Transitional measure: SNSF wants to offer excellent researchers temporary substitute for ERC funding schemes at Swiss intitutions

This picture shows a researcher looking into a microscope in a laboratory. © SNSF

Excellent researchers who are currently unable to apply to the European Research Council for ERC Grants at Swiss research institutions because of the successful mass immigration initiative will be able to apply for comparable grants at the SNSF in the context of transitional measures in 2014. The aim is to maintain Switzerland’s strong position as a centre of research.

Since 26 February and until further notice, researchers in Switzerland can no longer submit grant applications to the European Research Council (ERC). The reason for this lies in the acceptance of the initiative against mass immigration on 9 February 2014. The ERC is also rejecting applications from scientists based abroad who would like to do research in Switzerland. The call for Starting Grants, which closes on 25 March 2014, is the first to be affected.

Protecting the interests of research in Switzerland

The high competitiveness and performance as well as the international nature of research and innovation in Switzerland must be safeguarded by other means until a new political agreement with the European Union is reached. In accordance with the intention of the Federal Council announced last Friday and in coordination with the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), the SNSF wants to set up a temporary funding scheme as a transitional measure for calls in 2014. This scheme covers the aims, scope and funding level of the ERC funding schemes Starting Grants and Consolidator Grants. A decision on the third ERC scheme, Advanced Grants, will be taken at a later point in agreement with the SERI. The calls for this temporary scheme will be open to scientists who work in Switzerland or who are currently negotiating positions at institutions in Switzerland.

Original deadlines remain in place

The SNSF will set up the scheme, evaluation processes and administrative procedures during the next weeks. The original ERC submission deadlines for the Starting Grant proposals (25 March) and the Consolidator Grant proposals (20 May) will remain in place for the new temporary scheme.

Applicants with destination Switzerland who intended to apply for a Starting Grant with the ERC can submit their proposal to the SNSF between 15 March and 25 March 2014 via the electronic platformmySNF. No major changes to the original ERC proposals in terms of form and content will be required. Interested applicants are strongly advised to register as soon as possible for amySNF user account.

More specific information on how to submit the proposals will be published on the SNSF website by 14 March 2014. Information on Consolidator Grant proposals will follow in due course.

For general information on the participation of Switzerland in Horizon 2020, please check the factsheet of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.