche management to spinal cord repair: the SNSF has awarded its Ambizione grants for 2022. It has selected the 83 best projects from a total of 473 submitted.

Since 2008, the SNSF has launched Ambizione calls to promote promising early-career researchers from Switzerland and abroad. Scientific staff at higher education institutions can also apply for Ambizione grants.

Higher share of women

In November 2021, 473 researchers submitted an Ambizione application. 163 applicants reached the second phase of the evaluation process. Following this two-step evaluation, the SNSF awarded 83 worth 67.6 million francs. With 33 grants (39.8 per cent) going to women, the targeted share of 35 per cent female awardees was clearly exceeded.

Thanks to their Ambizione grant, the 83 researchers will be able to conduct and manage their first independent project at a higher education institution or other institution in Switzerland. On average, they will receive 815,000 francs. The SNSF is giving them the opportunity to take a big step forward in their career. In so doing, it is making an important contribution to the promotion of early-career researchers.

Wide range of topics

Of the approved projects, 41 per cent are in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering, 31 per cent in the humanities and social sciences, and 28 per cent in biology and medicine. This distribution is reflected in the wide range of topics. For instance, Lucas Müller (University of Geneva) will study the history of Swiss avalanche management. Patrizia Moretti (SUPSI Mendrisio), will examine innovative treatments that stabilise the darkening of lead-based pigments in wall paintings. And Jordan Squair (EPF Lausanne) will define requirements for spinal cord repair at the cellular level.

Most of the projects will start in autumn 2022 and run for four years.