750 applications for SNSF Swiss Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021

© Christian Frierl / Universität Basel

The National Research Council and the evaluation panels it has appointed are now evaluating the submitted applications.

The SNSF issued this call for scientists who wanted to apply for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (MSCA) in 2021. Due to Switzerland's current status of non-associated country in Horizon Europe, the SERI mandated the SNSF to launch this transitional measure. It is aimed at early-career researchers wishing to obtain a position at a non-profit research institution in Switzerland for 12 to 24 months.

The number of proposals submitted by the deadline on 15 December exceeded the number of proposals for individual MSCA Fellowships. Despite the success of its transitional measures, however, the SNSF is still hoping for Switzerland's rapid and full association to the Horizon Europe programme.

Applicant profiles

The 750 projects are distributed across the research areas as follows: 322 in mathematics, natural and engineering sciences, 304 in biology and medicine, and 124 in the humanities and social sciences. The researchers requested grants averaging just over 244,000 francs per project.

The average applicant is 32 years old. 300 women researchers submitted an application, corresponding to 39% of the applications. The highest number of applications by women were submitted in the humanities and social sciences, followed by biology and medicine and mathematics, natural and engineering sciences.

More than half of the researchers who submitted an application plan a research stay at a Swiss university (56%). The others plan a stay at institution within the ETHZ/EPFL domain (39%).


The applications are evaluated in a remote setting in a one-stage process without interviews. Experts from the relevant disciplines evaluate the applications that meet the formal requirements. Two evaluators per project prepare independently an evaluation report. Based on these reports, the applications are then ranked according to best practice in evaluation as applied by the SNSF.

In June 2022, the SNSF will let applicants know whether their application has been selected for funding.